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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - Design and Analysis


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A discussion of research design and perceptions of SoTL data, as well as potential pitfalls in conducting SoTL

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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - Design and Analysis

  1. 1. SoTL: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Making Sense of Perceptions Dr. Staci Trekles,
  2. 2. Review: SoTL Basics • Reflective process, similar to research in any disciplinary field • Goals typically relate to improving student learning and experiences • Five primary steps (Bishop-Clark & Dietz-Uhler, 2012): 1. Generate the research question and do literature review 2. Design the study 3. Collect data 4. Analyze data 5. Present and publish
  3. 3. Designing Your Study • Many SoTL projects are qualitative or mixed-methods due to the inductive, exploratory nature • Your research questions will often help point the way to the type of data that you should expect to collect and analyze • Consider a pilot study first as a way to see whether your research ideas are viable – it could be something that lasts only a class session!
  4. 4. Perceptions in SoTL • SoTL research often lends itself to multiple perceptions because of the nature of the data – be conscious of them and use to your advantage as ways to extend the research • It tends to be limited to just your classroom practices (or maybe a little further), and is therefore often seen as less generalizable • You must also be sensitive to the ethics of the research – as the researcher and the instructor, you hold a different kind of “power” over student participants • Maintaining ethical practices and participating in the research as a partner is a good idea – protect student privacy and confidentiality at all times
  5. 5. What are you seeing in your research so far? • What kind of evidence or data do you have to work with? • What is the data telling you at this point? • If you look at the same data from a previous point in time, does it look different to you? Why? • Types of data that you might include: • Formative and summative assessments • Projects and presentations • Discussions and interviews • Surveys • Current vs. past data from different semesters • Institutional research data for comparisons
  6. 6. Examples from Our Colleagues • C. Rogalin: bringing guest speakers into the classroom to make real-world connections to class content and finding out if this helped students understand the content better • S. Simerlein: developing and implementing fun tutorial videos using rhymes and songs to help students learn difficult concepts
  7. 7. Digging Deeper • Often there are many facets to SoTL research, and more will emerge the deeper you dig into your data • Be reflective – consider changes not just in students but also in yourself as a teacher while studying the data • What factors could have influenced the trends that you see? Keep asking new questions and you’ll see your research evolve
  8. 8. SoTL Pitfalls • We know that SoTL can be too focused to be generalizable to other situations • It’s also very hard to measure student learning because of the many variables (learning style, study approach, life background, etc) • Really useful article with rubric for gauging your research design: 1/teth.12020/abstract • Principles of good practice: • Inquiry-focused • Focused on student learning process as well as outcomes • Grounded in context and available literature • Solid design • Conducted in partnership with students
  9. 9. Your Turn! • Where are you at so far with your project? • Where do you need more help (more advice, more data, more questions)? • What’s confounding you so far in the process?
  10. 10. More Resources • Vanderbilt SOTL “getting started” guide: sotl/getting-started/ • Guidebook to SOTL – thinking of a problem and the questions: • Annual SoTL Conferences: • Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning at Univ. of Central Florida: • Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University videos:
  11. 11. References • Bishop-Clark, C, & Dietz-Uhler, B (2012). Engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus. • Boyer, E.L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professorate. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Felten, P. (2013). Principles of good practice in SoTL. Teaching and Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal, 1(1), 121-125. • Hutchings, P. (2000). Opening lines: Approaches to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Menlo Park, CA: Carnegie. • Nelson, C. (2003). Doing it: Examples of several of the different genres of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, 14(2), 85-94.