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Getting Started in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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A Guide for Academics who are interested in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Published in: Education
  • Hi Christopher
    Here are the full list of references
    1. Darling, A. L. (2003). Scholarship of teaching and learning in Communication: New connections, new directions, new possibilities. Communication Education, 52 (1), 47-49.
    2. Haigh, N. (2010). The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Practical introduction and Critique. Accessed on 23rd December 2013 from https://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/download/ng/file/group-4/the-scholarship-of-teaching--learning---a-practical-introduction-and-critique.pdf
    3. Hutchings P. (2000). Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Menlo Park, Carnegie Foundation.
    4. Martin, E., Benjamin, J., Prosser, M., & Trigwell, K. (1999). Scholarship of teaching: A study of the approaches of academic staff. In C. Rust (Ed.), Improving student learning: Improving student learning outcomes: Proceedings of the 1998 6th International Symposium . Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development
    5. McKinney, K. (2004). Attitudinal and Structural Factors Contributing to Challenges in the Work of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. New Directions for Institutional Research, 129, Spring 2006, 37-50. DOI: 10.1002/ir.170
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  • Can we please have full Harvard References of the quoates?
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  • @Ruth Pilkington Thanks for your feedback Ruth. I agree that SOTL should be a central activity for HE academics, but I fear this is somewhat of a minority view, at least in research intensive universities.
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  • an interesting introduction to SoTL from Fiona Saunders prompted me to share what I regard as a central activity for HE academics: the enhancement of their own CPD and their practice through ongoing inquiry using SoTL
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Getting Started in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

  1. 1. Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (SOTL) – and why bother with it? Fiona Saunders, Senior Lecturer in School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering Email: fiona.saunders@manchester.ac.uk Twitter @FionaCSaunders Bland Tomkinson, Visiting Lecturer in School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering Email: c.tomkinson@manchester.ac.uk
  2. 2. Aims and Purpose  To spark interest in “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” as a valuable and legitimate scholarly activity  To fulfill the requirements of the HEA professional standards framework
  3. 3. Structure of the Session 1. What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2. Small projects: getting started and getting reported. 3. Individual exercise: Getting started - Highlighting experiences and laying the foundations for a SOTL roadmap
  4. 4. Definitions of SOTL “work that encourages an empirical examination of teaching in relation to student learning” Darling, 2003 “SOTL is a systematic reflection on teaching and learning made public” Illinois State University in McKinney, 2004 “opening lines of inquiry into significant issues in the teaching and learning of the field” Hutchings, 2000
  5. 5. Why is SOTL important? • Changed HE environment and eco-system – More diverse student body – Increasing focus on teaching, e.g. tuition fees, student satisfaction surveys – Availability of learning technology • More important than ever to understand how, why and when our students learn
  6. 6. Challenges in 21st Century Pedagogy http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/21st+Century+Pedagogy by Andrew Churches
  7. 7. What does SOTL involve? Engaging with extant knowledge Public sharing Self reflection Martin et al., 1999
  8. 8. Some examples of SOTL projects
  9. 9. What sorts of questions do SOTL researchers ask? What might be possible ? What works ? What is ? How to formulate new models and conceptual frameworks ?
  10. 10. Differentiating SOTL from pedagogic research • Critical reflective component • Focus on specific rather than generalised teaching and learning contexts • Does not emphasise the generation and evaluation of general theory Haigh, 2010
  11. 11. Why would an already busy academic wish to engage with SOTL? How often do you sharpen your teaching and learning axe?
  12. 12. Structure of the Session 1. What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2. Small projects: getting started and getting reported. 3. Individual exercise: Getting started - Highlighting experiences and laying the foundations for a SOTL roadmap
  13. 13. Getting started with small projects Why small projects? • Small projects can span the boundary between scholarship of teaching and learning and of pedagogic research. • Small projects can put scholarship into action and can form the foundation for more rigorous pedagogic research.
  14. 14. Useful Resources • https://my.vanderbilt.edu/sotl/ • http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/ college-eps/college/stem/getting-started- in-stem-pedagogic-optimised.pdf • http://exchange.ac.uk/downloads/ped-r- toolkit.pdf
  15. 15. Getting started with small projects I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who. Rudyard Kipling
  16. 16. Getting started with small projects – What? “Find a real life problem in your teaching and seek to investigate it ” “Find something you are passionate about” “Start small and set time limits ” “Be pragmatic – find out what would be most valued or attract support resources and start with these” “Search across disciplines for literature and practice” Adapted from Hutchings, 2000
  17. 17. Getting started with small projects – Why? • Fame and fortune? Papers on pedagogy don’t carry much weight in achieving international fame. BUT, they can give you an edge in job applications and promotion. • Improving your students’ learning experience? Constant reflection can be an important element in honing your teaching skills and a small project may give you evidence to help to do this. • Helping others to improve their teaching? A noble aim, but it does mean that any project has to have a good dissemination strategy.
  18. 18. Getting started with small projects – When? • Small projects can be undertaken at any time but it is helpful to have some funding, eg to employ a postgraduate student to do some analysis. – The university usually has a small amount of funding available each year – though the timescales involved can be quite tight. – Subject, or professional, bodies sometimes have funds available for small teaching projects. – Agencies like the Higher Education Academy often have small grants available – though these may be limited in scope. • The HEA website lists many possible calls for funding bids, together with their closing dates, not just from within the HEA.
  19. 19. Getting started with small projects – How? How to get the funding • Any study needs to start with aims, objectives and research questions. • Framing the research questions – most calls for funding bids will specify a need for including the research questions. Many will be constrained by a particular funding theme. • Remember that even doing it yourself will involve costs: eg printing, travel, books.
  20. 20. Getting started with small projects – How? How to do it • Quantitative v Qualitative methods. • Qualitative methods can include: – Questionnaires – Interviews • Quantitative methods can include: – Psychometric tests: do you have access to such test?
  21. 21. Getting started with small projects – Where? • On your own or with colleagues – in the same school or elsewhere? Comparative studies can often add value. • Some funding calls require collaborative bids – this usually means that it is essential to involve other universities or, just possibly, colleges or employers. • International collaborations may give access to funds otherwise denied you – some US funders will allow collaboration, but will not fund studies outside the US.
  22. 22. Getting started with small projects – Who? • Do you intend to do this on your own or employ postgraduate students or other researchers? • Do you wish to initiate the project with other colleagues: who will do what? • You may need to involve colleagues with special skills eg psychometrics, non-parametric statistics • Who will write it up? • Who are the subjects of the study? • Do you have/ will you get their consent? • YOU WILL NEED ETHICS APPROVAL.
  23. 23. Getting published with small projects • What sort of journal should you aim for? – Higher education journals: eg IJAD, HERD, IETI – Subject journals. – Discipline education journals: eg Electrical Engineering Education. .
  24. 24. Structure of the Session 1. What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2. Small projects: getting started and getting reported. 3. Individual exercise: Laying the foundations for a SOTL roadmap
  25. 25. This is all very interesting but what about me? I haven’t done any teaching yet Lab demonstrating Dissertation supervision PhD supervision Small group tutorials Other teaching assistant duties Academic advising What about these activities?
  26. 26. Individual Exercise NAP assessment involves developing a “Scholarship in Teaching and Learning” development plan 1 page plan that maps out a series of SOTL activities that you will engage in over the next 24 months Ideas • new journals or areas of reading • reflection on existing teaching practice • potential changes to be made to teaching practice • attendance at events
  27. 27. Contact Details Fiona Saunders, School of MACE fiona.saunders@manchester.ac.uk Twitter @FionaCSaunders www.fionasaunders.co.uk Bland Tomkinson, School of MACE Email: c.tomkinson@manchester.ac.uk

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