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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - Design and Analysis
SoTL: Scholarship of
Teaching and Learning
Making Sense of Perceptions
Dr. Staci Trekles, email@example.com
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
Designing Your Study
• Many SoTL projects are qualitative or
mixed-methods due to the inductive,
• 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
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
• 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
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
• 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
• Current vs. past data from different
• Institutional research data for
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
• 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
• 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
• Really useful article with rubric for gauging
your research design:
• Principles of good practice:
• Focused on student learning process as well
• Grounded in context and available literature
• Solid design
• Conducted in partnership with students
• 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?
• Vanderbilt SOTL “getting started” guide: https://my.vanderbilt.edu/sotl/doing-
• Guidebook to SOTL – thinking of a problem and the questions:
• Annual SoTL Conferences: http://www.washington.edu/teaching/sotl-annual-conferences/
• Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning at Univ. of Central Florida:
• Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University videos:
• 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:
• 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.