The Scholarship of Teaching
and Learning (SoTL)
Regan A. R. Gurung
A Brief Introduction adapted from a talk
given at the 2006 American Psychological
The Study of Teaching
– Action Research
– Informed teaching
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
– bring to teaching the recognition and
reward afforded to other forms of
The Basic Idea
Teacher-researchers raise questions
about what they think and observe
about their teaching and their
…, they also see student work as data
to analyze in order to examine the
teaching and learning that produced it"
Maclean & Mohr (1999).
Scholarly Teaching- Teaching that entails certain
practices of classroom assessment and evidence
gathering; teaching that is informed not only by the
latest ideas in the field but by current ideas about
teaching generally and specifically in the field; and
teaching that invites peer collaboration or review.
(Indiana University Bloomington SoTL tutorial).
Scholarship of Teaching- Work on teaching that
is public, is critically peer reviewed and evaluated,
and used and on by colleagues.
A Teaching Hierarchy: Where
Going Through Motions
WHY Do SoTL?
Inform the Public/Administration
CATALYZE your teaching
– Implicit indicator of teaching focus
– Involve students in their own learning
What’s my question?
What’s been done?
– What’s missing?
Replicate or Innovate?
Design, Conduct, Assess.
Picture Ask the Check the
Teaching Design a study
What Do I Focus On?
Someone teaches Something to Someone else
Somewhere (Schwab, 1973)
– Scrutinize your assignments
– Evaluate your interactions
– Textbook evaluations
– Lesson study assessments
– How do students study?
PICK ONE OF THE ABOVE
Challenges - Definitions
What is good teaching?
What is learning?
– Exam scores
– Perceived learning
– Actual learning
Teaching course evaluations
Descriptive Correlational Experimental
What’s associated If I do X will
Are students learning? with better learning? students learn better?
Basic --------- ------ ----- Assess
Up a Notch
notch Activity Assess Post
Basic ------- ------ ----- Assess
Up another notch: Pre-Post
Notch Assess1 Activity Assess2 Pre-
Notch Activity Assess1
Gp1 Assess1 Activity Assess2 XXXXX Assess3
Gp2 Assess1 XXXX Assess2 Activity Assess3
Remember to check if:
You have measured correctly
You have factored in all possible
influences (internal validity)
Generalizable (external validity)?
– SoTL does not subscribe to the same
rules….(see next slide)
The teaching and learning that happens in
our classrooms is often more qualitative
When we study people inside their own
culture, we don’t try and generalize from a
large population. We don’t look for what is
replicable, reliable, or statistically valid.
Rather we look for what’s singular,
particular and unique.
(Chiseri-Strater & Sunstein, 2006, pp.21).
– Observer effect
– ‘Students as lab rats’
Teacher Research is Unique
It uses Naturally occurring groups
No random assignment
No comparison group
Use same test items over consecutive years
Use similar test items over time
Compare across different instructors
No random sampling
entire sample used
Control key factors
What Do You Do With It?
Ask the Check the
Share it with
Question literature colleagues,
publish it, or
just use it to
Teaching Design a study
Sharing can be Informal: The KEEP Toolkit
can be invigorating