SoTL in Action Illuminating Critical Moments of Practice
What are the foundational moments of meaningful scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) projects? How do teacher-scholars collect, develop, and share useful insights about student learning? How do they work through the pinch points that frustrate, confuse, or elude many SoTL practitioners? By unpacking SoTL processes through rich narratives that illustrate what they look like, this collection offers inspiration to anyone at any stage of engagement with SoTL.This book takes discussions of SoTL to a new level. Its subtitle reflects the microscopic lenses SoTL processes can apply to student learning experiences to understand how they happen, what they look like, what they mean, and what we can do about them. Going beyond definitions, how-to, theory, and debates about methods and standards, the contributors offer a SoTL primer documenting how practitioners have intentionally thought through key moments in their work. These procedural vignettes present powerful examples of what doing SoTL looks like when done well.The authors represent a range of disciplines (the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and professions) and a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar names. Nancy Chick has selected contributions that compellingly illuminate why their authors focused on a particular critical moment, the questions they asked as they refined their approaches, and the theoretical and observational tools they employed to conduct their research. Each introduces a specific critical moment in doing SoTL, taking the reader through the author’s reflections, concerns, and choices in doing meaningful SoTL work.The aim is to support potential practitioners, inform educational developers who teach new SoTL practitioners, and inspire experienced SoTL scholars to reflect on their own practice. This is a compelling collection for anyone interested in practitioner reflection, intentional design, and advancing the field of SoTL and the quality of teaching and learning.
Foreword—James Rhem Introduction Part One. Strong Foundations 1. Using Intuition, Anecdote, and Observation. Rich Sources of SoTL Projects—Gary Poole 2. Learning Matters. Asking Meaningful Questions—Anthony Ciccone 3. The SoTL Literature Review. Exploring New Territory—Margy MacMillan 4. Educational Research and SoTL. Converging in the Commons—Kimberley A. Grant 5. Identifying a Tradition of Inquiry. Articulating Research Assumptions—Carol Berenson 6. Ensuring Design Alignment in SoTL Inquiry. Merging Research Purpose and Methods—Robin Mueller 7. Respect, Justice, and Doing Good. The Ethics Review—Ryan C. Martin Part Two. Methods and Methodologies 8. Methods and Measures Matter. Meaningful Questionnaires—Trent W. Maurer 9. Classroom Observations. Exploring How Learning Works—Bill Cerbin 10. Conducting Interviews. Capturing What Is Unobserved—Janice Miller-Young 11. Close Reading. Paying Attention to Student Artifacts—Karen Manarin 12. Student Think-Alouds. Making Thinking and Learning Visible—Lendol Calder Part Three. Making an Impact 13. Writing SoTL. Going Public for an Extended Audience—Jessie L. Moore 14. Reading SoTL. Exploring Scholarly Conversations—David J. Voelker 15. Developing SoTL Locally. From Classroom to Learning Object—Dan Bernstein 16. The SoTL Conference. Learning While Professing—Jennifer Meta Robinson Contributors Index
"Teaching is an art that is deeply informed by both values and experiences. The craft of teaching is often a continuous discovery of a better understanding and critically, a reflection of students’ learning. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) provides the knowledge and a set of practices to advance both teaching and learning processes in the classroom. In SoTL in Action, scholars of various academic disciplines make an attempt to answer numerous questions that range from what the key moments of successful teaching are such as the way in which teachers-scholars can plan, design, and implement SoTL projects. Based on procedural vignettes, it helps to analyse and reflect on key steps and critical points that obscure, frustrate, or sometimes puzzle most of the practitioners. By breaking down the process via various examples and bringing forth a vital moment of research, the book inspires teacher-scholars in the arts and humanities who want to reflect on their own teaching from the perspective of their students, question their assumptions, and make them visible.
Nancy L. Chick’s aim of this book is to target educational developers and teacher-scholars in order to enlighten and educate them about SoTL practices. Additionally, she wants to motivate qualified SoTL scholars to mirror their practices. It is a very convincing collection of ideas and multidimensional approaches that anyone who has some interest in advancing the teaching and learning quality, intentional design, and practitioner reflection can substantially utilize. Everyone always needs some new knowledge, and that is what the edited volume has to offer for its readers. With the willingness to develop professionally, the book provides an innovative platform. Readers are invited to take a seat with a variety of experts and have a meaningful and deep conversation about the fundamental elements of SoTL. As far as one has an interest in the field regardless of professional status and discipline, the encouragement is that instructors should brainstorm and get into the action with better clarity and reasoning."
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education
"In putting the book together, editor Nancy L. Chick does not want to introduce SoTL in the abstract, but wishes to illumine critical moments in practice through vignettes and examples. Each chapter is like listening to a colleague reflecting on a particular issue in SoTL, drawing concrete examples from classroom practice and research. In the chapter on using questionnaires, for example, the author does not provide a step-by-step guide to creating a questionnaire. Rather, the author shows how he reflects on the big-picture conceptual issue questions related to SoTL when designing the questionnaire. Each chapter includes a helpful reference pointing to further readings.
The discussion throughout the book is engaging and shows the authors’ commitment to teaching and to SoTL. It motivates us to become better teachers through engagement with the literature in SoTL. It is encouraging for those of us not trained in social-scientific methods to see that classroom observation and closing reading of student artifacts can also produce SoTL. The chapter on classroom observation explains the process of involving other colleagues to observe teaching in action."
The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching
“SoTL in Action is a distinctly different – and distinctly wonderful – book about the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Readers are invited to sit down with a diverse range of experts for inviting in-depth conversations about central aspects of SoTL. Whether you’re new to or experienced with SoTL, this book will encourage you to think – and to act – with more clarity and purpose as a scholar of learning and teaching.”
Peter Felten, Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and Professor of History
“This book is quite simply essential reading for anyone engaged in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. It brings together a virtual Who’s Who of SoTL across the disciplines and across methodologies, and the essays assembled here touch on every important issue in the field. Whether you are new to SoTL or are an experienced practitioner, this book is for you.”
Mills Kelly, President
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
"This book rises above others. Compiled by giant scholars of SoTL, it does what it promises – gives a delicious smorgasbord of action accounts of SoTL. These accounts are well-grounded, thoughtful, inclusive and encouraging. A must-read for anyone interested in SoTL. The book’s focus on critical moments of practice helps readers to see, perhaps new, crucial aspects of SoTL. And, as we know, seeing those new aspects helps us learn. So, take this opportunity to learn!"
Katarina Mårtensson, Past co-president, ISSOTL, Senior lecturer at Division for Higher Education Development