The Educational Developers' Caucus is taking place right now, and the focus of discussion for two days will be the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. So that we can share the news, issues, discussions and discoveries with other in the international community, attendees are invited to post here. Let us know what ideas you picked up in presentations, who stimulated your thinking, what made you laugh!
In her opening remarks to the conference, the president of the Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Julia Christensen Highes, pointed out that Canada does not yet have a national framework for SoTL. STLHE wants to play an advocacy role in developing that kind of framework.
But how important is a national framework? Does that mean that individual institutions should wait until that framework is developed before moving ahead in developing SOTL? Is it better to have country-wide initiatives based on local experience, or is there more strength in a cohesive strategy?
What is the experience of educators in countries who are moving ahead in SoTL?
In their keynote presentation, Lynn Taylor (Dalhousie) and Teresa Dawson (UT/Scarborough) proposed the following definition of SoTL and invited feedback. You are invited to add your thoughts!
The scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education is a process of inquiry that focuses on improving student learning in particular educational contexts. SOTL takes place within disciplines and draws on the associated methods and epistemologies appropriate to those disciplines in its inquiry. While remaining open to and inclusive of the conceptual frameworks, methods and philosophies of its practitioners, SOTL takes place in scholarly communities, thereby ensuring that it is critically and publicly examined by peers and adheres to rigorous standards of assessment.
At the risk of a double post (as I have been having a conversation with Paul on the question of "is SOTL discipline specific?") I would suggest that there is a broader dialogue that must entertain the scholarly activity that takes place at the "edges" of disciplines and thus in a "new zone" of learning. This zone is both the interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity areas of teaching and learning.
Have a look at this article on the subject of "cross-disciplinary conversations" and SOTL: