Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is…

  • The study of teaching and learning to inform practice
  • Scholarly inquiry into student learning
  • Researching teaching
  • Researching learning
  • Rigorous study of student learning

Goal: Understanding and improving student learning.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) movement grew out of Ernest Boyer’s work in the early 1990s around multiple areas of scholarship. Boyer and others argued that we need to move beyond traditional divisions between research, teaching and service and towards more multilayered, interconnected, and interactive conceptualizations of faculty work. Boyer’s initial conceptualization of multiple scholarships (teaching, discovery, engagement, integration) has continued to evolve over the past twenty years-primarily through the leadership of scholars at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL), and a wide range of discipline-based and interdisciplinary teaching and learning conferences and publications. Now, in Canadian universities, SoTL centres are beginning to emerge.

The scholarship of discovery refers to what we typically call “traditional research”. The scholarship of integration focuses on making connections within/across disciplines to generate new insights. It typically includes syntheses and meta-analyses. The Scholarship of engagement/application involves applying knowledge to respond to significant social issues. It typically includes service learning and clinical learning; The scholarship of teaching and learning focuses on a systematic study of teaching and learning, the peer review of this work and its public availability for others to use and build on.

There are many definitions of SoTL. Some common elements of these definitions are the systematic study of teaching and learning, peer review of this work and the public dissemination of this knowledge.

Scholarly Teaching is evidence- based teaching, informed practice (theory guided).

“Both scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching are vital to the life of the academy. The purpose of scholarly teaching is to affect the activity of teaching and the resulting learning, while the scholarship of teaching results in a formal, peer-reviewed communication in appropriate media or venues, which then becomes part of the knowledge base of teaching and learning in higher education.” (Laurie Richlin and Milton D. Cox, 2004. p. 127-128)

Scholarly teachers are interested in knowing how, why and when their students are learning. They are interested in finding out what works (or doesn’t work) in their classrooms and why. Scholarly teachers regularly reflect on their teaching and learning practices, read disciplinary and pedagogical literature to expand their knowledge about teaching and learning and/or discuss teaching and learning issues with colleagues. They get feedback from students and/or colleagues to improve practices and enhance learning experiences in their classrooms. They participate in teaching and learning workshops and try to integrate (where appropriate) new ideas about teaching and learning into their everyday practice in classrooms.

The following phases are adapted from the University of Wisconsin SoTL Leadership Site:

  • Identify a significant teaching and learning question to explore
  • Build on work of others by consulting existing pedagogical literature
  • Select appropriate methods to collect evidence to answer your question
  • Submit project for ethics review and approval
  • Collect and analyze the evidence
  • Communicate results with peers and invite critical commentary and evaluation
  • Make project findings publicly available for others to use & build on

The UBC Okanagan Academic Plan states that “we will research the core activity of our community – student learning – and value the scholarship of teaching”.

“Both scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching are vital to the life of the academy. The purpose of scholarly teaching is to affect the activity of teaching and the resulting learning, while the scholarship of teaching results in a formal, peer-reviewed communication in appropriate media or venues, which then becomes part of the knowledge base of teaching and learning in higher education.” (Laurie Richlin and Milton D. Cox, 2004. p. 127-128)

Yves Lucet

  • A. Offenwanger, Y. Lucet. ConEE: An Exhaustive Testing Tool to Support Learning Concurrent Programming Synchronization Challenges, May 2014

Nina Langton:

  • Using a Video Screencast to Enhance Student Comprehension of Feedback. UBC Okanagan Learning Conference, May, 2015.
  • Incorporating best practices in the use and design of games for the beginning Japanese language classroom: an instructor’s perspective. UBC Vancouver, February, 2015
  • Screencast feedback for writing assignments in a beginning Japanese language class. Fukuoka, Japan. August 2014.

Andis Klegeris:

  • March 2015: UBCO Research Week: Seminar on “Generic Problem-Solving Skills of Undergraduate Students on UBC Okanagan Campus”
  • February, 2015: The Learning and Teaching Centre, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). A seminar on problem-based learning in a large undergraduate classroom setting: method and outcomes.
  • May-June, 2014: Appointed as Visiting Associate Professor by Riga Stradins University, Latvia to consult on various strategies of teaching innovation and scholarship of teaching; presented a lecture and workshop on problem-based learning in the university setting.
  • March, 2014: The Teaching and Learning Centre, Simon Fraser University. A seminar on problem-based learning in a large undergraduate classroom setting: method and outcomes.
  • March 2014: UBCO Research Week: Invited by UBCO Centre for Teaching and Learning.  A seminar on “Outcomes of teaching innovation”.
  • September, 2013: Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Latvia. Demonstration of problem-based learning techniques during a three week period (3 classes) in a 3rd year pharmacy class.
  • September, 2013: The Faculty of Medicine, University of Latvia. A seminar on “Innovation in teaching”.
  • May, 2013: The UBC Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative. A seminar on methodologies used to assess effectiveness of team-based teaching strategies: “Assessing student problem-solving skills”.
  • March, 2013, UBCO Research Week: A seminar on methodologies used in educational research: “Evidence-based teaching outcomes”.
  • May, 2010: Department of Pharmacology, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia. A seminar on use of problem-based learning in large science undergraduate classes.
  • A seminar at the University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Centre: “Tutorless Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in a Large Classroom Setting: Assessing Student Progress”, November 2011.
  • UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology in Vancouver. A seminar on “Tutorless Problem-Based Courses: Assessing Student Progress”, September 2011.
  • Klegeris, A., Hurren, H., McKeown, S., Spielman, L.J., Stuart, M. The dynamics of problem-solving skills of undergraduate students at UBC Okanagan campus. UBC Centre for Health Education Scholarship Conference, Vancouver, Canada, October 2014.
  • Klegeris A., Hurren, H., Bahniwal, M. Problem-based teaching in large classrooms: assessing student learning outcomes. UBC Okanagan Campus, 9th Annual Learning Conference; Enhancing Student Learning, May 2013, Kelowna, BC.
  • Bahniwal, M., Klegeris A., Hurren, H. Use of diverse instructional and assessment techniques reveals distinct student skill sets. UBC Okanagan Campus, 8th Annual Learning Conference; Scholarly Approaches: Evidence-Informed Teaching and Learning, May 2012, Kelowna, BC.
  • Klegeris, A. Problem-based learning in a large classroom setting: assessing student learning and perception. UBC Okanagan Learning Conference “Innovations in Learning: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning”, May 2011, Kelowna, BC.
  • Klegeris, A. Developing undergraduate research skills through problem based learning. UBC Okanagan Learning Conference “Learning through Research”, May 2010, Kelowna, BC.
  • Boon, J., Klegeris, A. Problem-oriented learning put into practice in biochemistry courses at UBC Okanagan. UBC Okanagan Learning Conference “Looking for Success in Learning”, May 2009, Kelowna, BC.

  • A. Offenwanger, Y. Lucet. (2014) ConEE: An Exhaustive Testing Tool to Support Learning Concurrent Programming Synchronization Challenges.Proceedings of the Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education, 2014. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2597972
  •  Langton, Nina. Learning Kanji with a Multimedia Manga: Student Perceptions of Engagement and Effectiveness. Canadian Association for Japanese Language Education, v.16, July 2015.
  •  Klegeris, A., Bahniwal, M., Hurren, H. (2013) Improvement in generic problem-solving abilities of students by use of tutor-less problem-based learning in a large classroom setting. CBE-Life Sci. Educ. 12: 73-79. IF=1.2. This manuscript is also cross-listed in the Research Publications section
  • Klegeris, A., Bahniwal, M., Hurren, H. (2012) Lack of Correlation between Distinct University Student Skill Sets Identified by Using a Panel of Assessments: A Two Year Study. Int J. Arts Sci. 5:479-498. This manuscript is also cross-listed in the Research Publications section
  • Klegeris, A., Hurren H. (2011) Impact of problem-based learning in a large classroom setting:  Student perception and problem-solving skills. Adv. Physiol. Educ. 35:408-415 IF=1.6.This manuscript is also cross-listed in the Research Publications sectionPeer-reviewed Conference Proceedings
  • Klegeris, A., Bahniwal, M., Hurren, H. (2013) Tutor-less problem-based learning in a large classroom setting significantly enhances generic problem-solving skills of undergraduate students. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI) (ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5) pp. 5592-5600.
  • Klegeris, A., Hurren, H. (2011) Problem-based learning in a large classroom setting:  Methodology, student perception and problem-solving skills. Proceedings of EDULEARN11 Conference (ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1) pp. 2532-2541Peer-Reviewed Conference Abstracts/Presentations
  • Klegeris, A., Hurren H., Bahniwal, M. Using problem-based learning activities in large science undergraduate classrooms to model post-university workplace environments. International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning International Conference, Quebec City, Canada, October 2014.
  • Klegeris, A., Hurren, H., McKeown, S., Spielman, L.J., Stuart, M. The dynamics of problem-solving skills of undergraduate students at UBC Okanagan campus. UBC Centre for Health Education Scholarship Conference, Vancouver, Canada, October 2014.
  • Spielman, L.J., Hurren, H., Bahniwal, M., Klegeris, A. Using problem-based learning activities in large science undergraduate classrooms to model post-university work place environment.  The 39th International Conference on Improving University Teaching (IUT), Vancouver, BC, July 2014.
  • Klegeris, A., Bahniwal, M., Hurren, H. Tutor-less problem-based learning in a large classroom setting significantly enhances generic problem-solving skills of undergraduate students.  6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation. Seville, Spain, November 2013.
  • Klegeris, A., Bahniwal, M., Hurren H. Lack of correlation between distinct university student skill sets identified by using a panel of assessments: a two year study.  The International Journal of Arts & Sciences (IJAS) Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, June 2012.
  • Klegeris, A. Developing undergraduate student research skills in a large class setting through problem-based learning exercises. 35th International Conference on Improving University Teaching; Washington, DC, USA, July 2010.

Zoë Soon: Experience with SoTL

1. How has your research in your classroom affected the way you teach?
I have been involved with SoTL for just over 2 years and really enjoy incorporating SoTL research into my classes!  As most instructors do, I refresh and revise my courses each year and SoTL provides are perfect avenue to implement and assess any changes that are made. SoTL forces you to really think about the learning objectives for the course and go through the literature specific to different lesson strategies that have been used to cover this material. SoTL is all about using your own strengths in balance with current research to design lesson plans that make each component “pop” for each particular cohort of students.  I have found the students really enjoy SoTL in my classrooms as well.  They immediately get the sense that the course is fresh, current, and that steps are being taken to make sure the course is geared towards their best interests and success. SoTL has challenged me to teach in more exciting ways, incorporate current technology into the classroom, and to embrace student engaged learning in the form of hands-on learning, peer- teaching, and discussion groups.

2. How has your research in your classroom affected the way students learn?
At the end of each SoTL study, the results are usually positive:  students have enjoyed the new activities and students have found the activities beneficial to their learning.  Successes like this are always encouraging and press on one to improve more and more.

3. How important is it to you that you measure teaching methods or read other research to ensure evidence-based teaching?
I really enjoy going to conferences, to hear about other approaches to teaching.  Incorporating these ideas into my classes keeps the course fresh and exciting not just for me but my students too.  For me to contribute to this body of literature in important.  I feel that evidence-based teaching is much more rigorous that anecdotal evidence and also forces one to really be organized, efficient and thorough with the implementation of a new strategy.  Likely this leads to better implementation in the first place.
Additionally, when tested rigorously the results can be surprising and will therefore definitely lead to evolving better teaching practices and better courses.  Many times the most vocal students are in the minority and ideally classes should be designed for the majority.  SOTL results will easily tweeze this data out for you and allow you to perfect your course in the best way possible.

Meet Our Community of Researchers

philip-balcaen45334
Philip L. Balcaen, Ph.D
Faculty of Education
philip.balcaen@ubc.ca
250-807-8530
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum
Critical Thinking in Math, Science & Environmental Education
Critically Thoughtful e-Learning
Collaborative Approaches to Educational Change
jan-cioe245332 Jan Cioe, Ph.D., R.Psych.
Faculty of Arts & Sciences: Psychology
jan.cioe@ubc.ca
250-807-8732; 250-763-1225
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
Podcasting
Clicker Technology in Large Classes
Development of Effective Communication Skills
nina_langton_345347 Nina Langton
Department of Critical Studies
nina.langton@ubc.ca
250- 807-9395
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
CALL (computer assisted language learning)
Language Acquisition
Construction of Gender in an online Environment
patricial45345 Patricia Lasserre, Ph.D
Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Computer Science
patricia.lasserre@ubc.ca
250-807-9502
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
Team Based Learning
Developing New Technology to Improve Classroom Learning and Facilitate Teaching
ramon45346 Ramon Lawrence, Ph.D
Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Computer Science
ramon.lawrence@ubc.ca
250-807-9390
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
Automated assignment and marking systems
Innovative methods for teaching Computer Science
karen-ragoonaden45335 Dr. Karen Ragoonaden. Ph.D
Faculty of Education : Français langue première et langue seconde
karen.ragoonaden@ubc.ca
250-807-8113
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
Second language acquisition
communicative experiential approach to language learning
culture and diversity in education.
rasmussen53644 Brian Rasmussen, Ph.D
Social Work
brian.rasmussen@ubc.ca
250.807-8740
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
The role of emotions in learning.
The learning relationship
barb_sobol47827 Barbara Sobol, MLIS
Okanagan Library
barbara.sobol@ubc.ca
250-807-8063
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning
Library instruction for undergraduate students.
Preferences for online and in-person instruction.
Research skills required for success in today’s university context.
zoon53645 Zoë Soon, PhD
School of Health and Exercise Sciences
zoeanne.soon@ubc.ca
250-807-9400
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
Student Engagement in Lectures and Lab
Communication Skills; Group Work Skills
alwyn-spies45336 Dr. Alwyn Spies, Ph.D
Critical Studies, Japanese
Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
alwyn.spies@ubc.ca
250-807-8126
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
Telecollaboration and Intercultural Communication Skills
Student Multimedia Production and Project-Based Learning
Community Service Learning; Teaching, Learning and Identity Politics
thumbnail_-_stouck_jordan33747 Dr. Jordan Stouck, Ph.D
Department of Critical Studies
jordan.stouck@ubc.ca
250-807-9663
Research Interests in Teaching & Learning:
Blended and Flexible Learning
Graduate Communications
Undergraduate Composition and Academic Writing Strategies

Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB) Application Guide (UBC Office of Research Ethics website)

Research Office Contact:
Lisa Shearer
Associate Manager, Behavioural Research Ethics Board
Tel: 250.807.8289
Email: lisa.shearer@ubc.ca