Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Scholarly teaching and scholarship of teaching: continually improving your teaching

Dear All

We are developing the module on scholarly teaching and sotl. This module is expected to provide 2 hours of engagement by the participants. So the module is a practical introduction to the concepts and at the end, we will direct people who want to engage further, to resources/literature.

The ‘table of contents’ for the module is given below. What we want to do in the module is introduce new teaching staff to the difference between being a scholarly teacher and engaging in the scholarship of teaching. We’ll ask staff to: view a video clip of international colleagues discussing their definitions of SoTL; skim a chapter on the benefits of SoTL; and find a teaching and learning journal in their discipline.

Then we plan to introduce the different types of evaluation strategies that can be used to improve teaching and collect evidence to improve student learning and for probation, promotion, teaching awards. This work will be based on the 2009 Light, Cox and Caulkin evaluation chapter in their book “Learning and teaching in higher education”. Strategies include things like peer review, buzz groups, questionnaires, reflective triads, and focus groups. In terms of activities, we will ask participants to try one of the strategies.

As we are in the process of finalising our module, we would appreciate your thoughts on the current approach to the module and our questions below.

  1. Can you suggest great resources that we simply must include?
  2. Are there particular (short) activities that we might consider?
  3. Any other feedback?

Module table of contents

Welcome video (introduction to the module)

Context and definitions

Teaching and learning scholars

Why take a scholarly teaching approach?

Concerns about SoTL (the pros and cons of engaging in L&T research)

Where do I start?

Using evaluation to improve your students’ learning

  • Buzz groups
  • Peer review of teaching
  • Questionnaires
  • Etc

Where do I get help from/go from here?

Using SoTL and scholarly teaching to progress your career



Kym Fraser, Swinburne University of Technology

Bernie Fisher, Australian Catholic University


  1. Thanks Kym and Bernie Great to get a feel for what would be in this module.
    The latest picture of all the modules lists 'Teaching continual improvement' - is this now replaced by this topic?
    is there an update of the module titles? We are using ' Feedback for learning' for our module, not Constructive feedback that was in use in the early days.
    It does seem broad scope to cover scholarly teaching, SoTL and how to gather evidence and evaluate your teaching all in one module of 2 hours. The detail given with the content lists gives mechanisms to gather further evidence, but not sure what will be under some other headings? The chapter indicated goes into these much more extensively. There are options like Hunt & Chalmers, chapters 14 or 15 that might be useful.

  2. Hi Caroline
    thanks very much for your comment. Yes, the title is a work in progress. We do feel that it is a lot to include evaluation in the module however it's a very brief introduction with reference to other resources. There isn't a separate module on evaluation and perhaps that is something that we could aim to develop during or after we pilot the MOOC. Thank you for your suggestion of any resource and for commenting on our post.


  3. Dear Colleagues I find that the modules that you have developed contain appropriate content and the teaching strategies should be effective to achieve the outcomes. I will address a more detailed response to Kym Fraser. I do believe that what you have developed can serve as a benchmark for international institutions.