Fall 2015: SoTL Writing Groups begin!

This year, the Center for Teaching Excellence is again hosting learning communities for faculty members interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning (commonly abbreviated as “SoTL”). This semester, the CTE is piloting a new form of SoTL support: writing / project groups.   Over the course of the semester, members of each group will meet multiple times to keep one another on track in their SoTL projects and share feedback.  Groups will have 4 members and will set their own schedule.

Small groups, individual attention, & regular meetings:  Each writing / project group will consist of 4 people who meet at least 4 times across the semester at a time that works for everyone. (So, group meeting times will be determined by the group at their first meeting.)  Groups will provide feedback to one another about their projects and help keep one another on track.

Fall, Spring, or Both: The groups will be set up on a semester-by-semester basis.  You may opt to participate for only one semester, or to continue on for multiple semesters.  Signing up now only commits you to the current semester.

Mar 24 | Going Public, Fitting Writing & Research Into Your Crazy Life

Writing EditingGoing Public



Fitting Writing & Research Into Your Crazy Life

General Resources

  • Paul J. Silvia has written one of the most popular and to-the-point books on the subject:  How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2007).
  • Also see: Boice, Robert. Advice for New Faculty Members. Needham Heights, MAAllyn & Bacon, 2000.

Managing Time for Research and Writing

Robert Boice addresses effective strategies for managing time for research and writing in Advice for New Faculty Members (Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2000).

Kerry Ann Rockquemore wrote a series of pieces for Inside Higher Ed several years ago on making time for writing. Highlights from that series include:

Joli Jensen
is currently writing a series of pieces for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s career-focused online hub, Vitae, on finding time to research and write.  Highlights from that series include:


Feb 5 | What’s Your Evidence?


  • Vanderbilt SoTL Guide, “Identifying Evidence” (including the hyperlink at the bottom of the page about “Gathering Evidence”
  • Vanderbilt SoTL Guide, “Planning the Project Design” (including the hyperlink at the bottom of the page about “Project Design”
  • Vanderbilt SoTL Guide, “Analyzing the Evidence” (including the hyperlink at the bottom of the page about “Analyzing Evidence”

Nov 20 | Disciplinary Styles in SoTL


  • Huber, M. T.  (2002).  Disciplinary styles in the scholarship of teaching: Reflection on The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. In M. T. Huber & S. P. Morreale (Eds.), Disciplinary styles in the scholarship of teaching and learning: Exploring common ground (25-43).    Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. — available in our SoTL Box folder
  • One essay (from the Huber or McKinney collections) focusing on your discipline (if you can find one). –– available in our SoTL Box folder, in the subfolders titled “Disciplinary Styles,” “Exploring Signature Pedagogies,” or “Exploring More Signature Pedagogies”


Homework: starting a literature review

  • Read “Conducting a Lit Review” on the Vanderbilt SoTL Guide.
  • Identify 5 articles or books that may prove useful to your project. Write a short annotation (2-3 sentences) describing the potential value each holds for your project.  


Want to know about others’ projects?

  • To see what your SoTL colleagues are doing here at SEU, read their brief project descriptions in the “Projects” folder in our Box site, “SoTL 2014-15.”
  • If you are using the web interface for Box, you can also comment on one another’s files.  Feel free to jot some notes, ideas, or suggestions for a colleague’s project.

Oct 23 | What’s Your Question? Identifying Potential Projects

Prepare for the October 23 meeting

start button

  • Understanding SoTL” in the Vanderbilt SoTL Guide (read all the web pages, but watching videos or clicking through to PDF links is optional)
  • Under “Doing SoTL” in the Vanderbilt SoTL Guide, read:
    • Getting Started,” including the link to Randy Bass’s “The Scholarship of Teaching: What’s the Problem”
  • Hutchings, P. (2000).   “Approaching the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.” In P. Hutchings (Ed.), Opening lines: Approaches to the scholarship of teaching and learning.  Menlo Park, CA:  Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


  • From the “Getting Started” page, work through the activities outlined in the “How to Start: Thinking of a Problem and the Questions it Raises” (the link to this document appears at the bottom of the page)
  • Write up your ideas in a short list (like the exaples in the “How to Start” guide and post it to our group site in Box (instructions to appear in a separate email).

Sept 25 | What is the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning?

What is SoTL?

What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning? – Giulia Forsythe  https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/8571539827/

A Short History of SoTL

  • Video: History of SoTL
  • Discussion: 
    • In your experience – in your field and here at St. edward’s – is SoTL considered a legitimate form of scholarship?
    • What questions do you have — or have you heard others express– about whether it can be a form of scholarship?
  • Read more (optional): Boyer, Ernest. “Chapter 2: Enlarging the Perspective.“ Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. New York: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990.  15-25.

What is SoTL?



Welcome, SoTL Circle 2014-15!

Welcome to the 2014-15 Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Circle!  Some of you may be regular group members who join us for the entire semester.  Some of you may plan to attend just one topic or another.  Whoever you are, we hope this site makes it easy to participate in the group and enables you to continue to share ideas and discussion, even after the meeting ends.

Readings and videos are posted throughout this site, generally as hyperlinks to publicly available materials.  You will always find the next session’s readings and instructions posted on the “Home” page.  You can also access session information through the “Schedule” page.

Comments can be posted below the days’ readings on the post for any particular session.  Feel free to use this feature either to share your views or to share additional reading materials.

Share relevant articles via Twitter .  Our group Twitter feed (which pulls all Tweets tagged with the hashtag #SoTL and the word “teaching”) appears on every page.  If you’re a Twitter user, feel free to share comments or links to articles in this way.  (You can also share comments and links via the comments  feature on each page).

Want a site like this for your own class?  This is called an “Edublogs” site.  Edublogs are flexible WordPress sites, and any St. Edward’s faculty member (full-time or adjunct) can get them for himself or herself.  You can set one up as a personal site or create one for any of your classes. Contact the Faculty Resource Center if you’re interested.

I’m looking forward to lots of energetic conversations with all of you.  And yep, we’ll always have coffee.

Julie Sievers
Director, Center for Teaching Excellence