Professional Development Opportunities


What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)?

SoTL is a turn of the twenty-first century movement in higher education that promotes teaching as a scholarly endeavor and a worthy subject for research in order to improve educational instruction. By producing a public body of knowledge open to critique and evaluation, SoTL uncovers best practices in teaching, both generally and for specific academic disciplines. SoTL brings the roles of a professor as a scholar and a teacher together to enhance higher education. Put simply, SoTL can help professors not only improve their expertise in their fields, but also develop their pedagogical expertise by learning what works and what does not in the classroom and online.

Why do SoTL?

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) promotes professional development of faculty both as scholars and teachers. SoTL is producing a growing community of scholarly teachers who advance their professional careers through publishing peer reviewed, publicly disseminated research on educational practices. This work is not simply benefitting their own classrooms, but as this knowledge is shared and replicated throughout higher education it enhances the instruction of professors and the educational experiences of students throughout the country and world. By enhancing our knowledge of the tools of the trade and encouraging and testing the effectiveness of innovations in academic instruction, academics today have more knowledge of what works and what does not in the classroom and online. As an added benefit, many professors experience a sense of personal renewal from the reflective process and the sharing of educational experiences and successes with their colleagues through seminars, conferences and publications.

What are the tools of SoTL?

SoTL relies on discovery, reflection, and evidence-based methods to research effective teaching and student learning. It combines deductive arguments and experimental methods with inductive arguments and case studies to investigate the effectiveness of different pedagogies at producing student learning. Thus, SoTL scholarship can be either qualitative or quantitative; SOTL includes reflection and analysis, interviews and focus groups, questionnaires and surveys, content analysis of text, secondary analysis of existing data, quasi-experiments (comparison of two sections of the same course), observational research, and case studies, etc..

For further introduction

Recommended readings

Eileen Bender and Donald Gray. The Scholarship of Teaching, available at

Ernest L. Boyer, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (New York: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990).Pat Hutchings, Mary Taylor Huber, and Anthony Ciccone, The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Reconsidered: Institutional Integration and Impact (Stanford: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching & Jossey-Bass, 2011).SoTL Video TutorialsVanderbilt University Center for Teaching

SoTL Resources | SoTL Resources by Discipline