Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) has been defined as the “systematic study of teaching and/or learning and the public sharing and review of such work through presentations…or [peer-reviewed] publications” (McKinney, 2004). It begins with a question—often in the classroom—and leads the instructor-investigator down a path to answering that question through careful and systematic examination and reflection. The goal of SoTL is to better understand and improve student learning and to contribute to the scholarly research in this area.
The University System of Georgia (USG) Policy Manual (section 188.8.131.52) states:
USG institutions will support and reward faculty who participate in significant efforts to improve teaching and learning in USG institutions through decisions in promotion and tenure, pre-tenure and post-tenure review, annual review and merit pay, workload, recognition, allocation of resources, and other rewards.
The USG policy further states that these activities may include, “contributing scholarship that promotes and improves student learning and achievement in the university; and…in other colleges & universities or in their discipline” (http://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/C245/).
The USG is pleased to support SoTL in a number of ways:
This purpose of this system-wide fellows program on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is to foster a community of learners around SoTL and to provide support while participants design and implement a classroom-based research project. The fellows are also encouraged to support and advocate for SoTL on their own campuses and within their disciplines. Up to ten participants are selected each year representing the four sectors of colleges and universities in the system.
The USG encourages and supports the work of faculty members whose scholarship focuses on the instructional mission of the institution by awarding up to two Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Awards annually. Current full-time members of the teaching faculty and teaching academic staff at USG institutions are eligible for individual awards. Each institution is invited to submit one nomination for an individual award. Campus nomination procedures should be determined by each institution.
The USG Teaching & Learning Conference, held each April in Athens, Georgia, brings together faculty, staff, and outstanding students to share ideas and experiences related to Best Practices for Promoting Engaged Student Learning, and includes a SoTL strand. Conference participants and presenters come from the University System of Georgia and from higher education and postsecondary institutions and organizations across the United States.