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 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 is pleased to support SoTL in a number of ways:
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.
The Chancellor’s Learning Scholars Program is a system-wide initiative where scholars from each institution facilitate faculty learning (FLC) communities on their campuses around a particular pedagogy or topic in higher education. One of the topics available to the 2019-2020 cohort is the scholarship of teaching and learning. While each FLC can determine the direction their FLC will take, most SoTL-focused FLCs are either learning about SoTL with the intent of eventually planning their own SoTL project, or they are actually conducting SoTL research.