by Jessie L. Moore
One of the key characteristics of scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) is publicly sharing “both the process and the products of inquiry” (Felten, 2013). While faculty develop writing strategies for their disciplinary scholarship as they advance through their degree programs and careers, SoTL writing requires faculty to learn how to write about classroom practice, pedagogies, and evidence of student learning – often unfamiliar writing realms. For many faculty, their early efforts at this type of writing invoke challenges regarding genre, voice, and expertise (Cambridge, 2004). What, then, can universities do to support faculty embarking on SoTL writing projects, and how can faculty position themselves to make this transition successfully?
Working with Faculty Writers, a new collection that highlights current approaches to supporting faculty and graduate student writers, includes several chapters with strategies and faculty development program models relevant to helping faculty make the transition from disciplinary writing to SoTL writing. Chapters describe faculty writing residencies for scholarship of teaching and learning projects, the roles teaching centers can play in supporting faculty writing, and principles for supporting faculty writers at teaching institutions.
Beyond these models for programmatic support for SoTL writing, though, faculty can take deliberate steps to learn how to write for SoTL audiences. SoTL conferences like the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning‘s annual conference often include poster sessions where scholars can share work in progress or talk with audience members about early presentations of their research results. Moving this type of presentation into an online publication space, Dan Bernstein and Randy Bass describe two examples of online public spaces for SoTL projects: the Visible Knowledge Project and the Peer Review of Teaching Project. These types of offline and online spaces allow faculty to take their SoTL work public and to elicit feedback on their projects before, or even as, they write for publication in journals, edited collections, and other publishing venues.
In the following video, Dan Bernstein, Nancy Chick, Pat Hutchings, and Gary Poole share additional strategies for “Going Public” with scholarship of teaching and learning research.
Bernstein, D. & Bass, R. (2005). The scholarship of teaching and learning. Academe, 91 (4), 37-43.
Cambridge, B. L., ed. (2004). Campus Progress: Supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
Felten, P. (2013). Principles of Good Practice in SoTL. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 1(1), 121-125.
Jessie L. Moore (@jessielmoore) is the Associate Director of the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University and associate professor of Professional Writing & Rhetoric in the Department of English.