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Lee Shulman on the Potential of Aggregated SoTL Data

Imagine an online resource that cataloged Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) studies from across global contexts. Now imagine if you could search that archival site to find not only the key findings of studies but also rich contextual information about where each was conducted. If you could, through one online tool, aggregate all the SoTL studies conducted in educational contexts like yours, how might you use the data? How might the aggregated results inform your future scholarship? Your research-informed practices?

In a recent video interview (below) with the Center for Engaged Learning, Lee Shulman, Professor of Education at Stanford University, discusses the potential of this type of aggregated SoTL data. He emphasizes that the potential is maximized when SoTL studies include contextual information, which helps readers identify similarities among contexts to know how applicable existing studies are to new/alternate contexts.

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What type of evidence are we using in evidence-based teaching?

From college-to-career readiness discussions to ¬†professional networks to publications on¬†teaching, higher education stakeholders are witnessing steadily increasing calls for evidence-based teaching. Yet what do policy makers, administrators, and faculty/academic staff mean by “evidence-based”?

Lee Shulman suggests that our understanding of “evidence-based” has been too limited. Often “evidence-based” focuses on a body of published research, which Shulman identifies as Evidence 1. Although this type of evidence is substantive, Shulman argues that continual data collection and assessment (Evidence 2) supplements and extends published evidence. In addition, education stakeholders need a “systematic set of protocols” for reexamining evidence and the categories of evidence in play and for combining types of evidence to form practical arguments (Evidence 3).

Lee Shulman describes these three types of evidence in the video below:


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