Listen to Danielle DeRise, Lecturer in the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, talk about how to start a SoTL project. She also shares how she got started with SoTL 


SoTL Planning Worksheets

Use these worksheets to help you get started on a SoTL project. Contains various guiding questions to help you start thinking about what to study.  

Other Resources

"Asking Inquiry Questions"- Elon University 

  • Summarizes Pat Hutchings's four types of questions 
  • Includes video of scholars describing their SoTL projects 

"Developing SoTL Research Ideas and Questions"- Illinois State University

Provides six possible sources for drawing SoTL research questions:

  1. Your "lived experiences with students and teaching both in and outside the classroom" 
  2. Your students who can "implicitly and explicitly offer SoTL project ideas" 
  3. Identify gaps in existing SoTL research in your field 
  4. Learn about theories of teaching and learning in higher education and test those theories in your own teaching 
  5. Connect with colleagues interested in SoTL within and outside your field of study 
  6. Find ways to support institutional priorities through your SoTL projects 

"Getting Started with SoTL- University of Georgia"

Offers two questions to ask yourself during project development:

  1. In your teaching, describe a strategy, activity or learning sequence you feel strongly “works” or “doesn’t work.” What reason(s) do you have for reaching this conclusion? What evidence would you need to prove to your department chair once and for all that this strategy does or does not work so that it can be widely adopted or abandoned? 
  2. Think about a moment or moments in your teaching where you were perplexed, confused, intrigued, or maybe even shocked about something related to your students’ thinking, learning and/or your teaching that made your curious to know more. Describe the moment and what you want to know more about and why. 
  • Includes sections on every step of a SoTL project from idea generation to publication. 

"Designing, Conducting, and Disseminating the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning"- Kennesaw State University 

  • Includes a section on identifying a research question following the guideline, "SoTL researchers select questions that focus on teaching and student learning with sensitivity to their institutional contexts" 

"SoTL: Generating Your Research Question"- Utah Valley State  

  • A graphic organizer to support creating SoTL research questions in a step-by-step process 

"SoTL: Developing Your Research Question"- West Virginia University 

  • Faculty Workshop Video (running time: 80 minutes) 

A Scholarly Approach to Teaching- Nancy Chick, Director of Endeavor Center for Faculty Development at Rollins College 

  • Contains a user-friendly overview of SoTL, divided into two parts: what it is, and how to do it 
  • Includes two videos, about 10 minutes each, with definitions & key characteristics 

Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education- Elon University 

  • E-book by Mick Healey, Kelly E. Matthews, and Alison Cook-Sather, available for free download from Elon University website 
  • Table of contents provides overview of chapters 
  • Offers specific advice for questions to ask across genres (expands the range of possibilities for faculty interested in publishing SoTL research who may not perform traditional data-collection methods) 

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