Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Educators strive to improve their classroom practice through the adoption and execution of evidence-based best practices. Or they may be interested in trying out new ideas in their classroom. The reflection on what works (and what doesn’t work) moves the educator from a practitioner to a scholarly teacher. Scholarly teachers begin with a question, opportunity, or challenge from their classroom practice. They identify a hypothesis for why things work the way they do in their classroom or they may create an intervention to motivate some change. From there, they collect data about the hypothesis or intervention. Analysis of data leads to a reflection on the scholarly teaching and possibly an experience report about the classroom practice.

Additional formalization of this question -> hypothesis/intervention -> data collection -> analysis/reflection cycle leads to the scholarship of teaching and learning or SoTL.

SoTL is methodologically rigorous research on educational practice. SoTL studies utilize a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods that are replicatable. The specific approaches used are aligned with disciplinary approaches and the research questions. The results from SoTL studies are substantive and contribute to the broader literature by identifying ways to enhance quality teaching, introducing novel pedagogy, and providing evidence for teaching practice. SoTL work is peer reviewed and published in conference proceedings and journals appropriate for the discipline. As rigorous research, papers should follow reporting norms as described by community standards and guidelines.

The DEERS coursepack will walk you through the development of a computing education research SoTL study in the following steps:

  1. Performing the literature review
  2. Generating the research question
  3. Designing the study
  4. Obtaining Institutional Research Board (IRB) approval
  5. Collecting the data
  6. Analyzing the data
  7. Presenting and publishing your work