Transitions into Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
What is the purpose of this week’s SoTL chat?
Linnea and I are not focussing on the definitions and debates around the terminology of SoTL. We want to explore how engaging in SoTL for the first time, impacts academics, including those coming from a non-social science background. What are the stumbling stones? How can SoTL be imbedded into daily practice to help academics develop as they work? How can collaborative efforts, including cross-disciplinary collaborations, help advance SoTL and make it more fun? What nuggets of advice can be learned to help facilitate/motivate/de-mystify/enthuse the process?
There are many approaches for undertaking a SoTL project and your hard-earned training in your particular academic discipline may lead you to consistently take a set path without realising that there may be other approaches that could yield additional rich data and outputs. Furthermore, you may not have had formal training in SoTL and are feeling rather overwhelmed by the process and not know where to start. For these reasons, chatting about what SoTL means to us, personally, our backgrounds, how we can embed SoTL into daily practice and how to broaden our skill- and knowledge-base can be very helpful, especially when learners at all levels of experience are willing to share their lessons and insights. This LTHEchat exemplifies how we share and discuss our individual practice to SoTL and how we both have learned from it (and it must be noted that Linnea is definitely learning more from Nathalie than the reverse!).
“That’s what she said!” (Nathalie) One of my responsibilities is to support colleagues in their developing of SoTL and to help them find their feet in this new discipline. From working closely with Linnea, and with other colleagues from non-cognate disciplines, I have been learning where more support, clarification, and CPD is needed to aid in this transition. This has helped me to design and to develop additional supporting material and structures with the aims of facilitating my colleagues’ entry to and development in SoTL.
Nathalie, with her formal training in SoTL and Erziehungswissenschaften (Educational Sciences), understands the formalised frameworks and rationales behind them. Linnea, with her formal training in Chemistry, is working to learn and apply appropriate aspects of these frameworks to her SoTL projects. Together, they have raised, and chewed through, many questions, especially those pertaining to the transition of academics undertaking “research” in the “hard sciences” to undertaking “scholarship”.
Dr Linnea Soler
In my role as a Lecturer in Chemistry (Learning, Teaching & Scholarship track), SoTL plays an important role and underpins both my teaching practice and development of L&T resources. I have discovered that the skill- and knowledge-base, developed through my years of training as a scientist, often differs to those needed for scholarship (where social science based skills may be more applicable). Therefore, I am in the process of learning new skills and developing a grounding in SoTL and I am striving to marry these with my pre-existing research skill-set, grounded in the approach taken by the hard sciences. This transition is challenging, as it requires a re-wire of my brain, but also very rewarding because it opens up new horizons. In addition to collaborations with my Chemistry colleagues, I am also fortunate to undertake cross-disciplinary SoTL projects with colleagues from Engineering, Archaeology and the Arts. I enjoy sharing experiences with other academics regarding their SoTL experiences, especially those within the “hard sciences”, who face similar challenges in becoming Scholars. I feel that we can all learn from each other and help each other on this, sometimes frustrating but always exciting, path.
Dr Nathalie Sheridan:
I am a lecturer in academic and digital development at the University of Glasgow (LEADS). My first degree is in Erziehungswissenschaften (Learning Sciences, TU Dresden) with an MPhil (University of Glasgow) and PhD (University of Strathclyde) in education. I have worked in culture and museums education throughout my studies and been teaching in higher education since 2006. My focus is the translation of creative learning and teaching practices into higher education, through active pedagogies and rethinking learning spaces with the aim to improve the student experience and include disenfranchised learners and educators. In my role in academic and digital development, one of my key remits is to promote and support the scholarship of learning and teaching across the institution, particularly supporting colleagues from non-cognate disciplines who are undertaking SoTL projects for the first time.
For more background on SoTL
The Wakelet for this Session
https://awesome-table.com/-M-R2Bc64p3_XdycJRlB/view Interactive Map of Tweetchat participants