The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL): Utilization of Action Research to Enhance SoTL
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) can be conceptualized as a field that encourages faculty to study their teaching and going public with results to improve teaching and increase student understanding. Moreover SoTL work views the classroom as a research site and values a rigorous investigation into teaching and student learning (McKinney, 2007). Inherent in SoTL is a research process that includes a question to be investigated, data collection and analysis, and making findings public for others to critique and build on. Although certain disciplines have been studying their teaching for many years (McKinney, 2007), Boyer’s (1990) re-conceptualization of scholarship brought a more unified perspective to the process of studying one’s teaching. In Boyer’s re-conceptualization he advocated for scholarship to be expanded beyond classic experimental and quasi experimental designs to include a focus on teaching and learning.
The foundation for the creation of this teaching training stems from the faulty assumption that a person with a terminal degree is an accomplished teacher with no need to study their practice. Equally faulty is the assumption that a successful researcher is also a successful teacher (Hattie & Marsh, 1996). Teaching and researching require individualized skills that benefit from practice. Adding to the above argument, most rehabilitation educators had little to no graduate course work on how to teach. Leaving most rehabilitation educators to teach how they were taught without any evidence of effective teaching.
The intent of this module is to introduce SoTL principles as a means to study one’s teaching and to provide a means to document SoTL work to benefit teaching, student understanding, and promotion and tenure. Since Boyer, institutions have embraced the re-conceptualization of scholarship and utilized it has a means evaluate promotion and tenure. In addition, there are a number of SoTL journals (College Teaching, InSight A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, Journal on Excellence in College Teaching) and conferences (International Society of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, the Teaching Professor, and the Lilly Conferences) to disseminate research findings.
The final step of this unit is to re-examine module 2 entitled: Developing a Teaching Philosophy: Applying your Philosophy in the Classroom (re-read or review your work from module 2 now). In this module action research was introduced as a method to ask and investigate questions regarding your teaching. In this final unit, you will have the opportunity to continue to practice action research and also think about how to disseminate your findings for publication and or promotion and tenure.

Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Hattie, J., & Marsh, H. W. (1996). The relationship between research and teaching: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 66, 507-542.
McKinney, K. (2007). Enhancing learning through scholarship of teaching and learning the challenges and joys of juggling. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Last modified: Monday, 29 June 2009, 01:51 PM