What is SoTL?
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The Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) is dedicated to the advancement of the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) at the University of Toronto. CTSI serves as a hub to enable and support this form of scholarship via a number of activities. There are many entry points for faculty interested in conducting inquiry into one’s teaching:
A Reflective approach is common amongst U of T instructors as they regularly think about their actions, the impact on student learning, and/or how to improve their students’ learning over time.
A Scholarly approach to teaching includes instructors who ask thoughtful questions about their teaching, collect and analyze data, and improve one’s efforts to enhance student learning, over time. This line of inquiry may be part of one’s personal growth as a teacher and an instructor may choose not share this with others. Scholarly teaching may also include consulting the broader higher education pedagogical literature, reviewing and making changes to teaching based on course evaluation data, or attending teaching-related professional development workshops.
The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) subsumes both these aspects (reflective and scholarly teaching) and McKinney (2006) describes it as “the systematic study of teaching and/or learning and the public sharing and review of such work through presentations, performance, or publications” (p. 39). Sharing amongst a community of teacher-scholars is a key aspect of SoTL and an important goal of CTSI programming. Many U of T faculty have published their SoTL work in a range of disciplinary (e.g., Computer Science Education, Journal of Geography in Higher Education), and SoTL- specific journals (e.g., Teaching and Learning Inquiry). They have also presented at teaching and learning conferences (e.g., University of Toronto Teaching and Learning Symposium, International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology).