Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

What is SoTL?

[SoTL] is a kind of going meta in which faculty frame and systematically investigate questions related to student learning – the conditions under which it occurs, what it looks like, how to deepen it and so forth – and do so with an eye not only to improve their own classrooms but to advancing practice beyond it.” (Hutchings & Shulman 1999)

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) generally entails the study of student learning and the public sharing of these investigations. Many faculty take a scholarly approach to teaching such as reading the higher education pedagogical literature, reviewing and making changes to teaching based on course evaluation data, or attending teaching-related professional development workshops.

Two people stand talking in front of a research poster

NEW: SoTL Writing Cohort Program

Deadline to apply was September 8, 2023  

CTSI Facilitators: 
Cora McCloy, PhD, Faculty Liaison Coordinator, SoTL, CTSI  
Cristina D’Amico, PhD, Faculty Liaison Coordinator, Graduate Student Development & TA Training, TATP  

This program is designed for instructors to write up their SoTL project. The program is a reciprocal, peer-driven offering facilitated by the CTSI-SoTL team. Over the course of six months (October 2023March 2024), you will participate in virtual sessions as part of a larger cohort of instructors working in groups of three, guided by an evidence-based writing structure. We encourage groups to consider scheduling both virtual and in-person writing sessions, but this is optional. The application form is an invitation for instructors and librarians from our U of T SoTL community to participate in an intensive professional development opportunity. 

This cohort program is open to all instructors teaching at U of T. This includes faculty with continuing appointments, contract instructors (e.g., CLTAs), librarians, and sessional instructors.  We invite instructors from all SoTL writing experience levels to apply as we strive to build off one another’s diverse areas of expertise.  

*Note: Graduate student Course Instructors (CUPE 3902 Unit 1) should visit the Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP) for alternative professional development opportunities.  

CTSI supports research on teaching, also referred to as the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).  For our purposes, SoTL includes approaching teaching in a scholarly and/or evidence-based manner; using evidence and/or reflections to inform teaching; conducting systematic research, evaluation, and/or inquiry into teaching; participating in a community of practice around teaching; and disseminating research and sharing with local and international communities.  

*Note: Grant proposal writing will not be an eligible project for this program.  

To participate in the SoTL Writing Cohort Program, you must be at a point in your project where you are ready to write, i.e., your data collection and research should be complete. If you are applying to this program, it is because you are ready to commit to a six-month program focused on your writing; giving and receiving peer feedback; and most importantly, building a community of SoTL writers.  

  • October 16th, 2023, to mid-March 2024 
  • Launch (mandatory) virtual session October 16th, 2023: 1-3pm (EST) 
  • Check-in full cohort virtual session: November 24th, 2023:  10-11:30am (EST) 
  • Closing/celebration virtual session: Mid-March 2024 (date TBD) 
  • To offer a supportive space for participants to try new writing strategies and approaches and to build confidence in their SoTL writing.  
  • To guide participants in setting and meeting goals, drawing on SoTL writing expertise within a cohort-based model.   
  • To enhance a community of scholars conducting research on teaching at U of T.  
  • The SoTL Writing Program requires a commitment to:  
  • meet bi-weekly with your writing group (one hour); 
  • provide feedback on your group members’ writing: one hour of peer editing per bi-weekly cycle; and 
  • attend three CTSI-facilitated webinars. 

Applicants will be carefully reviewed according to several criteria (including campus, stated writing goals, discipline, etc.).  

  • CTSI facilitators and U of T resource staff will share tips, strategies, and resources at several points in the program to build your confidence in providing – and receiving – feedback on SoTL writing.  
  • Worksheet activities will be integrated within workshop and webinars (e.g., writing goal setting).  
  • Guidance and feedback will be provided by writing cohort peers.  

Participant Testimonials from the SoTL Writing Cohort Pilot 2021-22 

Thanks for the amazing work done to provide us with a conducive space to discover our potential to be productive in publishing.  

Thank you so much for your kind facilitation, organization, and support! I really appreciate the opportunity to participate.  

Nicole Laliberte and the Indigenous Action Group at the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation

U of T SoTL Showcase

Project: Community-engaged Learning (CEL): Integrating Anthropological Discourse. The project focused on the course Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island in Canada (ANT241).

Goals: Guided by ​the Indigenous Action Group at UTM, this project integrated Indigenous methodologies ​at each stage. Answering the Call, Wecheehetowin​: The entire community bears a responsibility for action, but Indigenous people must be at the centre of decision-making, with full agency and not as people being acted upon (UofT Steering Committee, 2016, p. 31).

Data collection: Existing course materials; pre and post surveys; interviews with students.

Results: In-progress

View our webinar, “Qualitative Methods in SoTL Research” (enrol in the Hub for access) to learn more about this project.

SoTL Community at U of T

SoTL Hub

Access SoTL resources and receive news and updates.


Meet with a SoTL team member to discuss your research project.

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