SoTL Faculty Learning Community

Description

This CTL initiative supports faculty interested in improving their teaching practice through academic inquiry. Participants in this learning community will not only read research-based scholarship about new teaching practices and new uses of digital media and learning technologies; they will also develop strategies to study how these and other instructional interventions impact their students’ learning.

The goals of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Faculty Learning Community are to provide structure to faculty interested in becoming SoTL scholars, to help faculty advance their own SoTL projects, and to form a community of colleagues actively doing SoTL research. Members of the FLC will engage in regular discussions involving different aspects of SoTL, from the principles and practices that inform SoTL work, to foundational texts and exemplary SoTL publications, to specific SoTL projects that members of the community are developing. Faculty participants in this program will be supported in the design and execution of their own SoTL projects, from identifying meaningful areas of inquiry, to obtaining IRB approval for human subjects research, to collecting and analyzing research data. Members of the FLC who are currently working on their own SoTL projects will be encouraged to identify a potential publication or presentation opportunity to share their project results, and serve as resources or potential “mentors” to early-stage SoTL colleagues.

About SoTL

The scholarship of teaching and learning is an approach to teaching, learning, and research in higher education that aims to improve instruction through active inquiry and investigation. Broadly, SoTL involves asking questions about what works in the classroom and contributes to students’ learning. SoTL-type projects aim to answer those questions through systematic research that entails collecting relevant evidence of student thinking, analyzing that evidence using appropriate methods, and sharing the results of that analysis with a community of scholars. Examples of this approach might include:

  • studying how a new form of classroom activity supports learning of a particular concept or idea,
  • examining how a new instructional tool or learning technology contributes to student learning,
  • researching the effectiveness of a particular assessment technique or design, or
  • identifying barriers that inhibit the implementation of technology or new instructional strategies in the classroom, etc.

Stipend and Conference Funding

Each participant of the SoTL FLC will receive a stipend of $1000. In addition, each participant will receive membership to the International Society of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and funding for registration and travel to one of two upcoming ISSOTL conferences (2018 in Bergen, Norway or 2019 in Atlanta).

Eligibility

The SoTL FLC is open to any full-time faculty (tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure-track) from any Boston University school or department. Prior experience conducting SoTL-type projects is not required.

Application Process

Applicants should submit the following items through the CTL’s FLC Application Portal. Application deadline for the academic 2018-2019 year is September 7, 2018.

  • Application Letter – A letter describing how participation in the program will support your growth as a teacher. This letter should describe your past teaching experiences, and identify your strengths as a teacher and areas for future improvement (if you have prior experience with SoTL work, please briefly describe that experience, as well). The letter should also include a description of a course, project, or question you plan to address during your time in the program.
  • Teaching Statement – A brief statement of teaching philosophy that reflects your current approaches to teaching. This document should communicate your perspectives on teaching and methods of enhancing student learning.
  • Letter of Support – A letter of support from your department chair (or dean for those from schools without departments). This letter should indicate the chair’s (or dean’s) approval of your investing the time required by this program as well as any measures that will be taken to complement the support provided to you by the CTL SoTL FLC program.
  • Curriculum Vitae – Your CV should be submitted as well.

Since the CTL promotes teaching as an ongoing and collaborative process of inquiry, experimentation, and reflection, applicants will be selected primarily on the basis of how participation in this program will benefit their professional growth.

Expectations of Participants

Participants of the SoTL FLC are expected to:

  • Attend all FLC meetings (in person, or virtually, as necessary) every month during the academic year,
  • Actively contribute to FLC discussions,
  • Contribute resources, such as articles and readings, to the group’s online resource site,
  • Share at BU and beyond their successes and lessons learned from developing and conducting their own SoTL projects,
  • Be willing, after completion of the SoTL FLC program, to mentor other faculty who are interested in learning about SoTL and conducting their own SoTL projects.

2017-2018 SoTL FLC Participants

Possible Topics & Associated Readings

Reading materials will be provided to FLC participants. Participants will be encouraged to suggest changes or additions to this list.

  • Bridging Teaching Research and Practice
  • SoTL Principles and Practices
  • Metacognition and feedback
  • Interest and motivation
  • Sociocultural approaches to teaching and learning

Questions? Email or call Nick Wilson (ncwilson@bu.edu or 358-8624)