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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)


An Overview & Summary of Required deliverables (PPT download)

Teaching Students to Learn Actively



The purpose of this page is to explore your current teaching goals and practices, and to give you a perspective on what the Scholarship or Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is about. When we talk about your current teaching goals, we are referring to ideas like what you want your students to learn, how to find out what your students are learning, or evaluation tools aligning with your course goals.

SoTL will help design research projects for your classes based on teaching goals and expected learning outcomes. Another goal is to motivate you into using SoTL in your tenure and your promotion portfolio.

What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)?

SoTL is the Systematic study of teaching and learning. It research conducted in a scholarly manner based upon theory or prior research, clear research questions and hypotheses, and other appropriate methodology. What SoTL does is that it allows public sharing and review, whether it be in any form of presentation, publication, or performances. SoTL also shares established criteria of scholarship in general. This is made public, where the processes and outcomes - the work - can be reviewed by peers and judged to have merit and significance in the field of interest. The criteria can be built upon, replicated, and elaborated on by others in order to advance the field of study. It is very ground-breaking in that it contributes to the literature.

Download SoTL Document Here

Possible value and benefits of SoTL

These are possible perks of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Each of the following values need to be evaluated inside each academic department to determine if said activity falls within the priorities of the department, university, and discipline:

  • Evidence for excellence in teaching and learning
  • Publication Venues in Higher Education Research and Development, Journal on Excellence in college Teaching, and Discipline Specific Venues.
  • Provide evidence of teaching effectiveness in tenure and promotion portfolios
  • Recognition in promotion and tenure guidelines
  • Addition to faculty accomplishments
  • Become involved with a national/international higher education initiative
  • Addition to traditional scholarship in the field
  • Help with classroom and program assessments
  • Use in program review and accreditation
  • Expand graduate student training and preparing future faculty
  • Revitalize faculty members/provide new career focus
  • Provide research opportunities for students

Tenure and Promotion

If you plan to be promoted based on teaching and learning, you must demonstrate scholarship in teaching and learning. If you plan to be promoted based on research or engagement, however, your scholarship will probably be disciplinary. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research projects can be cross-referenced to be used to document teaching effectiveness and excellence and used as evidence of scholarship in local, national, and international presentations as well as peer reviewed publications.

Student Level Outcomes

Examples of student level outcomes to consider as you redesign your course could be:

  • Motivation -- Move students into actively learning.
  • Engagement -- Have students actively participate during class.
  • Competence -- Students have a proper understanding of the material being given in class.
  • Performance -- Students fare better in their academics in the class.
  • Retention -- Students remember the information taught, and hold that information for a long time.


Think About:

  • The types of evaluations you are currently using
  • How you decide which evaluation tools to use
  • Whether your current evaluations provide a clear picture of what your students are learning
  • Whether your students are learning what you want them to learn
  • Whether the evaluations align with your teaching goals

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

Bloom outlines five levels of learning outcomes:

  • Knowledge - To know and remember specific facts, terms concepts, principles or theories
  • Comprehension - To understand, interpret, compare, contrast, explain
  • Application - To apply knowledge to new situations to solve problems using required knowledge or skills
  • Analysis - To identify the organizational structure of something; to identify parts, relationships, and organizing principles
  • Synthesis - To create something, to integrate ideas into a solution, to propose an action plan, to formulate a new classification scheme
  • Evaluation - To judge the quality of something based on its adequacy, value, logic or use

16 Best Teaching Practices

  • Download Best Practices Document
  • Based on Ken Bain’s book, What the Best College Teachers Do
  • Developed by the faculty of the University of New South Wales (UNSW Australia)

Next Steps

Determine how to assess the question or problem of interest. Consider the Following:
  • Research Design
  • Timeline
  • Instruments
  • Analysis
  • Dissemination of results
CIE can be a resource to you, as can the IMPACT program.