The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

What is SoTL?

As an emerging field, definitions of SoTL often vary. We consider SoTL to include any scholarly inquiry which reflects on a topic related to teaching and learning, builds on previous research in the field, and is shared with peers.

Reasons to engage in SoTL

  • Improve student learning in your course
  • Provide evidence of teaching effectiveness for tenure and promotion documents
  • Provide research opportunities for graduate students
  • Strengthen your application for internal and/or external teaching awards
  • Contribute to the discussion of teaching and learning in your discipline

SoTL project steps

  • Identify a research question. Here are several examples of typical SoTL research questions:
    • Does incorporating group work increase student performance on a final exam?
    • How do students’ beliefs about the field change from the beginning of the semester to the end of the semester?
    • What is the relationship between watching instructor-created videos and student perceptions and performance in a course?
  • Do a literature search to determine what research has already been done on this topic.
  • Identify the data necessary to answer your question (e.g. student surveys, specific assignments, faculty reflections, student interviews or focus groups). Consider incorporating both qualitative and quantitative sources of data into your project.
  • Collect and analyze your data (e.g. compare different semesters or sections of a course, analyze qualitative responses from students at the beginning and end of the semester).
  • Share your project and results at an appropriate venue (e.g. conference, open-source journal, peer-reviewed journal).

Interested in SoTL? Contact us!

If you have any questions about SoTL projects or are interested in help getting started or collaborating on a project, please contact us via email at!

Contact Us


Phone: (765) 496-6422

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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