Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

SoTL topics can include...

  • community service learning
  • ePortfolios
  • ethics and integrity
  • flipped classrooms
  • high impact practices
  • inclusive education
  • laptops in the classroom
  • peer feedback
  • self-regulated learning
  • student motivation
  • students as partners
  • team-based learning.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is research that examines pedagogy, teaching practices (including their implementation in the classroom and their impacts upon student learning), technological enhancements to teaching, and all aspects of student learning and engagement in higher education. Faculty members and graduate students bring their disciplinary lenses to examine their own teaching techniques and classrooms for insights into how various approaches are working, or how new innovations have helped to improve student learning.

[The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning] means viewing the world of the classroom as a site for inquiry, asking and answering questions about students’ learning in ways that can improve one’s own classroom and also advance the larger profession of teaching. (Huber & Hutchings, 2005, p. 1)

SoTL at Western

The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers a number of services and programs devoted to SoTL:

Research on Teaching and Learning Consultation Services are available for Western instructors, librarians, and archivists. Consultation could address any aspect of the research on teaching process, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • generating a research question
  • developing a research design
  • selecting appropriate research methods
  • writing a proposal for the Research Ethics Board
  • developing and implementing an analysis strategy
  • preparing the findings for presentation or publication.

If you would like more information about this service, please contact Ken N. Meadows.

Research on Teaching and Learning Community of Practice - an opportunity for those interested in research on teaching and learning (RTL) to meet regularly with like minded colleagues from across campus to share their ideas, discuss RTL topics of interest, and learn from each other.

Research on Teaching and Learning Workshop Series - workshops and/or presentations on aspects of the research on teaching and learning process, such as research design, ethics, and data analysis.

Western Institute for Research on Teaching and Learning - a three-day hands-on interactive workshop designed to support faculty in the development of all aspects of their research on teaching and learning (RTL) projects.

Recent publications from Western's community of SoTL scholars

Booth, R. G., Sinclair, B., Strudwick, G., Brennan, L., Tong, J., Relouw, H., ... & Vlasic, W. (2017). Identifying error types made by Nursing students using eMAR technology. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 13(10), 492-500.

Gadanidis, G., Cendros, R., Floyd, L. & Namukasa, I. (2017). Computational thinking in mathematics teacher education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 17(4), 458-477.

Loftus, J. J., Jacobsen, M., & Wilson, T. D. (2017). Learning and assessment with images: A view of cognitive load through the lens of cerebral blood flow. British Journal of Educational Technology, 48(4), 1030-1046.

McLean, S., Attardi, S. M., Faden, L., & Goldszmidt, M. (2016). Flipped classrooms and student learning: Not just surface gains. Advances in Physiology Education, 40(1), 47-55.

Stooke, R. K., & Hibbert, K. (2017). Writing goes back to school: Exploring the “Institutional Practice of Mystery” in a graduate education program. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(3), 14.

Van Nuland, S. E., Roach, V. A., Wilson, T. D., & Belliveau, D. J. (2015). Head to head: The role of academic competition in undergraduate anatomical education. Anatomical Sciences Education, 8(5), 404-412.

Presenting and Publishing SoTL

SoTL Conferences

There are conferences dedicated specifically to SoTL, as well as more general conferences that include SoTL (examples of such conferences are provided in the table below). Conferences across the disciplines often also include an “Education in…” section of the conference where SoTL projects could be presented.

SoTL Journals

A variety of academic journals publish SoTL research, including general SoTL journals and disciplinary-specific SoTL journals. Examples:

General SoTL Journals

Disciplinary-specific SoTL Journals

The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning Inquiry

Journal of Accounting Education

Journal of Legal Education

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology

Studies in Art Education: A Journal of Issues and Research

See also: Teaching Journals Directory - an extensive list of disciplinary and interdisciplinary journals in the scholarship of teaching and Learning (SoTL), focused on undergraduate and graduate education for teachers at colleges and universities.

Further Reading

There are a number of excellent online resources to support faculty and graduate students in developing their SoTL projects, including the resources below.

Elon University SoTL Video Series

Elon University's Centre for Engaged Learning’s SoTL Video Series is an introduction to SoTL, by noted SoTL scholars addressing topics such as definitions of SoTL, examples of SoTL projects, the history of SoTL, going public with SoTL, and the future of SoTL. 

University of Calgary SoTL Guide

Nancy Chick, Academic Director of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary, developed this SoTL guide as a step-by-step tutorial on the theory and practice of SoTL.

Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario’s Research Guide

Susan Elgie developed the second edition of the Researching teaching and student outcomes in postsecondary education: An introduction (2014) for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario as an introduction to conducting SoTL, addressing topics from generating a SoTL research question to knowledge mobilization.


For more information about all things SoTL or for help planning your own SoTL project, please contact Dr. Ken N. Meadows, Educational Researcher with the CTL and Managing Editor of The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.


Huber, M. T., & Hutchings, P. (2005). The advancement of learning: Building the teaching commons. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.