April 26, 2024

Community is key to getting started in SoTL

Members of the University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Grants team provide an introduction and overview of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
Looking through glass to a classroom where a workshop at a conference is going on inside the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.
An interactive SoTL workshop takes place inside the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. Elyse Bouvier

One the best parts of our work is seeing the impact of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) across UCalgary. 

Educators on our campus approach SoTL in various ways, but are united in seeking to support and advance high-quality post-secondary educational experiences. For example, SoTL can include designing courses, facilitating classroom activities, experimenting with new pedagogical ideas, writing student learning outcomes, evaluating programs, and many other activities. Through these individual and collective efforts, SoTL helps improve our teaching approaches, course design, and program curriculum.  

In our roles as educators and staff, we find SoTL exciting because it is transdisciplinary and collaborative. It connects and brings together undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, staff, and faculty from all areas of post-secondary. We are continually amazed by ideas for teaching and learning carried out across campus, such as through the University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Grants.

SoTL starts with community. 

Why is community so important? And how do you get involved or start your own SoTL community?

One of the most compelling reasons to join or start a SoTL community is the opportunity for collaborative learning and support across disciplines. We benefit from learning with others who share a passion for studying teaching and learning, and can exchange ideas, best practices, and new methods. 

Partnering with students is a key principle of building a SoTL community. Working with students, we can better align our work with their experiences. Partnership gives students agency over their own learning and the opportunity for them to positively influence the future of teaching and learning. Many of our best SoTL ideas come from collaborating with students as partners.

Collaboration creates opportunities for innovation and inclusivity in SoTL.

In SoTL, we make an impact by sharing what we learn. Engaging in a SoTL community offers many opportunities for professional development such as attending conferences, listening to podcasts, and more. By sharing what we care about, we inspire others and make a larger impact on teaching and learning scholarship.

Get involved in UCalgary's SoTL community! We are students, staff, and faculty from all areas of the university, both new to the field to involved for over 30 years. We encourage you to reach out and get involved.