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International Summer Institute on ‘Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education’

The first International Summer Institute on ‘Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education’ is to be organised by McMaster Institute for Innovation and Enhancement in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL), Canada in early May 2016.

Key features

CFP: 6th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference

Dalhousie University invites you to submit a proposal to the 6th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference from June 15 to 17, 2016 in Halifax, Canada.  The conference website is available at: http://www.dal.ca/dept/clt/events-news/Threshold_Concepts.html 

Call for Chapter Proposals for Applying the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Beyond the Individual Classroom Level

We are seeking brief chapter proposals for editorial review and possible inclusion in this volume. The purpose of this book is to share with others in higher education examples of applying scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) results to teaching and student learning beyond the individual classroom level. The focus is on the use of SoTL--practitioner, action reflection/research (usually on the researchers’ own students and/or students in their discipline at a local level)--and its application at the multi-section course, program, department, college, co-curricular, institutional, or disciplinary level(s). The SoTL results or implications applied could be from the author’s own SoTL project(s) and/or from application of a synthesis of others’ SoTL work on a given topic or in the discipline.

Research on Teaching & Learning Conference

McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, will be hosting their annual Research on Teaching & Learning conference on December 9 & 10, 2015.  This year, the conference theme is Cultivating Communities, and we are thrilled to welcome Katarina Mårtensson from Lund University in Sweden as our keynote speaker.  She will be speaking about the relevance of networks and microculutres in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

The full conference program can be seen on our website at http://tinyurl.com/RTL2015

A Report from the Publications Advisory Committee: ISSOTL to Partner with the University of Calgary as Teaching & Learning Inquiry Moves to Open Access Publication

Beginning in July 2016, Teaching & Learning Inquiry will be hosted at the University of Calgary as part of the university’s Open Access publishing program through Libraries and Cultural Resources. The 4.2 issue (scheduled for September 2016) will be the first to appear in the new format.

As noted in previous reports from the Publications Advisory Committee (PAC), the move to Open Access (OA) will have a number of advantages. This more accessible format will make the SoTL community’s work more widely available, open up the journal to online-only features, and reduce costs. The Committee sees OA as congruent with both the ethic of sharing that characterizes the SoTL community and the significant shifts in the scholarly publishing world. 

Communications Committee Seeks Members

The Communications Committee seeks nominations for additional members.

Student-generated data - Trends in the 2014 Conference program

In a pre-conference workshop at ISSOTL 2014, a small group of us decided to investigate how much of the SoTL work presented at ISSOTL 2014 was actually based on data from students. As we dove into the work, trends emerged around the kinds of investigations reported on and the kinds of data presented. This blog post provides a quick summary of what we found and raises questions that point the way to future work.

Annual Elections: Ballots Available May 11

Sent on behalf of Joelle Fanghanel, Chair of Leadership and Elections Committee

Dear member

I am delighted, on behalf of the Committee and the Board, to inform membership that we are now ready to proceed with the annual round of elections. There will be 2 positions to fill this year – one for VP US and one for the position of President-elect. You will receive a statement from the candidates and a short biography early next week. 

The ballot will open on 11 May 2015 and close on 20 May 2015. Current members will receive an email with access to their ballot.

Illinois State University Launches SoTL Blog, The SoTL Advocate

During the fall semester of 2014, the office of the Cross Chair in SoTL at Illinois State University established a new weblog titled The SoTL Advocate to highlight SoTL and to encourage discussion within the SoTL community on various topics of interest to those working in SoTL at ISU and beyond. The SoTL Advocate editorial team invites ISSOTL members to add the blog to their reading lists.

From TLI: Teaching the Literature Review: A Practical Approach for College Instructors

Abstract: Instructors across the disciplines require their students to write literature reviews. Although numerous sources describe the literature review process, instructors and students face difficulty when approaching the structure of a literature review. This paper presents a straightforward, efficient approach for teaching students how to write a literature review. Developed over the course of three years at a university writing center, this lesson received substantial support from students across the disciplines. This paper reflects on one group of students' experiences while writing literature reviews in a political science course, showing that students demonstrated a sense of confidence and direction after the lesson. University professors, writing center staff, and content-discipline instructors in higher education classrooms can alleviate their students' anxiety about literature reviews by using this lesson in their classrooms.

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