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Call for Facilitators for the Public SoTL ICWGs (ICWG-Public)

ISSOTL invites applications for facilitators for the inaugural cohort of its public SoTL track of its International Collaborative Writing Group (ICWG) initiative.

Applications are due January 15, 2022.

In her closing keynote at the 2019 ISSOTL conference, Nancy Chick (then ISSOTL Co-President Elect) challenged us to find ways to make SoTL more public. This encouragement of outreach is grounded in a recognition that “SoTL and public scholarship have common roots in Boyer’s expansion of recognized scholarships. His notion of ‘the scholarship of teaching’ (Boyer, 1990) grew into the scholarship of teaching and learning, and his later description of ‘the scholarship of engagement’ (Boyer, 1996) encompasses what we now call public scholarship, with the goal of developing spaces where ‘the academic and civic cultures communicate more continuously and more creatively with each other’ in order to connect ‘the rich resources of the university to our most pressing social, civic, and ethical problems.’” (Read the chapter based on this keynote here.)

ISSOTL then initiated a public SoTL track of its International Collaborative Writing Groups (ICWGs) initiative, which provides participants with an experience that is international, collaborative, focused on a SoTL-relevant topic, and organized around the development and completion of a single project. Before now, three cohorts of ICWGs focused on academic writing for the SoTL community to produce scholarly articles submitted for publication in Teaching & Learning Inquiry. That’s the ICWG-Academic track of the initiative. We’re now building the first cohort of the ICWG-Public track, which focuses on writing for audiences beyond the academy to produce public SoTL, or works of public scholarship informed by SoTL. (Read more about ICWG-Public as part of the broader ICWG Initiative by following the link to the right.)

Now is the time to make SoTL more public, go beyond traditional forms of sharing SoTL, and extend current SoTL audiences by exploring new and non-traditional outlets and media. Public SoTL is about reaching, engaging, and making SoTL-generated knowledge more accessible to a broader audience beyond the academy. These inaugural ICWGs-Public will help ISSOTL exemplify, leverage, and build capacity around sharing SoTL-based knowledge in public conversations.

Similar to the previous cohorts, these ICWGs will convene for a face-to-face/in-person working session on October 30-November 1, immediately prior to the ISSOTL22 conference in Kelowna, Canada (November 2-5, 2022). Before and after the conference, the groups will work together online to ultimately produce a public SoTL artefact no later than October 2023. All ICWG leaders, group facilitators, and participants are expected to attend the pre-conference working session in person, and to register for and attend the conference.

Applicants for ICWG facilitator should identify a topic for a public SoTL group project, as well as possible ideas for dissemination to a broader audience. These projects may include original research, or translating existing research/literature for a public beyond education audiences. Examples of the artefacts include white papers, public statements on pressing issues, material for mainstream media, web resources, public art installations or performances, or series of blog posts/podcasts/audio-visual content aimed at a wider audience. However, we rely on your creative ideas to extend these potential examples, bearing in mind considerations for ethical research requirements when considering the public dissemination for these projects. See below for more information on how to apply.

Aims and Outcomes

The aims of the ISSOTL’s ICWGs for Public SoTL are to

  • build capacity of participants to innovate and work collegially in international collaborative groups;
  • promote, share, and extend SoTL-based knowledge to new audiences through alternative media venues;
  • develop sustainable examples of public SoTL, extending its purpose toward public advocacy, its audiences toward a broader public, its products toward more public forms of communication, and its influences well beyond courses and academic programs.

Facilitator Role Expectations

Facilitators’ focus will be on leading and facilitating their group, and engaging with the whole ICWG cohort (i.e., the co-leaders, the other facilitators, and participants). We, as the four ICWG-Public co-leaders, will lead the overall ICWG cohort coordination and the logistics of the face-to-face meeting in Canada. 

If you are selected as an ICWG group facilitator, you would

  • facilitate an international group of 6-7 members (including you as the group leader) in developing and completing the project, starting in March 2022 and through to public dissemination no later than October 2023.
  • work with your group at a distance via online platforms throughout that time period, and face-to-face at the 2.5-day session immediately prior to ISSOTL22, in order to co-create an artifact before October 2023.
  • ensure that your group meets the various deadlines (see below).
  • collaborate with representatives of the ISSOTL Advocacy Committee in their support of the broader ICWG initiative.

In various studies of the ICWGs, the role of Group Facilitator has emerged as the most important determiner of the effectiveness of the experience (Marquis, Healey, & Vine, 2014; Marquis, Healey, & Vine, 2016; Healey & Matthews, 2017; Matthews, Marquis, & Healey, 2017; Marquis, Mȧrtensson, & Healey, 2018). The 2018 study aimed at exploring this importance describes 7 themes that collectively characterized the most effective Group Facilitators:
— Connecting participants with the SoTL literature
— Creating an inclusive and welcoming environment
— Encouraging/ensuring participation
— Allowing others to lead
— Delegating responsibilities
— Setting timelines and keeping the group on track
— Assuming responsibility


All ICWG leaders, group facilitators, and participants are expected to attend in person the 2.5-day pre-conference working session from October 30 through November 1, and to register for and attend in person the ISSOTL22 conference in Canada. However, registration for the ICWG pre-conference working session is waived for ICWG facilitators, and meals are provided.


The benefits are manifold and range from capacity-building in mentorship, leadership, and communities of practice; improved communication and dissemination skills; improved knowledge of scholarly literature and alternative avenues for the dissemination of SoTL-related knowledge; expanded networks of international colleagues; excellent evidence for academic portfolio (selected to lead an ICWG in association with the ISSOTL); advancing the field of SoTL; and the list goes on. 


We expect to have group facilitators selected by the week of January 21. Then, we will release a call for applications for the group participants. 

The current timeline has groups actively working from March 2022 – October 2023 with tentative milestones being the following:

Formation of the ICWGs

James Cronin, University College Cork. Ireland
Henk Huijser, Queensland University of Technology. Australia
Siobhán McPhee, University of British Columbia. Canada
Janel Seeley, University of Wyoming. USA

Group Facilitators
— November  8:  Call for group facilitators
— January 15, 2022:  Applications for group facilitators due
— January 21:  Group facilitators announced

— February 1: Call for participants
— March 1:  Applications for participants due
— March 15:  Participants announced
ICWGs work at a distance— April 1:  Groups start work
— September 15: Abstracts, plans, & identified needs from each group due
ICWGs work together in Kelowna— October 30 – November 5:  Oct 30-Nov 1 is the face-to-face ICWG working session immediately prior to Nov 2-5 ISSOTL conference in Canada [Note that all co-leaders, group facilitators, and group participants are expected to be in attendance at ISSOTL22.]
ICWGs work at a distance— November 2022 – October 2023: ICWG cohort and individual groups continue working until completion.
— October 2023: Final products due, recommend presenting at ISSOTL23


To apply for this exciting initiative, please submit the application materials below to Janel Seeley ( by January 15, 2022. We will consider individual and co-facilitator applications.

1. A maximum of 500 words clearly outlining your topic:

  • based on SoTL-generated knowledge;
  • clearly relevant to an audience(s) beyond the academy; 
  • a short literature review; 
  • and ideas for public dissemination

2. Key reasons (100 words max) why you believe you would be an effective facilitator for an international collaborative effort on this specific project.


If you have any questions, please reach out to the 2022 ICWG-Public Co-Leaders James Cronin, Henk Huijser, Siobhán McPhee, and Janel Seeley through Janel’s email address,