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Extended Invitations from the 2022 ICWG-Public Group Facilitators

The 2022 ICWG-Public Co-Leaders have selected four public SoTL projects and the facilitators who proposed them, and have now distributed their Call for Applications for Group Members.  To learn more about these projects and the facilitators, see the full descriptions below.

To apply to be a member of any of the groups, complete this form, where you will be asked to pick your top three projects.  Members will be selected based on interest and an effort to create strong diverse teams.  

NOTE: Similar to the previous cohorts, these ICWGs will convene for a face-to-face/in-person working session from October 30 to 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 artifact no later than October 2023.

All ICWG leaders, group facilitators, and participants are expected to attend the pre-conference working session in person, to register for and attend the conference, and to be (or become) ISSOTL members.

Applications for Group Members are due March 1, 2022.

Apply Here

1. Translating What We Know about Teaching & Learning to Support Social Justice

The last 19 months of #BlackLivesMatter have become an inflection point for change after 400 years of inequality in the United States. This “largest movement in US history,” which began in 2013, is now a global movement (Buchanan, Bui, & Patel, 2020Khan, 2015). At the same time, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action (TRC, 2015) are intended to facilitate the nation’s reckoning with Indigenous peoples after centuries of colonialism and, more specifically, cultural genocide undertaken by the residential school system. Nearly seven years later, progress is mixed (CBC News, 2022). These are just two examples illustrating the current peak in vastly different efforts to change the relationships between historically dominant and oppressed populations defined by racial and cultural differences. The decentralized BLM Movement is most visible in social protests calling for widespread action and specific moments of legal justice; Canada’s centralized Truth and Reconciliation is most visible in specific projects sponsored by formal institutions and community organizations. 

Fundamental to both efforts are relationships between people across difference. Here is where SoTL voices can contribute.  Much is known about how people learn to think (and feel) about people who are different from themselves. Existing bodies of research speak to this essential issue, including the literatures on inclusive pedagogy, racial identity development, equity-minded education, resistance to learning, and more. 

We will co-facilitate an ICWG that leverages group members’ interest in these bodies of research, and translates this knowledge in a way that supports these social justice movements. Group members will follow the steps in “Public SoTL: Responding to a Current Event to Support/Inform Societal Dialogues” (Friberg & Chick, 2022) by first “listening to” what’s happening in these movements and similar ones around the world, and then identifying specific issues at play that are, at the root, related to teaching and learning (e.g., how people think about race/difference, how this thinking develops, why it can stall or regress, how thinking can be changed, how thinking informs action).  Next, members will select a manageable slice of this knowledge, identify relevant public audience(s), and choose a venue and genre that will most effectively reach them, drawing on the “Audience” and “Products” sections of chapter 1 of Going Public Reconsidered (Chick & Friberg, 2022). The rest of the work will be translational: using classroom-based research in thinking about broader contexts, and re-articulating key findings for the intended audiences. 

Rather than here naming a more specific topic and genre for this ICWG, we would like to facilitate this selection as a group, based on our collective understanding of the contexts and the relevant existing research; however, we can imagine, for example, a public statement (ideally endorsed by ISSOTL) explaining the non-linear path of learning about racial differences and racism, and how this knowledge might affect some of the conflicts at the heart of these movements. This statement could be accompanied by an infographic to facilitate social media spread to and within the movements with strong social media presences. 

About the Facilitators

Both Nancy Chick and Jen Friberg have worked extensively on defining, promoting, and supporting public SoTL. Their forthcoming volume Going Public Reconsidered: Engaging With the World Beyond Academe Through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Chick & Friberg, 2022) lays a foundation for extending discussions about teaching and learning beyond higher education to spaces and audiences engaged in dialogues about important societal events and movements. Through their longtime involvement in ISSOTL, experiences in collaboration and editing, and histories of engaging with ICWGs, they are well situated to guide the iterative processes and collaborative activities central to a successful group.

2. Podcasting Learning through Stories 

We will facilitate a public ICWG that develops and publishes a podcast with the intention to provide an accessible, sustainable public forum where the voices of SoTL practitioners, partners and students can be heard. Through this podcast, their stories and narratives will be acknowledged, including voices, once silenced, as well as stories and narratives that have been marginalized or remained unnoticed (Cook-Sather, 2018; Wade et al., 2019).

SoTL-LTOS logo
Our ICWG group logo (shown above) where the mirror reflection of SoTL is LToS – Learning Through our Stories. As the reflection in a mirror, we want to use our podcast as a public arena for reflection, examining how stories and narratives in SoTL are constructed, how they amplify certain voices while silencing others, and how inviting more diverse voices into the conversation is paramount to public engagement with SoTL (Asarta et al. 2018; Little et al. 2021).

Our anticipated audience are practitioners and partners in teaching and learning outside of academia who are trying to connect the individuality of their own stories in teaching and learning with the SoTL scholarship. In doing so, we hope to highlight the common ground, but also represent diverse, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, multilingual, international voices and narratives. We will be inclusive of a world-wide audience through multi-language instalments, diverse hosts and guests, and other means. We expect the podcast episodes will be ~30-60 minutes in length and released every 3-4 weeks. They will be publicly accessible and could be promoted through ISSOTL avenues (e.g., Twitter, webpage, etc.). We aim to combine interviews with people from the SoTL community – key scholars in the field (e.g., Nancy Chick, Peter Felten, Torgny Roxå, etc.), with interviews with industry partners who are invested in the importance of learning through work, non-traditional faculty from HEIs, as well as students and other community partners who have been involved in SoTL – and invite them to share their stories. Some of these conversations may be recorded in person (e.g., at ISSOTL22 conference) with others recorded via online means. We aim to develop organic and sustainable processes so the podcast can continue after the ICWG to capture the changing nature of SoTL and keep our stories alive.

This ICWG has the potential to capture an evolving living history through the stories of SoTL scholars, partners, faculty from HEIs, and students. It also speaks to new ways to engage and disseminate SoTL beyond the academy to the public. With the focus of the ICWG being SoTL as public scholarship, including the goal of extending the purpose of SoTL toward advocacy, our podcasts will utilize this public form of communication, and its influence beyond courses and academic programmes. We hope that the material that we produce for this podcast will be utilized by mainstream media, with our content aimed at a wider audience so that we can help others become aware of the history, practices, partnerships, and roles that society can play in the work of SoTL.


About the Facilitators

Michelle J. Eady: I am an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Most recently, I have been the Research Lead at the Elon Centre for Writing Excellence Summer Institute (2019-2021) where I was responsible for engaging an esteemed group of international scholars in researching and publishing on the topic of Writing Beyond the University. I proudly serve as the ISSOTL Asia-Pacific Vice-President, the Co-Chair of the ISSOTL Advocacy Committee and an ISSOTL Fellow. I look forward to continuing advancing important SoTL work.

Corinne A. Green: I am an early career researcher and Academic Developer at the University of South Australia. I have been involved in SoTL-focused collaborative teams, including a Small Significant Online Network Group (SSONG) and an ICWG-Academic from ISSOTL19. In these teams I have been responsible for organising regular online meetings, contributing to discussions, co-ordinating joint conference presentations, and leading academic publications. I have really enjoyed these opportunities to explore SoTL alongside international colleagues. I have experience with project management, collaborative projects, and recording and editing videos for various purposes. I believe my technological and relational skills are well-suited to facilitating this ICWG-Public.

Ina Alexandra Machura: As a junior research associate in language pedagogy in German higher education (Siegen University, Germany), I am passionate about productive and committed engagement between SoTL practitioners in non-English-speaking countries and the international, English-speaking SoTL community. Since 2019, I have been a member of the Elon University Writing Beyond the University Research Seminar, cooperating with researchers from the US, Australia, and Singapore and providing a German/European perspective on SOTL. My current focus is on designing digital open educational resources (OER) for publication on the ORCA.NRW platform, an extensive online repository for digital media in education.

3. Making Critical Race Theory Scholarship Accessible for Education Stakeholders Outside the Academy

The current attacks and mis/disinformation circulating Critical Race Theory (CRT) have permeated the public arena in the US.1 Currently, the vitriol about CRT is most evident in the public spaces of US school board meetings, as captured in viral youtube videos depicting civic engagement devolve into security concerns for school board members perceived to be on the wrong side of the CRT debate.2 CRT is a 40 year old academic theory used to analyze how American racism has shaped public policy. Moreover, it has grown into an international topic of concern with respect to “racialized education.”3

CRT is often misinterpreted, misunderstood, or used to align with political agendas to silence certain constituencies and foreclose public debate,4 thus highlighting the importance of making SoTL knowledge about CRT, which has been vetted by scholarship, accessible/available SoTL to a wider population outside the academy,5 including stakeholders in education such as school principals, school board members, parents, students, and education policy makers. In light of this current situation, we concur with Chick (2022) that we need to “reconceptualize the audience” for SoTL.

Although CRT fills headlines of US media outlets, and originated in US legal studies, the Centre for Race and Education at the University of Birmingham, asserts that “CRT has grown to become one of the most important perspectives on racism in education internationally”6 . As education developers, we can translate CRT scholarship to counter the oversimplification and demonization of CRT and to show how it is a nuanced approach that illuminates persistent social inequity and the racialization of education policies and practices.7 Internationally there is growing interest in CRT in education research in Europe, Central and South America, South Africa and Australia.8

In this project we will collaborate with our international SoTL colleagues to first create a literature review that incorporates a global view of CRT in education. As both national and international racist systems exist, we will work collegially to expand our understanding of what “whitening analysis” is from a global perspective.9 Secondly, we will “translate” for non-academic audiences our shared understanding of CRT into a media suite (information graphic, explainer Powtoon video, facilitator guide for community members to present CRT workshops, editorial for local news outlets e.g.). The specific deliverables of the media suite and its dissemination will be shaped in collaboration with our writing group and informed by the local contexts of the collaborative group members, as effective communication tools will vary in different international contexts.

Our goal is to disseminate this media suite to the education stakeholders previously listed who are grappling with CRT in their daily lives and in public education spaces within their local communities and particular contexts. Our aim, specifically, is to mitigate how CRT is misused, misunderstood, and misapplied in public education.10 11 Our hope is this SoTL project will demystify CRT, provide clarity around how to accurately apply CRT language in education spaces, and avail this scholarship to general public audiences who might use it in their deliberations and decision making.


About the Facilitators

Catherine Ford,EdD, has facilitated numerous SotL scholar writing groups through the development, implementation, and assessment phases for the last 7 years. She has also published a SoTL study. In her current position as Program Director for Educational Development, she facilitates professional faculty and staff training groups and has educational experience in both the private and public sectors.

Sharon Ultsch , EdD, has been an adult educator and trainer for over 25 years. She has facilitated working groups in the private and public sector, K-12, as well as higher education. She has published a SoTL project,and, as curriculum specialist , is currently conducting SoTL research at her institution.

Catherine and Sharon are passionate about SoTL. They have presented SoTL projects at numerous national and international conferences. Their experience and perspectives complement each other, and, in this writing group, they will strive to foster a learning community centered on an inquiry process and a collaborative ethos. Their combined experiences in K-12 public education, higher education, and community based programs align with the target audiences for this project.

4. Augmenting Public Literacy of Health and Social Care Graduates

Health and social care training programs aim to graduate professionals who will serve current and future needs of society.  Contemporary competency-based education explicitly places the patient, family, and community at the center of this training with goals to improve both educational and clinical outcomes.1,2 In many programs, laypeople contribute to the curriculum as actors simulating illness in structured encounters for learners to practice skills under controlled conditions.3   Actual patients themselves may share their health journeys in classes and courses or be treated by students in supervised clinical learning environments.However, broad public awareness of how necessary health and social care knowledge, skills, and abilities (the “competencies” of graduates) are developed, and resultant scopes practice are exercised, may be limited and not necessarily shaped by the academic programs themselves.

The body of scholarship of teaching and learning of health and social care students and trainees is vast… and incessant. In practice-based education alone, rich programs of scholarship are exploring how best to promote student recall and application of disciplinary knowledge, safely practice technical skills through simulation, or meaningfully assess team care, to name just a few.5,6  We share these findings and innovations within our respective teaching communities and with one another across health and social science disciplines, yet we lack effective and ritualized means to communicate to members of society how educational programs and its instructors ensure graduates are equipped to deliver promised safe and quality care. 

We have a collective opportunity (and arguably, urgent need) to augment public literacy and understanding of how health and social care professionals are trained through communication  and dissemination of both established and innovative teaching and learning strategies.  Such information outreach is especially important since individuals are increasingly seeking social accountability by health and social care professional graduates to competently offer appropriate patient-centred services characterized by equity and accessibility (e.g. physical/mental disability, gender, racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity).7 Additionally, the training and resultant expertise of health and social care professional graduates may be undermined by inaccuracies perpetuated by conventional and social media sources.8

This group’s work for public scholarship will broadly encompass a patient-centred / society-oriented teaching or assessment of communication competency for health and social professionals. Group participants will jointly determine the specific choice/s and project output/s, which may take shape as static or dynamic visual/audio-visual messaging (e.g. infographic/s, animation, script/s for social and conventional media dialogue) which could be adapted for local purposes. The project would benefit from a dynamic set of interdisciplinary expertise and interests drawn from among participating members.  Potential target audiences include individuals and patients in spaces where they receive care.  Messages can be communicated to the wider general public in coordination with usual promotions by professional societies (e.g. during national nursing weeks, world social work day) and could be shared by academic program alumni. Transmitting scholarship of teaching and learning in health and social care education is relevant to anyone who has experienced acute illness, lives with chronic condition/s or cares for someone who does.


About the Facilitator

In educational and administrative leadership roles (Executive Director at University of British Columbia, Associate Dean at Qatar University), I amiably and cooperatively guided groups and teams to create goals and deliver work output by negotiating structured timelines and milestones and delegated work (e.g. accreditation self-study reports, proposals, manuscripts).  My experience collaborating in diverse environments (Middle East, Europe, Canada) across disciplines and geographic regions, plus demonstrated ability to navigate digital collaborative spaces, is an asset to this project and overall enterprise. I have completed certification in two writing masterclass courses and am nominated for a 2021 UBC Health Facilitator Award.

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