One of the greatest benefits of being an ISSOTL member is its Interest Groups. These are member-organized and member-led groups focused a shared interest, such as a disciplinary group (history, arts & humanities, sociology), a specific population (students, teaching award recipients), or a particular learning topic (undergraduate research, information literacy, online and blended learning), and more. See the current Interest Groups on this web page.
Why are they beneficial? Being part of an Interest Group is a great way to connect with like-minded colleagues from around the world. Interest Group members share ideas, articles, and opportunities with each other. They talk about SoTL, teaching, being part of higher education, and the topic that interests them. They develop and work on projects together. They are ISSOTL in action.
What are some activities our Interest Groups can work on together? The possibilities are endless, but below are a few ideas from existing Interest Groups.
Gather & Present at an ISSOTL Conference
- Interest Group members who are able meet annually at the ISSOTL conference for networking, conversation, welcoming new or potential members, and planning potential projects.
- Many Interest Groups compile and share with their members (and more broadly) the list of sessions at the upcoming conference that are relevant to their topic.
- Many also offer a panel on their topic to invite new members and develop new ideas.
Co-Develop & Share Resources
- Many Interest Groups identify the resources that are needed in their specific topic area, and then collaboratively develop and share these resources more broadly for colleagues interested in that topic. See some examples below:
- One group is working on a list of organizations, publication outlets, and frameworks for understanding, organizing, and assessing their IG’s focus.
- In a meeting, another Interest Group brainstormed a list of “SoTL characteristics and choices” relevant to their topic and posted it on their web page for others.
- An Interest Group of teaching award winners has contributed to criteria for assessing teaching excellence.
- Several groups have developed annotated bibliographies of relevant publications, such as this example.
- One group published a special section of articles relevant to their topic in Teaching & Learning Inquiry, ISSOTL’s journal. (Scroll down to see the special section.)
- Another group contributed mini-cases on educational leadership to the publication The Scholarship of Leading.
Now that we’re all more familiar with virtual platforms like Zoom, the possibilities for virtual gatherings, recorded conversations, and more are wide open. These opportunities are especially attractive since Interest Groups are key ways to meet new colleagues and cultivate a sense of community within ISSOTL.
How do I get involved? Interest Groups are one of ISSOTL’s membership benefits, so ISSOTL members may join any Interest Group for free. To find out how to join an existing Interest Group or form a new one, scroll to the bottom of the Interest Group web page.