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Faculty and Student Partnership in SoTL: A Case Study of an Institutional Model

By Bruce Moghtader, Adriana Briseño-Garzón, and Trish Varao-Sousa

One of the key challenges facing institutional adoption of scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) is creating infrastructure for faculty to methodically inquire into their teaching practices. In our paper, “Faculty and Student Partnership in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,” we describe and evaluate a model of institutional support undertaken at the University of British Columbia (UBC): the SoTL Seed Program. The SoTL Seed Program nurtures the capacity for successful partnership between faculty members interested in SoTL and graduate students who have academic backgrounds in research methodologies and learning sciences by bringing the two groups together and facilitating their collaborations. In the paper, we focus on the qualitative feedback provided by both faculty and graduate students about the efficacy and impact of the program on their professional and academic development. We explore key factors that have contributed to the uptake and expansion of the program at UBC.

While the SoTL Seed Program has undergone changes since its inception in 2014, the faculty–student partnership has remained central to its character. The feedback received indicates that the model of partnership has facilitated professional development for both faculty and graduate students, provided both groups with means to systematically engage with SoTL, and established communities of practice for teaching and learning inquiries on campus. By exploring faculty and graduate students’ experience of the SoTL Seed Program, we hope to share with a wider audience ideas and considerations that might help to establish and sustain a campus wide support model for SoTL in their own institutions. At UBC, bringing together faculty and graduate students has strengthened SoTL collaboration across disciplines and fostered communities of practice whereby both groups become practitioners and champions in SoTL.

Read the full TLI article here.

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