The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning invites you to join its 17th annual conference, which will be hosted virtually from Perth, Western Australia from October 26 to 29, 2021. International scholars and educators will come together in the online space to share recent work and to discuss how our collective SoTL efforts can ensure that the practices and cultures that we value at our universities, and in wider society, can be sustained into the future. The conference will feature distinguished international and local plenary speakers, panel discussions, individual paper and poster presentations, concurrent workshops, and ISSOTL’s signature Conference Commons for informal idea-sharing and networking online.

Conference theme

The theme of ISSOTL21 is Sustainable Education through SoTL: Practices and Cultures, selected to call our attention to SoTL’s contribution to developing and maintaining practices and cultures that are diverse and productive, and foster wellbeing within our universities and wider society. Read the full description of this theme here.

The conference organizing committee welcomes proposals which address the sustainability theme across any of its aspects as they relate to SoTL and higher education. We offer the following broad categories to help frame where your scholarship may fit with the overarching theme. Please specify one of the categories below when you submit your proposal:


  • SoTL Leadership and Advocacy
  • Justice and Equity in and through SoTL
  • Academic Development for SoTL
  • Sustaining First-Year Experience and Transition/Student Retention through SoTL
  • Students as Partners in SoTL
  • SoTL and Graduate Employability
  • SoTL and Technology-Enhanced Learning

Conference pedagogy

ISSOTL encourages a scholarly, engaged, inclusive, and collegial approach to knowledge-sharing at the conference, what we call ISSOTL’s “conference pedagogy.” We support the diversity that our conference participants bring by being inclusive, making our work accessible, and providing a variety of ways for people to engage. Please read the full ISSOTL Conference Pedagogy statement.

Presentation formats

Panel Discussions

Panel discussions are particularly appropriate for topics that benefit from multiple perspectives, including disciplinary, institutional, and national perspectives. The goal for panel discussions is to provide panelists and audience members the opportunity to exchange insights, engage in discussion, and learn from each other’s experiences, so panel sessions will include at least 20 minutes for discussion among panelists and audience members.


Single paper presentations are ideal for presentations on completed SoTL projects but also include topics about or related to SoTL itself. The goal of paper presentations is to provide presenters the opportunity to share knowledge and facilitate critical dialogue with conference participants. Single paper presentations will be combined into groups of three, and the final presenter will serve as session chair. Each paper will last a maximum of 30 minutes, including 10 minutes for questions and discussion.

Concurrent Workshops

These workshops offer an opportunity for hands-on work on a SoTL question, research method, or topic during the concurrent sessions of the conference.  Workshops are highly interactive and demonstrate effective practices in both SoTL and workshop pedagogy.


Posters present preliminary SoTL work, completed projects, or considerations of the field of SoTL in general. To inspire detailed dialogue and critical engagement, at least one author will attend the poster session to present and discuss the work with other conference participants. The poster session has become a central and lively component of ISSOTL conferences.