The theme of the 2023 conference is: ‘Context Matters’. The theme stresses the importance of context in teaching and learning, as well as for conducting SoTL. The conference will reflect on four levels of context: the teaching and learning context, the disciplinary context, the institutional context, and the geographical, language and political context. We aim to cluster contributions for the programme based on these subthemes. Please read more about the theme here.
Prof. Dilly Fung
Prof. Dilly Fung is an Emerita Professor in Practice at LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science), a higher education consultant and a member of the UK Government’s OfS (Office for Students) Teaching Excellence Framework 2023 Panel. She recently retired from her role of Pro-Director (Vice President) for Education at LSE, where she was the strategic leader responsible for student education and students’ experiences across the LSE. She was previously Professor of Higher Education Development at UCL (University College London), where she published her open access book A Connected Curriculum for Higher Education, which draws on philosophies of education to explore the unity of research and teaching in curriculum design, providing a spectrum of practical applications to programme design within and across established disciplines. Her wider work focuses on the circle of scholarship that connects research, learning, engagement and leadership.
Keynote – Strength-based scholarship and good education: Perspectives on scholarship from a senior leader
What is scholarship, what is ‘good’ education, and what is the relationship between these two? And in what ways can education-focused scholarship – and scholars – contribute to the strategic development of higher education institutions? Drawing on her recent experiences as Pro-Director (Vice President) at the London School of Economics and her journal article ‘Strength-based scholarship and good education: the scholarship circle’, Professor Dilly Fung will address these questions. She will explore ways in which, as scholars of teaching and learning working in different contexts, we can orientate our investigations so that they benefit our own students, maximise our own strengths and opportunities, and enhance and the future direction of our own institutions and the wider higher education sector.
Dr. Andrea Webb
Dr. Andrea Webb spent more than a decade as a classroom teacher before returning to higher education as a teacher educator, but she found her passion in SoTL. Her research interests lie in teaching and learning in higher education and she is involved in research projects related to Threshold Concepts in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), as well as her disciplinary work in Social Studies Teacher Education.
Keynote – Discipline Matters: Considering how we approach SoTL
Most people in SoTL come from somewhere else. There are very few people who come to “academic maturity” in SoTL. We are trained in increasingly narrow foci until our terminal degree, and then sometime later we find and make our way into SoTL. So, often there is a process of remaking our identity as SoTL scholars. In this process, our discipline matters – we learn to ‘speak SoTL’ (sometimes with a disciplinary accent), learn methodologies and methods of inquiry, learn to disseminate in new ways and write for new journals. Being a SoTL scholar gives us unique powers to rethink the disciplinary boundaries, broker ideas across the landscape, and connect with colleagues at our institutions and around the world. Thinking forward to the future of SoTL, this talk will consider how discipline matters and what is the impact of disciplinary matters.
Prof. Dr. Vishna Devi Nadarajah
Vishna Devi V Nadarajah is currently, Professor in the School of Medicine and Deputy Vice Chancellor, International and Institutional Advancement at the International Medical University. She graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Biochemistry from the University of Malaya, obtained her PhD at the University of Cambridge and is a graduate of the MHPE from Maastricht University. Her areas of research for health professions education include Faculty development, Inclusive and Student Centred Approaches, Assessment and Innovative Teaching Learning methods. Her current International affiliations include being Deputy Editor of the journal Medical Education, Advisory Panel of the Clinical Teacher, Board Member of AMEE ASPIRE and Leadership Core of Mentors Across Borders. She has also received National and International awards as an educator, including recently the ASME 2023 Gold Medal. Vishna is passionate advocate for inclusive higher education and scholarship, remembering that education opens doors and creates a more level playing field.
Keynote – A level playing field: Inclusion Matters for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL)
As teachers in higher education, we engage in SOTL because of our professional responsibility to share and advance knowledge, to continuously support and improve student learning and to provide accountable evidence for institutional or professional decision making. Nevertheless, there are increasing feedback from our peers that our actions around the SOTL are not as equitable or inclusive as we think. Evidence of disparities for SOTL are for example seen in academic publishing, global higher education rankings and partnership programmes. This is further perpetuated by a vicious cycle of systemic barriers, power differentials and history of colonization. The global SOTL community is now missing more than half its voice however awareness of the value diverse voices is increasing.
This plenary will bring to light the importance of an inclusive approach for SOTL and how the global community can mutually benefit from these approaches. It will highlight both barriers that need to be removed and specific strategies that can be used to create a more level playing field for higher education teachers. This will be done using case studies, lessons learnt and recent progressive initiatives from medical and health professions education scholarship.