Recognizing Impact and Reinvigorating Practice: 20 Years of ISSOTL
Since the founding of ISSOTL and its first conference in 2004, the SoTL community has worked to advance scholarly approaches to teaching and learning with the steady accumulation of evidence-based pedagogies and models of reflective inquiry and practice. As we head into our third decade, let’s take time to consider ISSOTL’s past, present, and future by reflecting on the impacts we’ve had, examining our current practices, and looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
Conference Theme and Foundational Questions
We seek perspectives from SoTL practitioners at all career stages as we examine important questions about how our models and practices have emerged, how they are helping us address current challenges in higher education, and how they might evolve to meet future challenges. As we explore these questions, we encourage presenters to draw on the 2000 taxonomy of SoTL questions laid out by Pat Hutchings—with the addition of a reflective “what was” question. (Read her taxonomy starting on page 4 of Opening Lines here, or watch her explain it during an online component of ISSOTL13.)
We invite proposals about the scholarship of teaching and learning, about teaching and learning more broadly, and about our own SoTL work, which address our theme and these foundational questions:
What was? (Inquiry into the ways things have changed over the past 20 years in teaching, learning, and SoTL)
- What have been some key inflection points in teaching and learning, and what role has SoTL played in their development?
- How have specific SoTL models or movements evolved over the past 20 years?
What works? (Inquiry into the effectiveness of teaching practices and pedagogical approaches)
- What evidence do we have to support new teaching innovations and their impact on student learning?
- How effective are our SoTL inquiry approaches and our promotion of SoTL and scholarly teaching within our institutions and disciplines? What evidence do we have to support these approaches?
What is? (Inquiry that describes something meaningful about students’ learning, students’ prior knowledge, characteristics of a pedagogical approach, a problem a teacher has encountered in a classroom, etc.)
- What are the key descriptive questions that matter most in our current challenges around teaching and learning? What contexts or characteristics of student learning do we need to learn more about in order to address these challenges?
- What do we know about the ways SoTL practitioners engage in their work, and what descriptive frameworks can we apply to understand our practices? What is the interrelationship between SoTL and other educational development initiatives?
What might it look like? (Inquiry focused on what might be, or what Hutchings calls “visions of the possible”)
- How might we envision the impact of new instructional approaches on student learning and success, or new perspectives on the student experience? What new pedagogical approaches are emerging that might address challenges in higher education?
- What new approaches to SoTL inquiry might prove valuable in understanding teaching and learning, and in examining the effectiveness of new instructional practices?
What new conceptual frameworks can we build? (Inquiry that leads to new models and frameworks that support, explain, or advance teaching, learning, or SoTL )
- What emerging theories or models provide useful frames for our teaching practices?
- What new theories or models can structure our inquiry approaches and help us enhance our SoTL work, or the field of SoTL?