Center for Teaching and Learning

Practicing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)?

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is the systematic study of teaching and learning using disciplinary specific perspectives (McKinney, 2007).

“The scholarship of teaching is not merely teaching our scholarship. Nor is it simply teaching well…The scholarship of teaching means that we invest in our teaching the intellectual powers we practice in our research” (Bender and Grey, emphasis added)

Efforts to improve teaching and learning have prompted a wide range of challenging questions. For example, how does active learning in large classes influence students’ comprehension of the lecture? Does online discussion improve students’ understanding of reading materials? What do writing assignments contribute to student learning in a course?

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning addresses questions such as these by systematically examining student learning. What has been discovered by others who have addressed this question? How can I identify answers to this question through my own teaching? How can answers that emerge contribute to the work of a broader community of scholars?

From this perspective, teaching can be approached as a form of scholarly work, providing a setting in which “faculty frame and systematically investigate questions related to student learning – the conditions under which it occurs, what it looks like, how to deepen it and so forth — and do so with an eye not only to improving their own classroom but to advancing practice beyond it” (Hutchings and Shulman, emphasis added).

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Where do I begin?

Learn how UW instructors are engaging in SoTL

Resources on SoTL

Additional resources