Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as a strategy for institutional change

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship Vol. 30

July, 2007, 651 pages
Published by
Geoffrey Crisp & Margaret Hicks
0 908557 72 8

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is discussed as a strategy for institutional improvement of teaching and learning. Engagement in SoTL could be an individual enterprise focusing external networks including conference presentations and journal publications. This strategy could lead to development and improved teaching for the individual but not necessarily contribute to the development of the local institution. An alternative strategy is to engage in networks with colleagues sharing the same context. We argue that this could lead to institutional change and that an institution needs an increasing proportion of individuals choosing this approach if long-term change and development is to be achieved.

Academic teachers are also researchers and aware of the importance of a theoretical base in scholarly work. This might make them hesitate to engage in SoTL. It is important that the theoretical level is realistic so that a high enough proportion of teachers engage in local scholarly work within teaching and learning. We argue that if SoTL is used as an institutional strategy the use of theory should be monitored within the local context.

We present an institutional strategy including several activities supporting SoTL. Academic developers work to promote good practices, support scholarly dialogues both horizontally and vertically among practitioners within the institution, and monitor the use of theory to increase the engagement of teachers. The academic developers fulfil an act of balance monitoring the use of theory – ensuring high engagement and at the same time gradually raising the theoretical level of the local SoTL.

Keywords: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, institutional change, strategy

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as a strategy for institutional change

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Roxå, T., Olsson, T. & Mårtensson, K.