Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) resources
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in STEM education involves critically examining and improving teaching practices in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields at the university level. It involves using research and evidence to inform and enhance STEM teaching and learning. This may include studies on student engagement and motivation, assessment and evaluation, and the use of technology and other instructional methods in STEM classrooms. The goal of SoTL in STEM education is to improve student learning outcomes, increase diversity and equity in STEM fields, and promote the development of effective and innovative teaching practices in STEM education.
At NAU, SoTL plays an important role in supporting the teacher-scholar model and can highly impact student success. SoTL involves faculty framing and systematically investigating questions related to student learning to improve their pedagogy and practices. SoTL ultimately improves student learning through scholarly inquiry into teaching and learning processes and includes sharing results so others can review, critique, and build on the work.
See below for resources to get you started in STEM SoTL.
General SoTL resources Accordion Closed
Resources to get started in SoTL include:
- Dewar, J. M., Bennett, C. D., & Fisher, M. A. (2018). The scholarship of teaching and learning: A guide for scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. Oxford University Press.
- Rowland, S. L., & Myatt, P. M. (2014). Getting Started in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A “How to” Guide for Science Academics. BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY EDUCATION, 42(1), 6–14. https://doi-org.spot.lib.auburn.edu/10.1002/bmb.20748
- Bubou, G. M., Offor, I. T., & Bappa, A. S. (2017). Why Research-Informed Teaching in Engineering Education? A Review of the Evidence. European Journal of Engineering Education, 42(3), 323–335.
- SoTL in STEM Fields (Youtube seminar)
STEM SoTL funding opportunities Accordion Closed
Local NAU funding sources include:
- Research and Creative Activity Support Grants (OVPR)
- College or department-level grants (e.g., COE’s Dean’s grant for research)
In addition to local NAU funding sources, larger-scale projects could be funded by:
- National Science Foundation (NSF) (e.g., IUSE, BPS, REU, RUI)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
- Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
- Private foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation and the Spencer Foundation.
- Professional organizations such as the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).
Places to publish STEM SoTL scholarship Accordion Closed
There are several places where one can publish research and scholarship on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in STEM education, including:
- Journal of STEM Education: The Journal of STEM Education publishes peer-reviewed articles on research and practice in STEM education, including SoTL studies.
- Journal of College Science Teaching: The Journal of College Science Teaching is a peer-reviewed publication that focuses on science education, including SoTL research in STEM education.
- International Journal of STEM Education: The International Journal of STEM Education is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles on research and practice in STEM education, including SoTL studies.
- Journal of Engineering Education: The Journal of Engineering Education is a peer-reviewed publication that focuses on engineering education, including SoTL research in STEM education.
- Discipline-specific journals: Many subfields have discipline-specific, education-focused journals (e.g., Anatomical Sciences Education) that focus on SOTL scholarship.
- See here for a detailed list of journals.
Places to present STEM SoTL scholarship Accordion Closed
Here are a few places where you can present your STEM Scholarship on the Teaching and Learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM SoTL):
- National or International Conferences: Such as the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, or the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) conference.
- Regional or State Conferences: Many states have annual STEM education conferences, such as the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) or the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA).
- Professional Organizations: Some professional organizations have annual meetings, workshops, or symposiums focused on STEM SOTL. For example, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) or the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST).
- Online Platforms: Webinars, online conferences, and online symposiums are becoming increasingly popular for STEM SOTL. For instance, the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) or EdSurge Webinars.
- Universities: Universities and colleges frequently host symposiums and conferences on STEM education. You can also present your research at a departmental colloquium or a campus-wide event.
- STEM Teaching and Learning Centers: Many universities have established STEM Teaching and Learning Centers that focus on SoTL research and practice in STEM education. These centers often host conferences and workshops and may provide opportunities for educators to present and publish their SoTL research.
Examples of STEM SoTL projects Accordion Closed
Examples of SoTL scholarship in STEM include:
- Examining the impact of active learning on student engagement and performance in STEM courses.
- Investigating the effectiveness of project-based learning in increasing student motivation and understanding in STEM subjects.
- Studying the relationship between students’ prior knowledge and their ability to retain information taught in STEM courses.
- Evaluating the impact of incorporating technology in STEM instruction on student learning outcomes.
- Investigating the influence of peer-led teaching on students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills in STEM classes.
- Examining the relationship between students’ study habits and their success in STEM courses.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of using real-world problems in STEM instruction on student motivation and learning.
- Investigating the impact of diversity and inclusiveness in STEM classrooms on student engagement and success.
- Studying the effectiveness of interdisciplinary approaches to STEM education on student learning outcomes.
- Evaluating the impact of industry partnerships on student motivation and preparation for STEM careers.
SoTL research methodologies Accordion Closed
The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) can encompass a range of research approaches, including qualitative, quantitative, mixed, and action research methods. Here is a brief overview of each:
- Qualitative Research in SoTL: Qualitative research in SoTL typically involves the collection and analysis of non-numerical data, such as student and teacher interviews, classroom observations, and written reflections. The goal of qualitative research is to understand the perspectives, experiences, and beliefs of those involved in teaching and learning processes, and to identify patterns and themes in their responses. Qualitative research is often used to gain a deep understanding of complex educational issues and to generate new insights and theories. (e.g., What are students’ experiences and perceptions of inquiry-based learning in an division mathematics course?)
- Quantitative Research in SoTL: Quantitative research in SoTL involves the collection and analysis of numerical data, such as test scores, survey responses, and observation checklists. The goal of quantitative research is to test hypotheses and theories about teaching and learning, and to make generalizations about the effectiveness of educational practices. Quantitative research is often used to identify patterns and relationships between variables, and to measure the impact of educational interventions. (e.g., Is there a relationship between the frequency of class discussions and student exam scores?)
- Mixed Methods Research in SoTL: Mixed methods research in SoTL combines qualitative and quantitative research approaches, using both numerical and non-numerical data. The goal of mixed methods research is to provide a more complete understanding of educational issues by triangulating data from different sources and perspectives. For example, a mixed methods study might include a survey of student attitudes towards a particular teaching approach, followed by in-depth interviews with a subset of students to gain a deeper understanding of their perspectives. (e.g., To what extent do teachers’ instructional practices impact student motivation and academic achievement, and what beliefs and attitudes drive these practices?)
- Action Research in SoTL: Action research in SoTL is a type of participatory research that involves educators in the process of identifying and solving problems within their own practice. The goal of action research is to improve teaching and learning by making changes to educational practices based on evidence and reflection. Action research is often collaborative and iterative, with teachers and researchers working together to collect and analyze data, implement changes, and evaluate their impact. (e.g., To what extent do different approaches to assessment (e.g. formative vs. summative, self vs. peer evaluation) impact student motivation and learning?)
Each of these research approaches has its own strengths and limitations, and the choice of which method to use depends on the research question, the data available, and the goals of the study. The use of mixed methods research in SoTL has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the complexities of teaching and learning.