What is SoTL?

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) recognises what constitutes 'good practice' is anchored in a solid body of peer-reviewed research. It seeks to promote research-informed teaching practice and a culture of research on teaching, learning and assessment. 

The term "Scholarship of Teaching and Learning" was originally coined by Professor Ernest Boyer, a leading U.S. educator whose views have been very influential internationally. Boyer used the term in a seminal paper on Scholarship Reconsidered when he advocated that:

"The time has come to move beyond the tired old teaching versus research debate and give the familiar and honorable term scholarship a broader and more capacious meaning, one that brings legitimacy to the full scope of academic work" (Boyer, 1990, p.16).

By associating scholarship with teaching, Boyer sought to change conceptions of teaching and, thereby, the perceived value of teaching in the context of higher education. This practical guide explains more about the SoLT and the following five interrelated scholarship domains:

  • Scholarship of Discovery
  • Scholarship of Integration
  • Scholarship of Application
  • Scholarship of Engagement
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Building on these scholarships, Felten (2013) identified the following five principles for good practice in SOTL:

  • Inquiry focused on student learning
  • Grounded in context
  • Methodologically sound
  • Conducted in partnership with students
  • Appropriately public

Importantly, the TEU is committed to fostering the SoTL or the Scholarship of Practice (SoP) as some educators prefer to call the systematic and critically reflective inquiry of teaching, learning and assessment.