The first two activities in the Scholar for Teaching Module of the Ontario Extend mOOC is to think about what the key characteristics are for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (So TL) and what would motivate people to participate.

The Key Elements of So TL that I identified are:

  • Start with questions, inquiry that focuses not only on your teaching but also the student’s learning.
  • Observe your teaching on the student’s learning. What are the results and do they answer your questions?
  • Do something with those observations. Such as rewrite a lesson or an assessment. Make a change based on your observations.
  • Go public. Meaning share the observations to be evaluated by many. I almost see this as a type of feedback. Feedback from students, colleagues or a personal learning community.

Bast (2013) describes So TL as a systemic process in evaluating what happens in the classroom against the syllabus in the same way we would evaluate research against a hypothesis. In my own teaching practice I match assessment against course outcomes. Bast (2013) posits that So TL misses the final step because it does not measure the results against the hypothesis. This makes me think that there is something more meaningful to uncover in the process of measuring learning against the course outcomes.

What I Think Motivates People to Participate in So TL?

  • Better student engagement and outcomes.
  • Renewed faculty excitement about teaching and greater self-awareness.
  • Prevents stagnation.
  • Improved relationships between faculty-faculty, faculty-learner, and learner to faculty.
  • Constant reinvention through reflective practice gives faculty confidence as educators in addition to subject matter expertise.

In a broader sense I think faculty are motivated to be involved in So TL process because improved student engagement and improved outcomes are going to excite everyone involved in the process. This excitement will lead to improved relationships. At a granular level if a faculty member is confident in their ability as an educator and subject matter expert they are going to feel great in their profession. Porter (2019) tells us that mastery as an educator is a process that comes from trying out small things and adjusting as you “climb” towards your goal. I think, continuous reinvention through reflective practice is how we climb.

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

Bast,R. (2019). Key Characteristics of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. CELatElon.Retrieved April 25, 2019, from

Porter, D. (2019). Extend MOOC Behind the Design – Scholar. (T. Greene, Interviewer) Ontario Extend MOOC. Retrieved April 24, 2019, from

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