The development of SoTL is an important part of FLC programming. Scholarship and scholarly investigation, discussion, and presentations are outcomes of an FLC. Ten steps are included in this developmental process that continues throughout the year. This is a key aspect of the FLC Facilitator’s role. As you read the steps below, traverse the ongoing cycle of scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning. For more details see Cox (2003b).
Fostering the Scholarship of Teaching in a Faculty Learning Community
A Sequence of Ten Developmental Steps
Step 1: Application for FLC membership
Applicants prepare a response to a question asking for preliminary ideas about an individual teaching and learning project.
Results: Addressing an observation—perhaps in an uninformed or indirect way—about a problem or opportunity in the teaching-learning connection
Step 2: Early planning for the FLC
FLC Facilitator or FLC selects a community focus book that includes extensive references connected to the FLC topic. See the bibliography for a list of focus books used in Miami FLCs.
Results: Connecting the FLC to the knowledge base of SoTL
Step 3: The opening/closing retreat before the start of the year
Facilitator, new, and graduating members discuss meaning and examples of scholarly teaching, SoTL, and the ongoing cycle of scholarly teaching and SoTL.
FLC Facilitator distributes and discusses the focus book, multidisciplinary book list for optional readings, and information about “hot” topics in SoTL as evidenced by Lilly Conference theme tracks.
Facilitator, new, and graduating members discuss the “Guidelines for the Design and Description of a Teaching and Learning Project (component 20) (Richlin, 2001a, pp. 66-67).
Graduating members present their projects to new members and then consult in breakout groups.
The new community plans the first term activities and seminar and retreat topics.
Results: Making public through peer authority the ongoing cycle, scholarly teaching, and SoTL; guiding SoTL research; connecting to a more extensive literature
Step 4: Participants prepare for and start the year
Each community member selects one course he or she is teaching in the upcoming term to be a focus course.
Each participant searches for and reads articles to inform his or her teaching and learning in the focus course and project.
Each individual designs and writes a description of his or her teaching and learning project.
Each individual prepares an initial learning plan, placing his or her teaching and learning project in context with other FLC components and activities.
Results: Connecting SoTL to teaching practice; consulting the literature; choosing an intervention
Step 5: Seminars and retreat
Facilitator prepares and distributes and the members read a booklet containing the initial learning plans, focus course syllabi, and the teaching and learning projects.
An external consultant familiar with the difference between scholarly teaching and SoTL reads the teaching and learning projects and meets with each individual to sharpen research design.
• Each community member makes a short presentation to the FLC about his or her project and the group discusses each project, making suggestions.
Results: Making public SoTL for peer review
Step 6: Working on the project during the year
Participants investigate other pedagogical areas, look for connections to project.
Individuals carry out their teaching and learning projects.
Student associates and mentors (for junior faculty) consult
Participants assess student learning and other project outcomes.
Coordinator, participants, and community consult about project outcomes.
Results: Progressing along the ongoing cycle: moving from scholarly teaching toward SoTL: “conducting systematic observation, documenting observations, analyzing results, obtaining peer evaluation, identifying key issues, synthesizing results” (Richlin, 2001, p.59)
Step 7: Presentations during the second term
Individuals, teams, and perhaps the entire community present their work at a campus-wide teaching effectiveness retreat.
Presenters incorporate feedback from peers in the audience at the campus sessions.
Individuals, teams, and perhaps the entire community present at a national conference.
Presenters incorporate feedback from the audience at the national conference.
Results: Presenting SoTL; peer evaluation
Step 8: The Opening/Closing Retreat at the end of the year
Graduating members present their projects to and consult with the new incoming community members.
Results: Teaching, mentoring, and making public SoTL
Step 9: Continuation of the project during the summer or the upcoming year
Each individual on his or her own may apply for and use a Miami small grant or summer fellowship to continue his or her project.
Results: Engaging in another round of the ongoing cycle
Step 10: Publication
Each participant, team, or community may prepare a manuscript about the project for publication in a refereed multidisciplinary or disciplinary journal.
Results: Adding to the knowledge base of SoTL
This project has been supported in part by grants from the US
Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education
(FIPSE) and the Ohio
Board of Regents.