What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)?

What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)?

SoTL is iterative, systematic inquiry into processes of student learning and experience in your course with the goal of improving those processes. SoTL is conducted by faculty in any discipline and is informed by the broader literature on teaching and student learning in higher education.

SoTL engagement produces shareable, often peer-reviewed evidence of teaching and learning that serve as foundations for scholarly discussion, critique, and further inquiry (Felten, 2013). SoTL products may include conference presentations, open educational resources, and peer-reviewed publications.

Hear from SoTL Scholars

In this 13-minute video, renowned SoTL scholars discuss key characteristics of and ways to approach research on teaching and learning, including the syllabus as a “hypothesis” [0:13], how to bring your habits and skills as scholars into your teaching [2:04], the difference between educational research and SoTL [7:43], and the impact of SoTL on faculty [11:54].


Get Involved

Join the UMass SoTL Learning Community

Started in Fall 2021, an interdisciplinary faculty learning community called the SOTL Working Group meets to talk about issues in SoTL and to support each other in developing project ideas. Find the list of meetings on the CTL events page during the academic year, or join the SoTL Working Group Google Group / listserv [need to be logged into UMass google account] to get meeting reminders and extra notices on upcoming SoTL conferences, calls for proposals, and events.

CTL support to develop a SoTL Study

In January 2022, the CTL hosted the first ever "SoTL Sprint" to help faculty fast-track an idea into a SoTL study. Read more about the SoTL Sprint. For an individual consultation about your SoTL aspirations, contact Colleen Kuusinen at ckuusinen@umass.edu.

Learn on your own


Felten, P. (2013). Principles of Good Practice in SoTL. Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal, 1(1), 121–125. https://doi.org/10.2979/teachlearninqu.1.1.121