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.


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].


To learn more about SoTL including designing your own study, finding collaborators, identifying appropriate venues and formats in which to share your work, and grant opportunities, please contact Colleen Kuusinen at ckuusinen@umass.edu.


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