This module examines how you can use your classroom, your courses and/or your professional area of practice as a research lab to explore how you might improve your teaching practice and positively affect learner outcomes and their satisfaction with the overall learning experience. It invites you to consider research about teaching and learning within your discipline and provides a process to implement a research plan.
This kind of action research is often called the “scholarship of teaching and learning” (SoTL), and it involves an awareness and appreciation of effective, research-based, discipline-appropriate pedagogical approaches for examining your own practice.
“The scholarship of teaching is not merely teaching our scholarship. Nor is it simply teaching well… The scholarship of teaching means that we invest in our teaching the intellectual powers we practice in our research”
(Bender and Gray, 1998).
Create an action plan to examine key questions about improving learning outcomes in a specific discipline area using your own professional practice, informed by the research of others, to build your SoTL plan.
- Explore key characteristics of SoTL.
- Identify instructional practices or teaching strategies from your own discipline that you would like to explore or test within your own courses.
- Consider what pre-existing instructional practices or teaching strategies from your own discipline potentially create limitations and barriers for students with varying experiences.
- Identify a range of research strategies that suit your discipline.
- Identify a framework for analysis of your research.
- Select a strategy for sharing your research for others to build on.