Generating SoTL Research Questions
Pat Hutchings divides the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) studies into two categories (Hutchings, 2000): “What Works?” and “What is Happening?”
To pursue a “What Works?” study, start by thinking about a strategy, activity or learning sequence that you feel strongly either works really well or doesn’t work at all. Once you focus on this area of teaching, try to list your reasons for your current belief and the evidence you would need to increase your certainty.
To pursue a “What’s Happening?” study, think about a moment in your teaching where you were perplexed, confused, intrigued, or maybe even shocked about something related to your students’ thinking, learning and/or your teaching that made you curious to know more. Describe the moment and what you want to know more about it and why.
Examples of SoTL research
- The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning annotated bibliography allows you to search published research literature by topic. Although it is not comprehensive, it can be a good place to get started.
- Hutchings, P. (2000). Opening lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Menlo Park, CA: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
- See recent SoTL publications and opportunities at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning website.
Obtaining Human Subjects Permission
Learn about the process of obtaining approval from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.