Everybody involved in teaching has questions about the success of their practice. We deal with some of the questions informally all the time. In other cases, we seek to formalize our enquiry by doing research, and that is what the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is about. After reviewing the Key Characteristics of the SoTL video (also below), think about which experiences are similar to your own.

To Do:

  1. Identify 3 key characteristics of SoTL that resonate with your professional experience and practice.
  2. Add your name and three keys to the bottom of the editable document (Keys of SoTL Google Doc).
  3. Compare your SoTL keys to ones listed by your colleagues in Keys of SoTL Google Doc. Add comments to other responses that strongly align with yours in the document.
  4. In your response for this activity:
    • Upload a screenshot of your contributions to the google doc as evidence of completion.
    • Optional: Include any additional ideas you gain from the ones that your colleagues identified.
  1. After you make your submission, save the web address to your response (found in the green confirmation box) so you can use it later for your badge submission form.

This video features several educators defining SoTL in the context of their own professional practice. The educators in this video express multiple experiences about SoTL.


This activity is part of the What is the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)? section of the Scholar Module.

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96 Responses for this Activity

  • 3 Key SOTL Requirements – B.Smith
    by Brian Smith (@brian.smith)

    These were the three key take away requirements for me. 3 Key SOTL Requirements SOTL is a personal systematic examination of the process of teaching and learning At the core SOTL is a form of inquiry and reflective practice ultimately focused on the desired outcome – student learning SOTL begins with a question, proceeds through more… »

  • sotl
    by Oksana Perkhach (@Oksana)

    Cycling of learning process Questions to students Feedback from students

  • Three Keys of SoTL
    by Oksana Perkhach (@Oksana)

    cycling of the learning process questions to students feedback from students

  • Three Keys of SoTL
    by Munise Gultekin (@MG)

    3 Key Characteristics of SoTL Habits to work: Brings habits of asking questions, gathering evidence of all different kinds, drawing conclusions or raising new questions, and bringing them to students’ learning and their teaching. Reflection on work: Depends on the notions of reflective practice and reflecting on their teaching as a starting point. Research with more… »

  • SoTL principles.
    by Jennifer Abrams (@jabrams)

    Contribution is attached as a picture.

  • SOTL – 3 Keys
    by Joanna MacDougall (@Joanna MacDougall)

    The 3 Keys of SOTL that stood out for me include: start my asking questions, design the methodology that reflects the nature of the question as well as the expertise of the researcher, go public and share your results. If you are asking the question, others likely are as well and will be interested in more… »

  • 3 Keys of SoTL – Andrew Molas
    by Andrew Molas (@amolas)

    The three characteristics of SoTL that stood out for me are: Emphasis on student learning (getting feedback from students directly via surveys, evaluations, and evaluation of their performance in the classroom) Sharing this information publicly (via conversations with colleagues, presentations at teaching and learning conferences, engaging with other educational developers) 3. Critical self-reflection (via raising more… »

  • Three Keys of SoTL
    by Yana Sokolova (@yana_sokolova)

    3 key characteristics of SoTL: Attitude to the teaching as to the research with the usage of all tools of the research approach (hypothesis, experiment, assessment of the results, etc.). Focus on student’s learning. Ask questions, find out answers and redesign, reboot the courses constantly.  

  • Three Keys of SoTL
    by Aisling Dennett (@aisling.dennett)

    3 key characteristics of SoTL that I identified with in my own teaching: Grounded in context – building on what is known. My student demographic has largely been international students so it has been vital for me to ensure the content is taught with this context in mind.  Conducted in partnership with students – as more… »

  • Keys and Motivations
    by Heather Melo (@Heather)

    In reviewing the responses of others I found interest in the similarities related to our motivations. The review reminded me that our investment of time in our personal learning as teaching professionals is demonstrated through our participation in this program. I wondered about the potential networks that may be found in this program.    

    2 Resources for this Activity

    • 3 Key SoTL Characteristics
      shared by Christopher Rowe (@ChristopherRowe)

      This was interesting. I like the concept behind this approach to teaching… to approach it from a scholarly perspective and to apply an inquiry to one’s practice.

    • 3 Keys of SoTL
      shared by Lori Strauss (@lstrauss)


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