SoTL resources

What is SoTL?

In their HEA study “Defining and supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” the authors note that there has been a distinct lack of sector-wide consensus in the UK on how SoTL is defined.  The study identifies five broad areas that the term is commonly associated with: 

  1. Original research undertaken by academic experts working specifically on teaching and learning in Higher Education.
  2. Pedagogical scholarship undertaken by staff who teach and/or whose research expertise is not in HE Studies.
  3. Staff sharing practice in teaching and learning.
  4. Disciplinary scholarship undertaken by all staff who teach to keep abreast of developments in their field for educational purposes, including writing textbooks.
  5. Work undertaken by students as researchers.

York already has a rich culture of sharing practice in HE teaching and learning, often operating at departmental level, but also institutionally through Forum, the annual Learning and Teaching Conference, and regular Learning Enhancement workshops. The Education department at York includes academic experts working within HE contexts, with individuals investigating inequalities in higher education (access, the student experience and outcomes) and higher education policy as part of the Centre for Research into Education and Social Justice (CRESJ); inter- and transcultural communication in Higher Education in the context of internationalisation, working jointly with the Centre for Research in Language Learning and Use (CReLLU) and the former Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT); and HE pedagogy  in the sciences within the University of York Science Education Group. Disciplinary scholarship continues to underpin our teaching and is explicitly accommodated in role descriptions for staff on Teaching and Scholarship contracts. In line with sectoral trends, there is a growing interest across the institution in developing student as researchers, with a number of departments exploring initiatives to support and develop students’ independent research skills.

This SoTL resource aims to complement this existing activity by supporting staff who wish to develop pedagogical scholarship specific to their own practice, whatever their primary discipline. Although in practice SoTL Network members’ interests tend to span, and indeed blur the line between, HE Research and Pedagogical Scholarship, the purpose of this resource is to support staff who may be less familiar with research materials and methodologies specific to investigating effective teaching and learning in Higher Education, or who are looking to reframe their disciplinary research skills to this topic. It is also aimed at supporting colleagues undertaking research projects for the SoTL module on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)  and Action Research projects through the York Professional and Academic Development (YPAD)  scheme.

We will, over the coming months, be developing a suite of resources to support SoTL at York, including a Library Subject Guide, information on dissemination of SoTL through conferences and publication, information on current staff activity, and guidance on research methodologies in Higher Education Studies.

Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Subject Guide

We have a SoTL Subject Guide which focuses specifically on Higher Education and includes information on key research databases, journals, and relevant organisations.

Academic practice collection

We have numerous library books, external journals and articles available.

These items can be borrowed for a period of up to 4 weeks. Please contact academic-practice@york.ac.uk to arrange a suitable time.

The books are also included as a Reference Collection in the main library catalogue.