In the last SoTL blog post, we rolled out the new dynamic SoTL database. This database is one way that the SoTL program is trying to assist you in connecting with other faculty members engaged in SoTL work on the IUB campus. In this post, I am excited to introduce a second project we have been working on to do the same—the SoTL Spotlight Series.
In our inaugural SoTL spotlight, Carol Hosttetter (Professor of Social Work and FACET Bloomington liaison in charge of programming) shares her experience as a SoTL researcher. Carol explains how she was introduced to SoTL by wandering into an ISSoTL (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) conference and becoming fascinated by what she saw. It’s this natural curiosity that seems to be the thread through her development as a scholarly teacher.
Carol began her own SoTL work by recognizing things that were working or not working in her own classes, trying new things, and asking why some of these worked and some didn’t. This led her to the literature on teaching and learning, where she discovered the benefits of engaging with scholars not only in social work, but other disciplines as well, for both her teaching practice and research on teaching and learning.
Although Carol began teaching in 1979, she did not engage in formal SoTL work until 2005 when she was asked to teach an online section of a child welfare class. She entered this new teaching environment through a scholarly approach and went to the literature. There she found the theory of social presence, read more on the topic, and consulted with colleagues teaching online and with teaching and learning support on campus. Carol assessed each of the curriculum design decisions she made, leading to her first SoTL article. (Find this as well as other SoTL work by Carol in the database.)
Carol’s current SoTL work examines two distinct areas: (1) the use of learning analytics in understanding student learning; and (2) the types of rewards that motivate faculty to engage in SoTL. To learn more about how Carol moved from that first project to her current work, view the video below.
If you are interested in becoming involved in SoTL, but don’t know where to start, Carol suggests networking with colleagues. This may take the form of joining a writing group, engaging in teaching and learning conferences, joining FACET, engaging in cross-disciplinary collaborations when thinking about a project, and attending the SoTL speaker’s series events held on campus.
For more information on the Community of Inquiry model, join us for the next session in the SoTL speaker’s series on March 30, 2018, when Marti Cleveland-Innes (Athabasca University) will be discussing the application of the model in SoTL work. For more on the dimensions of activities related to teaching (DART) model, see Kern et al’s (2015) article in the Journal of the Scholarship for Teaching and Learning.
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