Enhancing through research
For most academics, research is usually associated with a discipline based issue or idea. But what is equally important is research into how we teach our discipline. How can we develop the next generation of quality graduates, if our learning and teaching practices do not meet their learning needs for the industry we are skilling them for?
In scholarship and research, having a ‘problem’ is at the heart of the investigative process; it is the compound of the questions around which all creative and productive activity revolves. But in one’s teaching, a ‘problem’ is something you don’t want to have, and if you have one, you probably want to fix it. According to Bass (1999) changing the status of the problem in teaching from terminal remediation to ongoing investigation is precisely what the movement for a scholarship of learning and teaching is. How might we think of teaching practice, and the evidence of student learning, as problems to be investigated, analysed, represented, and debated?
Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoLT) refers to the production of research that informs scholarly teaching practice. SoLT is research that delves deeply into how students learn within and across the disciplines, so reading it and keeping up with new findings—without conducting actual SoLT studies—are effective ways to maintain a scholarly approach to learning and teaching. Then, as is the case within the disciplines, some scholars will choose SoLT as an area of their research.
The video below explores some of the key characteristics of SoLT:
For those of you who may not have strong desires to research disciplinary fields, consider researching your teaching practices, or the practice of learning and teaching in your discipline. To support staff in conducting SoTL based research, a range of resources are available including FedUni SoTL Hub, Self-Paced SoTL resources, Information about specific SoTL grants, and various SoTL communities of practice across FedUni.
Resources, strategies and assistance
- Enrol in the FedUni Research into Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (RiSoLT) Moodle site to undertake a range of self-paced online learning modules to support your use of research in enhancing learning and teaching practices.