Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

What is the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL)?

The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning is a systematic approach of investigating teaching and learning in higher education. SoTL involves the formation of a specific research questions, collecting data and evidence with appropriate methodologies, data analysis and dissemination of results to the public. Distinct about SoTL is emphasis on improving teaching and/or learning. While scholarly teaching is the personal reflexive act of inquiry into one’s own teaching, SoTL involves original research questions and the dissemination of research results with a broader audience.

In order for an inquiry to be considered SoTL, it must:

  1. Be centered on teaching and learning,
  2. Use systematic inquiry and appropriate research methods,
  3. Be publicly shared and peer-reviewed,
  4. Undertaken with the goal to increase understanding of how to maximize learning, and
  5. Foster critical reflection on the part of the scholar (Felton, 2013).

Why is SoTL important?

SoTL scholars become reflective, innovative and student-centered teachers. They are driven by continuous improvement, and also by the hope of sharing their teaching discoveries and approaches with others. SoTL provides a space for the intersection of research and teaching and can also demonstrate one’s commitment to teaching.

Become a CITL SoTL Fellow!

CITL is excited to support faculty wanting to develop as SoTL scholars via the CITL SoTL Fellows program. Interested faculty (of any rank), post-doctoral researchers and graduate students are encouraged to learn more and apply. Applications will close May 17th 2024.

SoTL at UMaine

UMaine and UMaine at Machias have a large number of SoTL scholars investigating a diversity of questions around teaching, learning, and faculty educational development. Learn more about these faculty and their important work.

Randy Bass (Georgetown University), Joanna Renc-Roe (Central European University, Budapest), Pat Hutchings (Gonzaga University), Barbara Gayle (Viterbo University), Dan Bernstein (University of Kansas), Mary Taylor Huber (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching), Gary Poole (University of British Columbia), Nancy Chick (Vanderbilt University), Tony Ciccone (University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee), and Sherry Linkon (Georgetown University) describe key characteristics of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Presented by the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University and the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL), this video was produced for ISSOTL Online 2013, an online conference held in conjunction with the ISSOTL 2013 conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Learn more about ISSOTL Online 2013 at This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License:

Felten, Peter. (2013). Principles of good practice in SoTL. Teachng & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal, 1(1), 121-125. Retrieved from