The ISSoTL Advocacy and Outreach Committee (see committee mission and responsibilities) has created this section of the ISSOTL website to provide scholars with the tools they need to promote the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to campus administrators, fellow scholars, and members of the general public.
What is SoTL?
The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) involves bringing a scholarly lens to teaching in higher education: to approach teaching practice with the same curiosity, inquiry and rigor that scholars bring to their research, and to publicly share the results of that inquiry. (See a more detailed definition and learn about our ongoing efforts to create short descriptions of SoTL that are targeted for a variety of audiences.)
Resources to Support Advocacy and Outreach
- Campus Outreach: short writings that share great tips about how to encourage SoTL at higher education institutions and thought-provoking statements about why SoTL work brings value to both the SoTL researchers and their departments / campuses
- Casebook: examples of successful endeavors that might inspire your own efforts
- Working with the Media: communication guides for finding and writing for mainstream publications, and a list of press contacts including newspapers, education media, magazines, television, radio and wires/syndicates.
- Journal Articles: a selection of articles about SoTL advocacy and outreach, and responses to such outreach.
- SoTL Expert Database: Would you like to contact someone who has expertise in SoTL? Use this database to find such experts to interview or simply to communicate with if you have interest or questions. If you have expertise in SoTL areas and would be interested in communicating that expertise to others, submit yourself to the database.
Advice from SoTL Activists
Advocacy and outreach usually involve gaining familiarity with the specific purposes and concerns of the community one is trying to reach. However, the following advice is generally applicable:
- Start where people are – including yourself.
- Listen, so that you can identify what people are about and build on that.
- Build connections to link individuals and to create networks.
- Share ownership to create partnerships and foster a sense of shared responsibility.
- Have a vision and pursue it.
- Be persistent and patient. Creating change takes time.
- Think big and think systematically.
- Don’t mourn. Organize.