2017 promises to be a significant year for ISSOTL.
- Conference: In October, we will gather in Calgary for an annual conference that promises we will be “reaching new heights” in our individual and collective work. Throughout the year, we will be planning for our 2018 conference in Bergen, Norway – more on that later.
- Journal: Teaching & Learning Inquiry is flourishing in its new Open Access format. The journal is receiving impressive web traffic, both in quantity of visitors/downloads and in its reach to readers across the globe. With this transition behind it, in 2017 Teaching & Learning Inquiry will be searching for a new co-editor to fill the (large) shoes of Gary Poole, one of the two founding co-editors, who will be retiring.
- Board of Directors: Every year we hold elections to select a third of ISSOTL’s Board of Directors, who serve 3-year terms, and to choose a new president-elect. The Board’s work is essential because it not only oversees ISSOTL’s many activities and (modest) finances, but also because it sets the direction for the future of the Society. For instance, ISSOTL members worked diligently for several years to create a new Board committee on “Students and SoTL” that organizes and advocates for undergraduate and graduate/professional students in our Society. Thanks to that committee, ISSOTL in late 2016 created annual Emerging Scholar Awards to fund and recognize students who are doing exemplary work as they enter our community.
- Members: ISSOTL members take on many less formal leadership roles in the Society by co-chairing or actively participating in Committees and Special Interest Groups. Both of these offer Society members, both new and more seasoned ones, opportunities to partner with international colleagues to do significant work – and to have some professional fun. Since ISSOTL is an all-volunteer organization, we rely the commitment and expertise of our members to make everything happen. If you are interested in becoming more active in ISSOTL, please contact the chairs of a Committee or Special Interest Group, or a member of the Board, to express your interest and to share your ideas.
All of these things – the conference, the journal, the Board, and (most importantly) our members – work together to extend and deepen SoTL in higher education across the globe. And SoTL appears to be thriving in many places. In summer 2017, for instance, the second EuroSoTL Conference will be held in Sweden, and the following month will witness the first SoTL in the South conference, which will occur in South Africa. Neither of those is an ISSOTL event, but the growth of SoTL internationally is both a positive sign for and a testament to the significant work of so many people in the ISSOTL community.
Peter Felten, 2016-2017 President
Past welcome messages: