International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Call for Applications: Co-Leaders of Public SoTL Scholarship International Collaborative Writing Groups (2020)

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Dear ISSOTL Members,

To complement the current model of hosting International Collaborative Writing Groups (ICWGs) every three years that result in publication submissions to Teaching & Learning Inquiry, ISSOTL is sponsoring a second model of the ICWGs for alternate years.  These ‘Public SoTL Scholarship ICWGs’ will focus on SoTL as public scholarship, extending the purpose of SoTL toward advocacy, its audiences toward a broader public, its products toward more public forms of communication, and its influence beyond courses and academic programs.  This outreach model begins with the recognition that SoTL and public scholarship “have common roots in Ernest Boyer’s expansion of recognized scholarships: his notion of ‘the scholarship of teaching’ (1990) grew into SoTL, and his later description of ‘the scholarship of engagement’ (1996) encompasses what we now call public scholarship, with the goal of developing spaces where ‘the academic and civic cultures communicate more continuously and more creatively with each other” in order to “[connect] the rich resources of the university to our most pressing social, civic, and ethical problems’” (Chick, “SoTL as Public Scholarship”).

Because we believe that our traditional scholarship is also ‘engaged,’ and because we aim to focus on the broader potential of SoTL with this new ICWG experience, we prefer the term “public scholarship” rather than the “scholarship of engagement.” Ultimately, the products of this work will be more public modes of writing, potentially in forms like white papers, public statements on pressing issues, material for mainstream media, web resources, public art installations or performances, or series of blog posts/podcasts/audio-visual content aimed at a wider audience. 

We now invite applications for co-leaders (see below, or download a PDF of this call) and look forward to working closely with the selected leaders in focusing and developing this new model of ICWGs.

The 2019-20 ICWG Working Group
Nancy Chick (Co-President Elect), Jennifer Friberg & Nicola Simmons (Co-Chairs, Advocacy & Outreach Committee), Peter Felten (Chair, Publications Advisory Committee), & Aysha Divan, Phillip Motley, & Lauren Scharff (Co-Leaders, 2019 ICWGs)


Call for Co-Leaders:  Public SoTL Scholarship International Collaborative Writing Groups (ICWGs) 2020

ISSOTL implements its mission by, among other things, "encouraging the integration of discovery, learning, and public engagement, and advocating for support, review, recognition, and appropriate uses of the scholarship of teaching and learning."  As intentional, international collaborations that bring together ISSOTL members of all ranks and regions in focused inquiry, the ICWGs embody both the spirit and the work of ISSOTL. Building on the ISSOTL19 conference theme of “SoTL Without Borders: Engaged Practices for Social Change,” this public model of ICWGs will spotlight the international, multidisciplinary SoTL community’s potential for advocacy within higher education and--perhaps more importantly--beyond, in the service of various forms of ‘a greater good’ for SoTL.

Co-leaders for this effort will facilitate a collegial process that generates new work to share SoTL outside the boundaries of our Society and even outside the boundaries of academia, with an aim of bringing new stakeholders to an understanding of SoTL. In its first year, in order to successfully implement this new vision for the ICWGs, there will be a focus on a few feasible examples and approximately five groups, to be determined by the co-leaders in consultation with the ICWG Working Group.

ISSOTL invites applications from current ISSOTL members to co-lead this first iteration of Public SoTL Scholarship ICWGs. It is anticipated that two individuals will be selected as co-leaders.  This is an exciting leadership opportunity for ISSOTL members who are

  • passionate about the field’s potential for broader influence,
  • committed to collaborative SoTL,
  • interested in (and perhaps experienced with) exploring how SoTL can be shared outside of traditional forms of scholarly publication, and
  • committed to working in international partnerships.

Details about the ICWG, co-leaders’ roles and responsibilities, timeline, and selection process are below.

Aims and Outcomes

The aims of the ISSOTL Public SoTL Scholarship ICWGs are to

  1. build the capacity of participants to innovate and work effectively in international collaborative groups,
  2. promote the sharing of SoTL-based knowledge through alternative modes and venues,
  3. develop effective examples of SoTL as public scholarship, extending its purpose toward advocacy, its audiences toward a broader public, its products toward more public forms of communication, and its influence beyond courses and academic programs.


The co-leaders’ coordination of the Public Scholarship ICWGs begins in December 2019. In consultation with the ICWG Working Group, co-leaders will immediately begin identifying topic areas and potential outputs that are feasible for this first iteration.  They will then issue the call for and select group facilitators, and then group participants. Co-leaders will then guide group facilitators and their groups in the development of their specific ICWG projects, starting in April 2020 and all the way through the process until each group has publicly shared its products, no later than October 2021.  A more detailed timeline is below.

ICWG 2020 Timeline

Co-Leaders’ Roles and Responsibilities

Co-leaders will organize the ISSOTL Public SoTL Scholarship ICWG to meet the above aims and deadlines. They will consult with and report to the ISSOTL ICWG Working Group, which represents the ISSOTL Presidential Team, the Chairs of its Advocacy and Outreach and Publication Advisory Committees, and Co-Leaders from the 2019 ICWGs. Partnering with the ICWG Working Group to plan and implement this first cohort of this model of ICWGs, the co-leaders will take the lead in doing the following:

  • Identifying topic areas for groups’ work,
  • Organizing the separate calls for group facilitators and participants,
  • Selecting the facilitators and participants for each group,
  • Helping facilitators and groups to think broadly and creatively about what Public SoTL might look like,
  • Identifying needed resources and expertise to support the non-traditional, public writing modes of this model of ICWGs,
  • Supporting the group facilitators in their work to prepare their groups for the pre-conference face-to-face working session,
  • Planning and facilitating all aspects of the pre-conference face-to-face meeting with group facilitators and participants, including activities to develop these alternative forms of scholarship,
  • Liaising with local conference organizers in Perth regarding the venue and resources for the face-to-face meeting prior to the ISSOTL conference,
  • Working with the group facilitators following the ISSOTL20 conference to support the continued development and completion of projects, and
  • Writing an article for Teaching & Learning Inquiry (subject to the journal’s regular peer review process) about the process, this new model of ICWGs, and about SoTL as public scholarship.

Selection Process and Criteria

The selected co-leaders, who will ideally represent different institutions and different countries, should demonstrate that between them they have the necessary experience and skills to lead this initiative to successful completion. Potential co-leaders may apply as individuals or together; however, they do not need to identify a partner in order to apply to be a co-leader.

Public ICWG co-leaders will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of a sustained or growing interest in SoTL outreach and advocacy,
  • Experience with or strong interest in exploring SoTL’s potential according to the vision of public scholarship described above,
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively coordinate and motivate group efforts, particularly diverse groups (ICWG groups will be made up of faculty, staff, and students from different nations, disciplines, identities/backgrounds),
  • Competence in organizational skills and time management, and
  • Enthusiasm for leading a new ISSOTL initiative. 

Applications outlining fit to the above criteria and expectations in no more than 3 pages should be emailed to by December 1, 2019, along with a brief CV (no more than 5 pages) for each applicant.  Co-leaders will be recommended by the ICWG Working Group, approved by the ISSOTL Board of Directors, and notified via email no later than December 15, 2019.


Relevant Resources for Envisioning the Public ICWGs

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