International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Casebook - Appealing to Administrators

Submitted by Lauren Scharff on Sat, 05/05/2018 - 13:02

Administrative Information/Education Sessions

Kathleen McKinney
Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL, Emeritus 
Illinois State University

Our information/education session for Chairs, Directors, Deans - We submitted a proposal to present a session about SoTL for campus administrators at our annual all day teaching-learning conference put on by our teaching center and held at our the nearby Marriott (fac present tl practices and SoTL at this event and there is an outside keynote speaker). The session was accepted. We then specifically invited and advertised the session via email (and asked our Provost to do so as well) to all Chairs, Directors, Deans (and/or members of unit faculty personnel committees). We created a power point presentation that focused on def, support, uses of SoTL at dept and college levels then filled in details and examples verbally (see attached). I believe we had about 18 administrators attend.


Student-Centered SoTL: Organizing for Change

Katarina Mårtensson, Ph.D.

Academic developer

Centre for Educational Development

Lund University, Sweden

In Sweden, educational development has focused on SOTL for almost a decade. In many institutions, SOTL forms the basis of bottom-up-approaches to support professional development. However, SOTL is slower in becoming embedded in institutional structures, policies, and cultures. In 2013, the Swedish National Union of Students (SFS) released a report, titled "Improving Teaching and Learning in Swedish Higher Education: A Student Centered Perspective" (the report was originally written in Swedish). The report was written with a scholarly approach, underpinned with research on teaching and learning, and ended with a number of demands from the students on the Swedish government as well as on Swedish higher education institutions. 

These demands included, for instance:

  1. Developing a national strategy for improving teaching in higher education.
  2. Undertaking a serious, concerted national research and development strategy for improvement of higher education teaching.
  3. Ensuring that the education received at higher education would be based on a scientific approach to teaching, to allocate specific time of teachers' professional service for scholarship of teaching and learning and educational development. 

The report was later translated into English (as it was presented at the ISSOTL-conference as a Swedish case of advocacy and outreach). Since Swedish does not have an expression for scholarship of teaching and learning, this is not explicitly mentioned, but the meaning is in the report. The report received a lot of attention in newspapers, TV and radio. The chair of the student union was repeatedly interviewed and received significant media exposure. The Minister of Education and other high ranked politicians were also interviewed. The student union arranged a one-day conference in Stockholm to coincide with the release of the report. The conference included a panel-debate with politicians, university chairs, educational developers, and academic teachers in order to debate and discuss the contents of the report.

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