Thinking of embarking on a SoTL study and/or seeking evidence-based pedagogical research to inform your teaching practices? Consider registering for this upcoming workshop on May 11th.
SoTL Skills Development Workshop: Searching the Higher Education Literature
May 11th 2015
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) engages instructors along a continuum of inquiry into their teaching. In all cases a reflective, scholarly instructor regularly consults the academic literature to utilize evidence to inform both their own practice and research. At the University of Toronto we are fortunate to have liaison librarians to provide expert research services for faculty engaged in all areas of SoTL work.
Fiona Rawle, Senior Lecturer and recent recipient of the inaugural 2015 University of Toronto Early Career Teaching Award, has regularly incorporated librarian services into several of her SoTL projects. For example, Fiona and the UTM Science Education and Research group and their students studied assessment of the impact of a Biology course redesign on scientific thinking skills and worked closely with Mindy Thuna, Science liaison librarian to Biology at UTM (currently on secondment to the Gerstein Science Information Centre), to conduct research on this teaching practice. Studies such as this can have immediate and long-term impact both in the classroom and on the academic teaching and learning community. Fiona explains the team approach in this way:
“Support from the science liaison library has pushed the research of our Science Education and Research group forward because the librarian collaborates with each researcher in the group and fosters further connection and collaboration between group members.”
Librarians, faculty and students benefit from the collaborative work that is being undertaken on SoTL research projects. Mindy notes:
“This collaboration has enabled me to explore alongside them the educational literature that supports and expands on the work that they are already doing in their courses. This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to tweak my own skill set while helping them build their own beyond the traditional discipline specific knowledge base into the broader arena of the scholarship around teaching and learning.”
Liaison librarians offer a wide range of services to faculty, including literature searches both within specific disciplines as well as the broader higher education literature. Mindy will be co-facilitating the May 11th workshop with Monique Flaccavento, Education Liaison Librarian, and Heather Buchansky, Student Engagement Librarian. These librarians will share expert tips and tricks, for both the beginner and the seasoned researcher, for SoTL literature searches, as well as search strategies in the sciences, social sciences and humanities.
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