As an academic with teaching responsibilities in a Teaching Specialist or Balanced role, you are operating in the vital space: where research meets teaching. Of course, you are actively keeping abreast of the latest disciplinary research and scholarship, ensuring your students receive the best in relevant, contemporary information. But what of your pedagogy? Do you give much thought to your own classroom practice and teaching processes and how they impact on student learning?
Very possibly, you actively trial new ideas in the classroom, explore alternative methods of assessment, and tweak the delivery of your topics in response to student evaluations and your own intuition. When something isn’t working, you adapt and try something else. You may do this without much planning, and certainly with little thought to the possibility that it could be meaningful to others outside your classroom.
The Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoTL) is a vehicle to examine these trials and practices, evaluate and record successes and failures, and share your findings with others who may then be inspired to adopt and adapt your methods. SoTL is about sharing educational theories and teaching practices with others, with the view to ensuring that students receive the best in relevant, contemporary teaching.
A commitment to SoTL will reveal a vast network of colleagues and opportunity through such organisations as ISSOTL (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) and international journals including the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
Teaching Awards provide both the impetus for, and opportunity to: trial, evaluate, evidence and disseminate your classroom experiments. The challenges, obstacles, successes and failures all make for a compelling story of teaching that deserves to be shared, acknowledged and valued.
Each College has teaching awards which can lead on to institutional awards and ultimately national teaching awards. Get your voice heard. Become a SoTL champion. Contact your CILT Academic Developer to discuss your interest in applying for a College Teaching Award now.