CHERP aims to develop and encourage the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and pedagogic research at Ulster by building scholarly communities of practice and disseminating the findings of SoTL activities through our best practice events, internal pedagogic journal, Perspectives on Pedagogy & Practice. and online learning and teaching repository, SupporTaL.
We also seek to encourage staff to develop greater linkages between teaching and research. We also offer CPD opportunities and occasional funding for projects with the objective of enhancing teaching practices and the student experience.
It is important to define SoTL and pedagogic research and clarify the key differences between these two related concepts. There are many definitions of SoTL but the following points encompass the core aspects of the activity. SoTL:
- is a practical and situated enquiry in a particular context that is driven by a desire to improve teaching practice and student learning in particular contexts (Haigh, 2010);
- involves reflection on teaching practices/ interventions and the consequential student learning;
- requires engagement with the discipline-specific and learning and teaching literature;
- involves public dissemination of teaching practices for evaluation by peers.
Going a step further than SoTL enquiries, the objective of pedagogic research is to contribute to knowledge about learning and teaching and inform a broader audience that exists beyond the local context of the work. Kreber (2007:5) suggests that SoTL projects can be an important foundation ‘that may eventually evolve into full-fledged pedagogical research’.
The following publication provides a useful introduction to SoTL: