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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.02 - Creating interdisciplinary harmony in teaching and learning research: SoTL research fellows and the intentional development of community

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Embedding the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) within macro-level institutional contexts can be challenging. Workload (Brew, 2010), confusion about SoTL (Boshier, 2009), and a widespread undervaluing of teaching (Chalmers, 2011; Walker, Baepler & Cohen, 2008) can dissuade faculty from engaging in such scholarship. This is exacerbated by the need to cultivate a new sense of scholarly identity as one begins working in a new field or leadership role (Galloway & Jones, 2012; Manathunga, 2007; Simmons et al., 2013; Tremonte, 2011). Our participant-led research assesses an initiative supporting SoTL scholars in an institutional context that values their work on their own projects while seeding collaboration across disciplines. Like a musical ensemble experts from across campus convened to work together in SoTL research, but also to showcase their own “solo” research. Cross-appointed Fellows are responsible for teaching, research and service in their home departments, but conduct SoTL research of their own design in our Institute. Fellows meet regularly to discuss project progress, exchange feedback and ideas, discuss literature in the field, and offer peer support. Uniquely, this program was initially facilitated by a visiting scholar with experience in both faculty development and identity formation, in collaboration with the Associate Director (Research) and a Research Coordinator. Based on preliminary results of a systematic study, the perceived benefits and challenges of such a model will be shared along with the processes we followed, and roundtable participants will be invited to ask questions about our findings and methods.


Boshier, R. (2009). Why is the scholarship of teaching and learning such a hard sell? Higher Education Research & Development, 28(1), 1–15. 

Brew, A. (2010). Transforming academic practice through scholarship. International Journal for Academic Development, 15(2), 105–116. 

Chalmers, D. (2011). Progress and challenges to the recognition and reward of the scholarship of teaching in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development, 30(1), 25–38. 

Galloway, K., & Jones, P. (2012). Scholarship in the discipline and higher education: The need for a fusion epistemology focused on academic identity. Higher Education Research & Development, 31(6), 931–933. 

Manathunga, C. (2007). ‘Unhomely’ academic developer identities: More post-colonial explorations. International Journal for Academic Development, 12(1), 25-34.

Simmons, N., Abrahamson, E., Deshler, J.M., Kensington-Miller, B., Manarin, K., Morón-García, S., … Renc-Roe, J. (2013). Conflicts and configurations in a liminal space: SoTL scholars’ identity development. Teaching and Learning Inquiry, 1(2): 9-21.

Tremonte, C. M. (2011). Window shopping: Fashioning a scholarship of interdisciplinary teaching and learning. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 5(1). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu


Robert Cockcroft

McMaster University
avatar for Trevor Holmes

Trevor Holmes

Senior Instructional Developer, University of Waterloo
Trevor Holmes is an educational developer with a background in cultural studies and English literature. He teaches in the Women's Studies program at the University of Waterloo where he is also a Senior Instructional Developer at the Centre for Teaching Excellence.
avatar for Elizabeth Marquis

Elizabeth Marquis

McMaster University
Beth Marquis is an Assistant Professor in the Arts & Science Program and the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL).

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Bayshore Salon ABC

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