Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Encouraging evidence-informed practice and SoTL is a key long-term priority for BILT.

SoTL is the scholarly approach to developing teaching practice, enhancing curricula and improving student learning. It includes critically reflecting on your teaching practice in order to develop and improve it, drawing on evidence from literature and the teaching and learning experiences. It is also about communicating and disseminating ideas and research in order to develop and impact teaching practice more widely.

Martin et al, 1998

Key principles of good practice in SoTL (Felten, 2013)

  1. Inquiry focused on student learning 
  2. Grounded in context (i.e. grounded in relevant theory/research and the learning context) 
  3. Methodologically sound (see useful evaluation resources below) 
  4. Conducted in partnership with students 
  5. Appropriately public (to enable colleagues to critique and use your work) 

Examples of SoTL

  • Critically reflecting on your practice (drawing on evidence from literature and from your students) in order to develop and improve your teaching 
  • Undertaking a project to investigate/innovate in learning and teaching (e.g. through the university’s PGCAP (see a blog post from one such project), BILT projects
  • Sharing your practice/publishing project results via a case studyblogconference paper or presentation, journal article etc 

Other scholarly activity to develop learning and teaching beyond your own practice  

  • Externally funded projects (e.g. through SRHEAdvance HEUKRI
  • Wider research into learning and educational practice, including publishing in relevant journals (e.g. Studies in Higher EducationHigher Education or discipline-focused pedagogic journals) 
  • Contributing to/leading professional development activities for example workshops, education conference presentations – within and outside the university 
  • Contributing to educational initiatives within the university (e.g. as a mentor or assessor for the CREATE HEA Fellowship Scheme, as a digital champion, progressing sustainability or decolonisation initiatives) or outside the university (e.g. through disciplinary/professional associations) 
  • Contributing to educational publications e.g. as an editor, a peer reviewer 

Useful evaluation resources

Cleaver, E., Lintern, M. and McLinden, M., 2018.Teaching and learning in higher education: Disciplinary approaches to educational enquiry. Sage. 

Cousin, G., 2009.Researching learning in higher education: An introduction to contemporary methods and approaches. Routledge. 


Felten, P., 2013. Principles of good practice in SoTL.Teaching and Learning Inquiry,1(1), pp.121-125. 

Martin, E., Benjamin, J., Prosser, M., and Trigwell, K. (1998). Scholarship of teaching: A study of the approaches of academic staff. Paper presented at the 6th Improving Student Learning Symposium, Brighton, UK 

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