What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning?

There are multiple ways that the concept of scholarship can be connected to teaching.  For example, educational research involves rigorous and systematic study of educational environments to build theory and understanding of the way people learn.  Pat Hutchings and Lee Schulman (1999), of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, distinguished scholarly teaching (classroom practice informed by current research and ideas about teaching), from the scholarship of teaching (investigations of classroom practice and resulting learning that are publically presented and subject to peer review).

At the University of Denver, in the Office of Teaching and Learning, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is defined more distinctly as engaging in research regarding pedagogical and curricular design and implementation practices that impact student learning. SoTL research is an example of reflective practice in higher education that is publically shared and reviewed by a community of peers.

Characteristics of SoTL Research

  • It reflects the natures, values, fundamental concepts and modes of inquiry specific to our  disciplines.
  • It considers learning assessments and outcomes.
  • It inquires into the effectiveness of aims and research into teaching and learning.
  • It responds to the need for continuous improvement resulting from reflection and inquiry.
  • It communicates new questions and knowledge about teaching and learning.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellows Program at DU


The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship at DU is a yearlong program that is hosted by the Office of Teaching and Learning. Collaborating primarily with the Director of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and Faculty Learning Communities, the SoTL Faculty Fellow will engage in activities to explore advancing new ways of understanding and evaluating student learning, as well as increasing belonging and leadership capacity. Faculty participants will be guided through the process of undertaking SoTL project from start to finish, with feedback from and interactions with the other members of the cohort as well as the program director, which culminates in a public presentation of the completed SoTL project at the SoTL Research Symposium. 

  • Participate in SoTL programming and complete deliverables: Faculty participants must be willing to travel to three SoTL events that are held off-campus. 
    • 3-day Fall SoTL Retreat (August 31-Sept. 2) 
    • 2-day Winter SoTL Retreat (December 8-9) 
    • 2-day Summer SoTL Retreat (June 15-16)
  • Complete SoTL artifacts: Faculty participants are expected to provide three deliverables, each of which are connected to the three SoTL events.
    • A SoTL proposal (September) 
    • A mid-year SoTL review (January) 
    • Presentation of the completed SoTL poster (August)
  • SoTL Faculty Learning Community: Faculty participants should attend monthly SoTL FLC meetings throughout the year.
    • During these meetings, faculty participants will spend time together exploring questions centered on teaching and learning, which include, but are not limited to, effective pedagogy, learning science, challenges of teaching and learning, accessibility in higher education, assessments, and curricular development. 
Program Timeline
Application Process

Please refer to the Program Description and the Call for Application documents for further information.

Faculty on all series can apply. 

To be considered, applicants should submit one (1) PDF of the following application materials: 

  • Abbreviated curriculum vitae (two-page maximum) 
  • Statement of your interest in the SoTL Faculty Fellowship Program (one-page maximum, single-spaced) 
  • Brief description of a teaching and learning question that you would like to investigate (one-page maximum). Please note that in most cases the projects will get revised as the Fellows participate in the program throughout the year. 

For best consideration, submit your application materials by Friday, July 29th, 2022 at 5 pm. 

Frequently Asked Questions

While some applicants may have a clear idea of their upcoming SoTL project, others may not. The SFF program is designed to lead all participants, regardless of their previous SoTL experience, from the beginning stages of research planning to the end of the project. Moreover, as the fellows participate in the program throughout the year, the project is very often further developed and revised according to their experiences. Therefore, as long as you have a teaching and learning question that you would like to explore during the program, you are welcome to apply. 

As the SFF program is yearlong, data collection may occur at any point during the academic year. Some participants may start collecting data with the onset of the program, whereas others may start as late as the spring quarter. The time of data collection would depend on each research question and on the quarter the course(s) that the faculty member will apply the SoTL project will be offered. If the data collection occurs in the spring quarter, then the data analysis can be planned for the summer months in time for the SoTL Research Symposium in August. 

Throughout the year, faculty participants will be guided through the process of undertaking SoTL project from start to finish, with feedback from and interactions with the other members of the cohort as well as the program director. By attending off-campus retreats, monthly FLC meetings, and one-on-one consultations with the program director, participants will be provided with helpful guidance and thoughtful resources along the way. 

The program is designed to support faculty in making meaningful progress through the retreats, the monthly FLC meetings, and the support of the program director. SoTL projects oftentimes require data collection in multiple courses; therefore, it is common for data collection to continue after the program ends. We anticipate that some participants may only have preliminary data in time for the presentation next August, which provide helpful insights on scholarly teaching practices, as well as next steps in your SoTL research. Please note that there are many ways to be successful in the program; engaging in the SoTL research experience throughout the year is a significant feat, one that is celebrated at the SoTL Research Symposium. 

An important aspect of SoTL research is the public dissemination of the completed work. The SFF program includes one of such opportunities at the end of the year, when the participants present their SoTL research at the SoTL Research Symposium in August. Therefore, publication is not a mandatory requirement of this program. However, we emphasize the importance of sharing SoTL research via publication. For those interested in working to publish their completed SoTL project, the participants have the option to participate in the Optional SoTL Writing Bootcamp in July. 

The exact number of faculty fellows selected each year will vary depending on interest and funding. To ensure that the program maintains a strong sense of community, a concentrated level of deep conversations on teaching and learning, and a high-quality SoTL research experience, the number of fellows will be kept at around ten per year.  

The retreat hotel is in easy driving distance from the campus. While it is preferred that attendees stay the night to get the most of the retreat experience, participants with family/pet obligations preventing them from doing so may commute.  

If you are a faculty member who would like to participate in the 2022-2023 SFF program, please fill out this application form. For best consideration, submit your application materials by Friday, July 29th, 2022 at 5 pm. In case you are having trouble uploading your materials, you may also send your supporting materials to kayoung.kim@du.edu. 

Please note: Filling out the application form does not guarantee you a slot in the SFF program. Faculty Fellows will be selected based on their application materials, and selected fellows will be notified in early August. 


Ready to apply?

SoTL Resources

Teaching Conference Directory

Kennesaw State University has an award-winning website for finding teaching conferences through the use of a menu which sorts by city, state, country, discipline and topic in higher education.

Teaching Journal Directory

Kennesaw State University also has a directory which allows you to find journals by discipline and topic in higher education. These are useful when looking for journals to submit manuscripts for publication and for reading about innovative teaching ideas.