Written by Jennifer Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University.
Looking back over the last fiscal year (FY 19 started at the beginning of July here in Normal), it is clear that student and faculty involvement in scholarship of teaching and learning via workshops, funding, consultations, and other opportunities is growing AND that those involved in SoTL are representing a wide array of colleges and disciplines across campus. Happily, the Office of the Cross Chair has had a hand in helping our campus live it’s motto of gladly learning and teaching…from an evidence-based perspective! Gladly we SoTL!
For faculty, a variety of supports were offered throughout the year:
- Three different “Intro to SoTL” workshops were developed, with the final workshop in May based on establishing a cohort of faculty who intend to plan and execute SoTL projects in the coming year with continued support and scaffolding from my office.
- An IRB workshop, co-hosted with folks from our Research Ethics and Compliance office, to review SoTL-focused issues related to IRB changes on our campus and at a national level.
- An external speaker, Dr. David Pace, came to ISU in March to present two workshops on Decoding the Disciplines. A follow-up meeting of attendees was held in May to plan projects for the coming year.
- $20,000 in University Research Grant monies were awarded to fund five faculty-student teams to complete SoTL projects across four colleges and four academic departments/schools.
- Over $15,000 in travel grants (with awards ranging from $700-1000) were allocated to faculty to present SoTL findings at local, national, and international disciplinary and SoTL conferences. Awardees represented five colleges and six academic department/schools.
- Individual $250 SoTL Seed Grants were awarded to fund work being done by 15 “new-to-SoTL” scholars hailing from five colleges and nine academic departments/schools.
In sum, faculty from 26 of the 35 departments/schools at ISU (74%) had faculty involved in one or more the SoTL opportunities described above. This represents an increase of 4 departments/schools from FY17 totals. The exact breakdown of FY18 SoTL involvement by college is represented below:
Not included in these data (yet) are individual faculty consultations or student-focused initiatives that engaged students from 7 departments and 4 colleges over the course of the year, through programs such as CSI-SoTL and individual consultations for dissertation and other research projects.
ISU faculty and students should watch their inboxes (campus mail and email!) for FY19 SoTL opportunities, including the establishment of work groups for “first-timers” conducting SoTL projects, SoTLists engaged in Decoding the Disciplines work, a half-day “how to manage qualitative data” workshop, a lunchtime brown bag series of discussion topics (the first is slated as advice and guidance on recruiting students as research co-inquirers)…and more!
Questions about SoTL at ISU? Email me anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Art credit for the “gladly we learn and teach” image above to Molly Friberg.