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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What's the dif​​ference between scholarly teaching and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning?

​They are closely related! Scholarly teaching is focused on developing an individual's effective teaching practices by drawing on research literature to inform and shape the individual's teaching and using systematic observation to analyze the outcomes and impact on student learning for the purposes of individual improvement. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is distinguished by the fact that you share your findings publicly, with a larger academic community. As such, SoTL is scholarship.​​

scholarly teaching vs scholarship of teachig and learning

How d​o I get started in SoTL?


1. SoTL Institut​e​​

​This institute will guide up to 10 Queens faculty members through the process of developing their SoTL research questions into a project plan so they can begin collecting data. All aspects of SoTL will be addressed: methodologies, evidence, data analysis, IRB, timelines, collaboration, literature review, and venues for presentation and publication. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be covered. No previous experience with SoTL is required. All Queens faculty, including adjunct faculty, are welcome to apply. 

What did past participants say about the SoTL institute?

"Valuable learning experience"

"Extremely well organized"

"Knowledgeable presenter with an effective and engaging presentation style"

"A great way to build a support team of colleagues who are also working on SoTL."

​Participants during a summer institute will be guided to work on key steps of project development in between these weekly sessions. Lunch during the sessions and stipends of $500 for participation and completion will be provided, along with SoTL texts and resources. The SoTL institute can also be completed as self-paced elearning at any time of year. For more details about this option or when the next summer SoTL institute will take place, contact Dr. Laura Lohman at

​​2. Indivi​dual Consultations

If you want to get started on a project before the next SoTL Institute, please contact the CAFÉ Director at to set up one or more individualized sessions to get you orient​ed with your project, develop and refine your research question, identify a suitable methodology and research design, explore the possibility of collaboration, and discuss steps in the IRB process.  

Common Ques​tions about SoTL and IRB

Do I really nee​d to go thro​​ugh IRB to do SoTL?

​Please do plan to submit an IRB application before collecting data for your SoTL project. Please do not simply use student assignments in a conference presentation because you already have access to them or because an interest in scholarly teaching often develops naturally into a SoTL project. IRB provides oversight for human subjects research based on these key definitions as detailed on Queens IRB site:

​Research: “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge” (45 CFR 46.102(i)).

Human subject: “a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research (i) Obtains information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual, and uses, studies, or analyzes the information or biospecimens; or (ii) Obtains, uses, studies, analyzes, or generates identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens.​​” (45 CFR 46.102(e)​).​

Why do SoTL studies typically meet the definition of human subjects research?

​​1) Because sharing findings publicly, which distinguishes SoTL from scholarly teaching, aligns with developing or contributing to generalizable knowledge. This contrasts with scholarly teaching's focus on individual improvement and assessment's emphasis on departmental or institutional use of data for internal improvement and quality assurance.

2) Because most SoTL studies involve intervention (e.g., an educational intervention), interaction, and/or use of private identifiable information from living humans.

What are some key IRB-related issues that I should keep in mind when designing a SoTL Study?

  • De-identify data so someone else can't determine who the participants were

  • Think through how and when you or a neutral third party will get consent from participants

  • ​Reduce student participants' feeling coerced to participate by having a neutral third party obtain participants' consent and de-identify data. Explain these steps to the prospective participants.

  • ​Clearly explain in your application which elements of your research study are "normal educational practices" in the course and which go beyond "normal educational practices" in the course 

  • Take steps to minimize or eliminate risk beyond that normally encountered in daily life

​Confused? Not sure what to do next?

Please contact the CAFÉ​ Director at and/or the IRB chair at​. We are both happy to help you get oriented, design your study, and understand how to prepare an IRB application for a SoTL project.​​

​What if I want to explore more on my own?

Conference Directories to Search

  • Kennesaw State's Teaching Conferences Directory. Look for the red banner, where you can filter results by city, state, country, discipline, and/or topic.

​Nearby Annual Conferences to Plan For 

​Other Ma​​​jor Conferences  


Laura Lohman, PhD, SHRM-SCP, CAAP, PMP

Director, Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence

Professor of Music

(704) 337-2547