This is a (not comprehensive) list of things that keep coming up in my role supporting SoTL, fellowship applications and teaching on the PGCAP. This is the fifth blog post I have been fretting about today and decided to just press publish now.
Note: Editing will probably happen.
SoTL is all about your own practice: Write in first person.
- Teaching is not objective, neutral, disconnected. It is you as an educator situated within a complex web of affordances and obstacles. This is about how and who you are with your learners.
Show don’t tell!
- Particularly, when you are writing fellowship applications. It is great that you are aware of literature, and that you are say head of course. How does the literature impact your teaching practice? What does it mean to you and your practice to be head of course?
It is still academic writing!
- So while it might be unfamiliar to you to write in first person, this is not the same as forgoing critical discussion of literature. Make arguments show agreement and/or disagreement and reason it.
- These are often the first forays with writing for SoTL (and are technically the ‘true’ scholarship elements of SoTL). Have you designed a teaching activity you want to share? Have you read literature that influenced your thinking (reflective) and then you changed your practice based on that (reflexive)? In some instances this type of writing is also called Open Educational Practice as you share your own learning, insight and material.
- Note! Do not use student feedback, comments, photos etc in this writing without ethics permission and student consent. At which point you are leaving the realm of reflective/reflexive practice and move into educational enquiries.
Find your Voice!
- I have been pondering ideas around knowledge creation for a long while, and am still working on some pieces around this. Writing about your practice can also be creative and engaging. Think about writing as form of inquiry. Narrative as a method to help your audience make sense.
It doesn’t always have to be the written word!
- Podcasts, videos, visual or other art installations are valid forms of expression! Our podcast for instance is keen on people reading their papers out loud, so we don’t always have to listen to awkward AI voice.
Learn about different forms of data
- Data is not always questionnaire responses or focus groups. Data can be images, collages, Lego or playdough creations, black out poetry, poetry, creative writing, song. What is the purpose of your data collection? Is your data collection a voice-over or a voice-enabling activity?
- Think about Likert scales for instance: I have already made the decision within which range of experience, my learners ought to experience something when I use a Likert scale. If you want to catch marginalised voices, have more in depth insights into your learners’ experience, what methods can you use to enable everyone to have a voice?