The Importance of a SoTL Community of Practice

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Proposal Abstract

This panel session will describe the journey of several (9) departmental faculty members who formed a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Community of Practice (SoTL CoP) group. This group met on a regular basis, shared their perspectives, engaged in dialogue, and developed a collaborative inquiry culture of shared focus by helping one another when questions arose regarding their subjects, methodology, limitations, conclusions, and manuscript writing. In addition, these meetings re-energized the faculty members’ views and answered many questions relevant to certain teaching and learning issues. The collaborative inquiry culture that formed was not only seen as a tool for ongoing professional development for other faculty members, without having to attend an isolated event such as conference or workshop, but others in the university began to see the value of coming together to discuss differing methods of teaching, learning, collaborative inquiry, and building relationships with students, colleagues, and others, much like the Teaching Circles Approaches (Shaw D, Belcastro S, Thiessen D, 2002). The panel members will discuss the history of the group formation, the journey the group has undertaken, and the testimonials and ideas gained from several of the SoTL CoP group members. The panelists will end by proposing future directions of the group and asking the conference participants about potential, similar collaborations within their own environments.

 

The Importance of a SoTL Community of Practice

This panel session will describe the journey of several (9) departmental faculty members who formed a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Community of Practice (SoTL CoP) group. This group met on a regular basis, shared their perspectives, engaged in dialogue, and developed a collaborative inquiry culture of shared focus by helping one another when questions arose regarding their subjects, methodology, limitations, conclusions, and manuscript writing. In addition, these meetings re-energized the faculty members’ views and answered many questions relevant to certain teaching and learning issues. The collaborative inquiry culture that formed was not only seen as a tool for ongoing professional development for other faculty members, without having to attend an isolated event such as conference or workshop, but others in the university began to see the value of coming together to discuss differing methods of teaching, learning, collaborative inquiry, and building relationships with students, colleagues, and others, much like the Teaching Circles Approaches (Shaw D, Belcastro S, Thiessen D, 2002). The panel members will discuss the history of the group formation, the journey the group has undertaken, and the testimonials and ideas gained from several of the SoTL CoP group members. The panelists will end by proposing future directions of the group and asking the conference participants about potential, similar collaborations within their own environments.