Welcome Remarks from GSU Administration


Dr. Bruce Grube
Georgia Southern University

On behalf of the entire Georgia Southern University community, I welcome you to the SoTL Commons: A Conference for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning. You have come to our town and campus from all around the United States and from four continents. That indicates a personal commitment to your work with students and the profession of teaching, a commitment to the ever-ancient, always new process of learning itself.

The scholarship of teaching and learning, or SoTL, has become an international movement to improve teaching and student learning in higher education. As teachers and scholars, you have a curiosity about not only your disciplines or fields of study, but about how your students can best learn those disciplines or topics. SoTL offers higher education a way to integrate teaching and scholarship for the benefit of students. By being here, meeting colleagues, and by returning home with what you hear, see and learn, your students will benefit. That is the whole purpose of SoTL: creating authentic, enduring learning opportunities and outcomes for students.

I hope you enjoy the conference, our Southern hospitality, our campus and city, and that you will return for future SoTL Commons conferences.

Dr. Linda Bleicken
Georgia Southern University

Welcome to Georgia Southern University and to the SoTL Commons Conference. In a world where stakeholders on all sides clamor for evidence of the relevance of higher education, this conference is especially timely. Each of us knows the transformative power of education: we have witnessed it in our own lives and the lives of our students. Therefore, it is appropriate that we come together to collaboratively share evidence-based examples of the effectiveness of our teaching and of our students’ learning.

I hope that your participation in this conference will be a time of both personal and professional development as you reflect on your own authentic approach to teaching and learning.

Dr. Alan Altany
Center for Excellence in Teaching
Georgia Southern University

Is SoTL an international momentum or movement in higher education? Does SoTL have the potential to change, even transform, assumptions and practices of teaching and learning? Does SoTL focus upon why colleges and universities exist and what their missions proclaim? Can SoTL help make those proclamations into professed practice?

Does SoTL connect with faculty curiosity and experience in research? Does SoTL connect with a teacher’s desire to guide students to experience imaginative, persevering, authentic learning, and become life-deep and life-long learners? Is SoTL research AND teaching?

Is SoTL an inquiry-led, evidence-based approach to teaching? Can SoTL help lead colleges and universities in recapturing their ancient heritage: learning to learn, and the love of learning and wisdom?

Is SoTL a most effective way to steadily improve teaching and learning?

Welcome to the SoTL Commons Conference. May you live and experience these questions at the conference with colleagues from around the world. We are pleased and appreciative that you are here and hope you return home safely and with some good SoTL seeds for planting.



Welcome Remarks from GSU Administration