Welcome Remarks from Georgia Southern University Administration


Dr. Brooks Keel
Georgia Southern University

On behalf of the Georgia Southern University community, I welcome you to the 5th annual SoTL Commons: A Conference for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Last year’s conference attracted presenters from various countries and from all over the United States. We expect a similar diversity at the 2012 conference. Your participation indicates a personal commitment to your work with students and the profession of teaching. 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 also about how your students can best learn from your teaching. SoTL offers higher education a way to integrate teaching and scholarship for the benefit of students. Your students’ learning experience will be enhanced by your presence at this conference and your interactions with colleagues. That is the whole purpose of SoTL: creating authentic, enduring learning opportunities and outcomes for students. We are pleased to have you on the Georgia Southern campus. We hope you will enjoy our Southern hospitality, and above all, that you will leave this conference with a better idea of how to create a quality, life-long learning experience for your students.

Dr. Jean Bartels
Georgia Southern University

Greetings from Georgia Southern University, and welcome to the 4th annual SoTL Commons Conference. Given the myriad missions of institutions of higher education, it is always refreshing to find an event dedicated solely to the improvement of teaching effectiveness and documentation of student learning outcomes. While accrediting organizations and government agencies increasingly demand this level of accoutability, ultimately it is our responsibility and joy to educate the next generation and ensure that true learning occurs. It is our hope that this conference will provide you with the tools and insights you need to become better teachers and enable your students to be better learners.

Dr. Alan Altany
Director Center for Teaching, Learning & Scholarship
Georgia Southern University

What Is SoTL? 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. 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 Georgia Southern University Administration