Dr. Brooks A. Keel, President
On behalf of the Georgia Southern University community, I welcome you to the 7th 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 2014 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 hope you will enjoy our Southern hospitality, and above all, that you will leave this conference with a better idea of how create a quality, life-long learning experience for your students.
Dr. Jean Bartels, Provost
Greetings from Georgia Southern University, and welcome to the 7th 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 accountability, 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.
Diana Sturges, Conference Chair
As Chair and on behalf of the Centers for Teaching and Technology (CT2), I am delighted to welcome you to the 7th annual SoTL Commons Conference. The conference was born to accompany the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning published at Georgia Southern University and to advance the momentum of SoTL as a key way to improve teaching effectiveness and student learning outcomes.
SoTL Commons offers a place and a time to share and discuss your own SoTL research, but also to meet and to reflect on SoTL. I see it as the “big tent” where scholarly aspirations and interests in pedagogical reform and innovation come together. The conference offers many exceptional concurrent sessions and posters that will be of great interest to you.
I am grateful to the presenters for their enthusiasm, and I thank you for choosing to attend the conference. Much thanks to all the reviewers for their hard work and the time they gave to the evaluation process.
I would be remiss not to acknowledge the former chair and founder, Alan Altany. It was his passion and dedication that started SoTL Commons in 2007, and we are grateful for his immeasurable contributions to the success of this event.
I hope that you find this conference both interesting and stimulating and that you enjoy meeting up with old friends and making new ones. I look forward to hosting you this year and to seeing you again in 2015!
Brooks Keel, Jean Bartels, and Diana Sturges, "Welcome" (January 1, 2014). SoTL Commons Conference. Paper 109.