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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is a growing discipline dedicated to taking teaching and learning as serious intellectual work. At DePaul, SoTL is defined as:

“The rigorous investigation of student learning, with the purpose of developing novel teaching methodologies and practices that can lead to the measurable enhancement of student learning. The results of the investigation are made public through quality scholarly outlets and widely-accepted conferences and general or discipline-specific journals.”

Peggy Maki explaining the value of SoTL
Peggy Maki, an expert on assessment in higher education, gave a keynote address on the topic of SoTL during DePaul's Fall Forum on Teaching and Learning in 2013.

This definition makes clear that SoTL is ultimately about improving student learning. Investigating what and how students learn can help faculty develop innovative teaching practices that lead students to significant learning gains. SoTL’s focus on improving student learning aligns with DePaul’s Vision 2018, which testifies to the university’s commitment to enhancing academic quality and supporting educational innovation.

Furthermore, in January 2014 the University Faculty Council passed a resolution that strongly endorses the inclusion of SoTL in faculty merit reviews and promotion and tenure evaluations. 

Getting Started with SoTL

You don't have to attend a conference in order to begin learning more about SoTL. The following list of resources is a good place to start.

Academic Journals

There are a number of academic journals with a focus on SoTL, both across the disciplines and within them. Some of the most influential interdisciplinary journals are listed below:

View a more comprehensive list of SoTL journals hosted by the University of Central Florida. Or browse a list of SoTL journals by discipline, curated by Illinois State University.


Many posts from the following list of blogs cite SoTL research, and all of them delve deeply into topics related to teaching and learning.



Projects and Organizations

  • IDEA papers provide useful ideas related to teaching and faculty evaluation. From the IDEA Center of Kansas State which serves colleges and universities committed to improving learning, teaching, and leadership performance.
  • Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center devoted to improving teaching and learning

Videos and Podcasts

Teaching & Learning Websites

  • Vanderbilt Center for Teaching. Includes an overview of SoTL and other topics in teaching, such as just-in-time teaching and flipping the classroom.
  • Georgetown Teaching Commons. Features an interactive teaching handbook, faculty profiles in innovative teaching, and other resources.
  • Stanford Teaching Commons. Highlights relevant teaching strategies by using case studies, for example.
  • MIT Teaching and Learning Laboratory. Teaching materials and definitions including resources on learning objectives, course evaluations, and grading rubrics.

Learn More About Grants

Each year, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) awards grants to support the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at DePaul. Learn More

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