SoTL Canada AGM Minutes, June 24th 2016

The SoTL Canada AGM was held at the STLHE conference in London on June 24th, 2016. The following are the minutes from the meeting.

Welcome and introductions (Janice Miller Young)

  • Explanation of transition from SIG to constituency
  • Motion to begin meeting approved
  • Reference to outcome of meeting last year from June 2015 minutes: Working groups update and survey results, student engagement, NDTL special issue, advocacy for SoTL at the National level
  • Minutes from last year’s meeting approved

Chair’s Report (Janice Miller Young)

  • Introductions to SoTL Canada executive
  • Explanation to attendees that they must be an STLHE member to receive emails, and reference to blog as a tool to share updates; Janice pointed to location of SoTL Canada on STLHE website
  • Also Twitter mentioned as a SoTL Canada sharing tool, although not used frequently
  • Reference to SoTL Canada Activity Report posted online
  • Reminder of transition of SoTL Canada from SIG to constituency
    • Point made that new chair needs to be aware of a greater time commitment associated with this transition – STLHE board meetings twice a year (annual conference and EDC conference) plus monthly online meetings

Other Reports

  • Report from Brad Wuetherick on behalf of ISSoTL:
    • incoming president will be Beth Marquis, Heather Smith incoming vice-president
    • Teaching and Learning Inquiry moved to open online access, hosted out of Calgary
    • ISSoTL 2016 conference will be in Los Angeles (theme to be determined)
    • 2017 conference will be hosted in Calgary
      • Question as to whether the SoTL Canada group should be more closely connected to this conference
    • Report from Beth Marquis on Collaborative Writing Group SIG:
      • Groups of scholars, students, faculty, staff collaboratively working on SoTL articles of shared interest
      • 7 pre-selected topics, work began on January
      • 5 day face to face session at end of STLHE conference
      • Work will be submitted to a special issue of CJSoTL
      • Essentially at mid-point of process, note that issue will be as usual with peer review
      • Request for special issue peer reviewers (articles will be assigned to reviewers by November 10th and reviews would be due back by December 15th)
      • Question regarding whether if you are on a collaborative writing group SIG if you could be a peer reviewer? Answer was yes, but we are also looking for people who can be blinded reviewers
      • Question regarding whether this will be an annual initiative? Uncertain but if there is continued interest then it could be continued.
      • Suggestion regarding holding the in person workshop somewhere that lodging is free/more affordable.
      • Mention by Beth that fee associated with workshop is not to make profit.
      • Question as to whether there would be some training for new CJSoTL reviewers? Beth responded that there would be some associated training.
    • Report from Victoria Chen about peer mentor ship idea:
      • Plug for session to develop peer mentor ship session following AGM.
    • Report from Nicola Simmons on Advocacy Working Group:
      • Mention of SoTL in University Affairs and the sense of progress
      • Reference to publication on institutional impact of SoTL in New Directions for Teaching and Learning
      • Mention of bringing people together to think about what advocacy should look like and working together to move this forward


  • Blog announcement by Genevieve:
    • Thank you for participation, request for blog posters for next year
    • Recognition of most commented blog posts: Karen Manarin, Erin Aspenlieder, Nicola Simmons
  • Election announcement by Janice:
    • Janice is finishing her term as chair, will stay on for a year as past-chair
    • Beth is finishing her term as Treasurer but will continue as part of the working group
    • Victoria is finishing her term as student engagement advisor, plug for people to consider being part of executive
    • Caroline Hoessler will be managing elections

Motion to adjourn official part of meeting approved

Activity (Group)

Revisiting membership survey questions in small groups

Feedback from Participants

  • Comment that most institutions have teaching and learning centres, but relationship with SoTL is unclear
  • Question of whether SoTL Canada might be a liaison between institutions and raise the issue of what the professional standards of being a teacher in higher education?
  • Suggestion that there could be a person at institutional centers for Teaching and Learning who liaises with SoTL Canada.
  • Comment from Carolyn Hoessler regarding lessons learnt from the EDC community that there should be clarity regarding the roles and goals of different SoTL initiatives so that people know what they are signing up for.
  • Question regarding whether there is a repository for people who have run SoTL activities, such as workshop? Suggestion that there could be development of such a repository and this could be hosted on the SoTL Canada website.
  • Suggestion for a SoTL Person in Residence, someone who is very comfortable with SoTL and developing it.
  • Gratitude that SoTL Canada is looking at advocacy.
  • Question about whether SoTL Canada could have funding to support small grants?
  • Question about whether SoTL Canada could give out award for Best Canadian SoTL work? Nicola responded that this should be inclusive with a few winners rather than a single winner which becomes very competitive, and Janice commented that criteria for “best” would need to be clarified.
  • Question about points of entry and communication from SoTL Canada, which sometimes isn’t really clear?
  • Question regarding whether there is a SoTL Canada list serve? Are there multiple points of access?
  • Question regarding regional summits rather than just institutional summits, and virtual summits?
  • Question regarding peer mentoring?
  • Comment from Nicola on developing a map of Canada showing which centers have a SoTL person, publish in SoTL, etc. Request for someone with technical expertise to talk to Nicola. Comment that “Mapping SoTL Across Canada” might be a great initiative.

Written Feedback from AGM Participants (n=16)



Province Number of Attendees Percent of Total
British Columbia 2 12.5
Alberta 4 25
Saskatchewan 1 6.3
Winnipeg 0 0
Ontario 7 43.8
Quebec 0 0
Newfoundland 0 0
New Brunswick 2 12.5
Nova Scotia 0 0
Prince Edward Island 0 0

Institutional Roles

Role Number of Attendees Percent of Total
Educational Developer or role in Teaching and Learning Services 9 56.3
Librarian 1 6.3
Faculty (current) 3 18.8
Faculty (retired) 1 6.3
Graduate student 2 12.5

Responses to question: What are the needs/initiatives/ideas for the future of SoTL Canada?

  • Help getting funding for SoTL research (advocacy in tri-council)
  • College sector support, as more difficult to get funding here; perhaps there could be a SoTL award specifically from tri-council, and/or SoTL Canada/EDC/STLHE grants for SoTL?
  • Help developing a national consortium for support
  • Support developing connections/collaborations across campuses and institutions (eg. visiting SoTL scholar, SoTL writer-in-residence)
  • Build on CWG engagement
  • Increase direct communication
  • Use list serv as a two-way means of communication versus the blog, which is only one-way
  • Have multiple points of entry from STLHE website
  • Regional SoTL Canada summits, in person or virtual

Responses to question: Have the activities of SoTL Canada over the last year met your needs?

  • More mentorship would be appreciated, but we are aware that it is in progress


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4 Responses to SoTL Canada AGM Minutes, June 24th 2016

  1. kmanarin says:

    Thanks very much for such detailed minutes. I wasn’t able to attend STLHE this year, and so really appreciate knowing what happened at the meeting. Thank you again.

  2. Bob Sproule says:

    Am suggesting the best fit for funding support for small SoTL grants from STLHE would be their annual budget. Deliberations for the 2017 budget will start in the fall of 2016. Am prepared to support/work with the Chair (or STLHE board designate) on this initiative.

  3. Thanks Bob for your support and Karen for your interest. I’m looking forward to more interesting developments next year!

  4. Pingback: SoTL Canada report, October 2016 | SOTL Canada

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