SoTL Canada Mapping Project

SoTL Canada recently conducted a survey to gain insight into the SoTL activities of faculty and staff at institutions of higher learning across Canada. Would you like to see the results? Come see our poster at the STLHE conference!

Sanago, M., Newton, G., & Miller-Young, J. (2018, June).  Mapping the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning across Canada.  Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Sherbrooke, QC.

In the meantime, here’s some background on the project:

SoTL involves post-secondary practitioners conducting inquiry into teaching and learning processes in higher education contexts and is the systematic study of teaching and/or learning and the public sharing of such work through presentations, performance, or publications (McKinney, 2006). SoTL research and the results that come from it help to improve teaching and/or learning (McKinney, 2007). This can be applicable at the individual, departmental, or institutional level, dependent on the aim of the initial study. The requirement to share information obtained proves beneficial to others across disciplines and institutions (McKinney, 2007).

SoTL inquiry into the teaching and learning processes in higher education has gained significant interest over the past decade. However, although there is increasing interest and awareness of the value of SoTL work, barriers to SoTL are present. Previous studies have looked at SoTL at the level of individual institutions (such as Poole & Simmons, 2013; Poole, Taylor & Thompson, 2007), while nationally, the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) members were surveyed in 2012 regarding their activities and perception of SoTL across different levels (individual, departmental, institutions, and disciplinary) (Wuetherick & Yu, 2016). This research sought to update this data and cast a net more broadly.

Survey questions were developed by members of the SoTL Canada executive and input on the survey design and questions was sought from several respected SoTL scholars. Questions were guided by several interests, including: (1) identifying who is doing SoTL (such as personal, institutional, geographical and professional characteristics); (2) characterizing how SoTL is being conducted, supported and disseminated (such as collaborations with peers and students, the number of active projects, research funding, and dissemination strategies), and (3) differentiating the levels at which SoTL activities are occurring.

This study used three strategies to recruit participants: (1) previously identified “SoTL Liaisons” at 84 institutions were contacted by email and were asked to disseminate the link to the online survey to all individuals who they knew, or suspected, were involved in SoTL at their institution. (“SoTL Liaisons” are individuals who SoTL Canada has identified through STLHE and EDC lists and who have agreed to act as liaisons.) (2) A description of the project with a link to the survey was posted on the SoTL Canada blog on two separate occasions, (3) An email with a survey link was sent to members of the STLHE listserv inviting them to participate. The survey was open from October 29th, 2017 to February 5th, 2018. Ethics clearance was received through the University of Alberta.

We had 351 responses from faculty and staff at institutions of higher learning (both universities and colleges) across Canada.

Find out more at STLHE 2018!

The below image is the poster presented during the STLHE 2018 Poster Session on June 20th.  Thanks to those of you who attended!


Groen, J. & Simons, N. (2015). 2015 SoTL Canada Survey Report. Retrieved from

McKinney, K. (2006). Attitudinal and structural factors contributing to challenges in the work of the scholarship of teaching and learning. New directions for institutional research2006(129), 37-50.

McKinney, K. (2010). Enhancing learning through the scholarship of teaching and learning: The challenges and joys of juggling (Vol. 139). John Wiley & Sons.

Simmons, N. (Ed.). (2016). The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Canada: Institutional Impact. New Directions for Teaching and Learning (No. 146). John Wiley & Sons.

Wuetherick, B., & Yu, S. (2016). The Canadian teaching commons: The scholarship of teaching and learning in Canadian higher education. New Directions for Teaching and Learning2016(146), 23-30.


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