SoTL Canada Logo

Earlier this year, the SoTL Canada Executive held a contest for the creation of an official logo.  The winning design, as voted by the members, was created by Dr. Sophia Palahicky from Royal Roads University.  The logo will be officially launched at the STLHE 2019 Annual Conference.

We asked Dr. Palahicky a few questions to gain a better understanding about herself and the logo design.

Dr. Palahicky, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am currently serving as Associate Director of the Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies (CTET) at Royal Roads University (RRU).  I provide leadership for instructional design, faculty development, and CTET Studio.  I have more than 15 years of experience in the field of educational technologies, instructional design, and online teaching.  I worked as an instructional designer at the University of Manitoba and was a provincial consultant for web-based courses for Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning.  I also teach in the School of Education and Technology at RRU and supervise graduate students’ research.  I am also one of the working group organizers of RRU’s SoTL Community of Practice (CoP).

Please describe your design and the inspiration for it.

I believe SoTL Canada is a research community of individuals who are striving toward teaching scholarship and teaching excellence while demonstrating innovative teaching strategies rooted in values-based pedagogies, such as pedagogy of care, diversity, justice, and community.  The rationale for the design is described below.

The four leaves in the new logo represent: 1) teaching scholarship, 2) teaching excellence, 3) innovative teaching, and 4) values-based pedagogies.  The person at the center of the logo represents both the student as learner and the instructor/teacher as learner.  The circle represents community, that is, the learning, research, and teaching community.

What do you hope members of SoTL Canada will see, think, feel or experience when they see your design?

I hope that SoTL Canada members reflect on the rationale for the design because this is more important than aesthetics of the image.  This was not a logo contest based in artistic design but it was about creating an image that represents SoTL.  The rationale for the logo identifies key ingredients necessary for success in SoTL work and SoTL communities.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience creating the logo or about the design itself?

A SoTL Community of Practice (CoP) is a diverse and inclusive community of researchers who are committed to: understanding how to improve teaching practices; sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas about teaching and learning with peers; and supporting others in their pursuits to improve teaching practices.  Creating the logo provided me with the opportunity to reflect on my contributions to SoTL and helped deepen my understanding and appreciation for all who engage in SoTL activities.  If in future the logo is adapted or changed, I would imagine the adaptions would be informed by further reflection about emergent themes that arise in SoTL literature.

SoTL Canada would like to thank Dr. Palahicky for her design and contributions to this initiative.  We would also like to thank all the members who submitted a design for consideration in the competition.  If you’re attending the STLHE 2019 Annual Conference this year, be sure to watch for the SoTL Canada logo!

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