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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

The scholarship of teaching and learning was a term coined by Schulman (2011:4) who argued that to be deemed “scholarship,” teaching and learning had to encompass three essential features: “it should be public, subject to peer review and evaluation, and accessible for exchange and use by members of one’s disciplinary community.”

In addition, the SoTL can be described as an approach whereby communities of teachers who are committed to pedagogical inquiry and innovation meet to exchange ideas about teaching and learning and subsequently apply those ideas to address the challenges of educating students (Huber and Hutchings 2005).  These teachers are able to identify and investigate questions about their students’ learning which can be brought back to the classroom in terms of applying new curricular, new assessment methods and new pedagogies, which in turn become subjects of new inquiry.  By using evidence-gathering and documentation strategies, teachers are making their students’ learning more visible. This process helps scholars of teaching and learning to develop their capacity as observant, thoughtful and innovative teachers.  At the same time, making their work public contributes to pedagogical knowledge in their disciplines (Hutchings,Huber and Ciccone 2011) and creates a new space of pedagogical exchange and collaboration (Huber and Hutchings 2005).

Therefore, the scholarship of teaching and learning promotes teaching as a scholarly endeavour while drawing on the reciprocal relationship between teaching and learning, and research.  The scholarship of teaching and learning has two sides: looking towards research on the one hand and teaching and learning on the other (Hutchings et al. 2011).

Aims of the SoTL programme

At CPUT, there is no formal SoTL programme that would give a community of academics the knowledge and skills to pursue teaching and learning in a scholarly manner and make their work public.  The SoTL programme proposed here would have the following aims:

  • To explore and promote the notion of researcher development as an emerging field in academic staff development.
  • To develop a university-wide community of scholars of teaching and learning.
  • To apply the principles of the scholarship of teaching and learning into departmental pedagogical and curricular initiatives for the enhancement of student learning.
  • To raise the intellectual profile of teaching in the disciplines.
  • To build capacity among academics to become successful SoTL practitioners.

The outcomes of the SoTL programme

Some of the envisaged outcomes are given as follows:

  • The research findings of pedagogical experimentation which could be used for evidence-based teaching for the enhancement of teaching and improvement of student performance.
  • The empowerment of academics as researchers in teaching and learning, within the disciplines.
  • Research outputs in accredited journal articles and conference proceedings which will generate income for the individual, department and the institution, and contribute positively to the ranking of the institution.

Structure of the SoTL programme

The SoTL programme will be structured so that it would provide:

  • Access to the relevant literature
  • Methodological expertise
  • Space for discussion and collaboration with like-minded colleagues 
  • Mentoring from experienced researchers.  

The SoTL candidates will be expected to attend the workshops as shown in table 1 and complete the necessary homework tasks.  The successful completion of the SoTL programme will be contingent on the submission of a journal article for publication or presentation/publication of a conference paper.  Successful candidates will receive a CPUT certificate.

Find out more about the programme, and view the Workshop schedule

Should you be interested in the 2017 intake, please complete the online form and we will contact you back

2017 SOTL Form


Prof Lorraine Hassan
Tel: 021 4603536