Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL)

What is SOTL?

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is the systematic study of teaching and learning with a focus on improving student learning. It is an evidence-based process that enables use of various research methodologies with outcomes that can be applied to learning environments. This work focuses on conducting research, developing results for peer review, and publicly disseminating the research outcomes so others can learn from them and build upon them. ​

“the systematic study of teaching and learning, using established or validated criteria of scholarship to understand teaching can maximize, and or/develop a more accurate understanding of learning, resulting in products that are publicly shared for critique and use by an appropriate community” (Potter & Kustra, 2011).


“[T]he scholarship of teaching and learning encompasses a broad set of practices that engage teachers in looking closely and critically at student learning in order to improve their own courses and programs, and to share insights with other educators who can evaluate and build on their efforts.”

-Hutchings, Huber, and Ciccone (2011, p. xix)

SoTL Principles

​Distinguishing SoTL from other types of research isn’t always easy. Peter Felten (2013) offers five principles to be used as “guideposts” for researchers engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).

These principles include:

  1. Inquiry into student learning
  2. Grounded in context
  3. Methodologically sound
  4. Conducted in partnership with students
  5. Appropriately public


Read the full article, Principles of Good Practice in SoTL by Peter Felten.

SoTL at Lethbridge College

SoTL is an important part of the research community at Lethbridge College and highlighted in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Some of SoTL activities at LC are:

  • Expanding and advancing SoTL initiatives by participating in provincial, national, and international SoTL networks
  • Supporting SoTL growth and development through symposiums and projects
  • Administering the STAR Grant to increase staff and faculty engagement and capacity for SoTL projects and activities


Felten, P. (2013). Principles of Good Practice in SoTL. Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal, 1(1), 121–125.

Lethbridge College (2019). Applied research and scholarship policy. Lethbridge College.