Learn how you can use the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to support your career progression.
What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
At its heart, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) aims to improve our students' educational experiences at university.
SoTL can be defined as:
- engagement with existing knowledge on teaching and learning
- self reflection on your own teaching and learning practices
- public sharing of your own research, reflection and ideas about teaching and learning
It can take the shape of research, knowledge exchange and/or impact related to teaching and learning. This could be discipline-specific teaching and learning, or focused on the higher education sector more broadly, including issues like:
- student experience
- experiences of scholarship
- equality and diversity.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Sussex
There are two main tracks for teaching staff at Sussex:
- Education and Scholarship (E&S)
- Education and Research (E&R)
E&S tracks are teaching focused. Workload varies from school to school, but will be divided between teaching, administration, and scholarship. As you progress through different career levels, you will likely move from a focus on developing your own teaching and learning practice to influencing and leading in your field through the production of scholarship.
Developmental stages of scholarship
- Developing a course or module
- Developing your teaching and assessment activities
- Developing your teaching portfolio for promotion
- Using scholarly literature and research to inform teaching
Sharing your teaching
- Presenting or publishing your teaching tips via University blog posts, podcasts, school teaching, seminars or away days
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
- Publishing peer-reviewed research. For example, the creation of a textbook or a case study that has impact across the higher education sector.
Areas of focus
Scholarship can focus on any aspect of teaching and learning in higher education, such as:
- curriculum design
- systems of assessment
- student experience initiatives
- widening participation activities
- community engagement endeavours.
How SoTL relates to your discipline
We provide support to scholars across the University by providing examples of both discipline-specific or cross-disciplinary SoTL.
The following Canvas resources will give you an idea of the output being produced in your field and in the field of SoTL more generally.
- Cross-disciplinary SoTL
- SoTL in Business
- SoTL in the Arts and Humanities
- SoTL in the Sciences
- SoTL in the Social Sciences
These resources are a work-in progress. Please feel free to add to them.
Sharing your work
There are many ways to share your scholarly activities with professional networks, research communities, the wider higher education community and further afield, including:
- social media channels such as LinkedIn
- digital repositories
- online journals
- other digital platforms.
Stages of progression for colleagues on the education and scholarship pathway
We have put together a guide outlining various scholarship-related activities relevant to the stage you are at in your career, to help you see what to do now and also look forward to see what is expected as you progress along the education and scholarship pathway.
This isn’t a checklist. You don’t necessarily have to undertake all the activities to progress along the career path. However, these activities can help career progression.
Each activity links out to Canvas resources and information. To enrol on the Canvas site, email DARE@sussex.ac.uk.
Your Academic Developer can also support you with scholarship.
- Lecturer A to Lecturer B – conducting action research in your classroom
For Lecturers who reach the top point for Lecturer A, progression to Lecturer B would be the typical expectation. The activities listed below may help support your progression:
- Develop your personal scholarship plan.
- Enrol on the PGCert.
- If you don’t need to do the PGCert, apply for Fellowship of Advance HE.
- Use SoTL literature for curriculum development.
- Lecturer B to Senior Lecturer – building external activities and sharing scholarly outputs
In considering promotion to this grade, your performance would be considered in relation to the academic promotions criteria. Committees may, at their discretion,
recommend promotion for exceptional achievement in some but not all of the criteria. The scholarship activities listed below may help support your progression:
- Senior Lecturer continued (sometimes promoted to Reader) – developing strategic contribution for impact
The title of Reader may be awarded to members of faculty on any scale, but it is most usually at Senior Lecturer level.
The title is awarded as a mark of personal distinction for an important contribution to the advancement of scholarship or education. You would be expected to have achieved an exceptional contribution to education and student learning.
- Extend your education and scholarship portfolio through a record of national and international publications.
- Senior Lecturer/Reader to Professor – demonstrating impact and recognition internationally
To be considered for a Professorship you would be expected to have made a broad, sustained contribution to your field nationally and internationally, demonstrating leadership in the development of education in your subject and/or broader education field. Service to your subject, to the University and to higher education in administrative or scholarship capacities may contribute to the case.
Your performance would be considered in relation to the criteria below, but committees may, at their discretion, recommend promotion for exceptional achievement in some but not all of the criteria.
- Undertake a leadership role in an international subject association or pedagogic policy unit.
- Receive academic distinctions and awards, such as the National Teaching Fellowship.
- Apply for Principle Fellow of Advance HE.
- Publish highly regarded textbooks, teaching materials and publications of pedagogically-driven research in recognised high quality outlets. View examples from colleagues on our Scholarship Padlet.