Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) - Dissemination

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) - Dissemination

This section on how we might attempt to disseminate evidence of our teaching practice to the wider pedagogical community will be fairly brief, as one of the 5 stages pages addresses this (stage 4 - dissemination).  However, here are a few considerations to stimulate thought on the matter.  Firstly, why should we disseminate aspects of our SoTL practice?

While Trigwell et al. (1999, page 337) recognise that the purpose of teaching is to facilitate learning, they state:

‘We believe the aim of scholarly teaching is also simple: it is to make transparent how we have made learning possible.'

Secondly, how should we disseminate aspects of our SoTL practice?  We may disseminate aspects of our teaching practice in the traditional way, i.e. by submitting manuscripts to peer reviewed journals.  However, Trigwell and Shale (2004, page 534) argue that: 

'In our model, we have publication of research on teaching as a component in making scholarly teaching activity public, but as there are many other ways of making public how learning has been made possible, we believe it not to be essential and that the scholarship of teaching could be happening without it.'

Therefore we can use other other methods of dissemination that are available to us:

"The scholarship of teaching can also be public, shared, and peer-reviewed in a less traditional sense. Some have argued that the scholarship of teaching could be documented and shared through teaching portfolios (e.g., Edgerton, Hutchings, & Quinlan, 1991; Kreber, 2001). Others have suggested that the scholarship of teaching is shared also through mentoring colleagues (Weston & McAlpine, 2001) in addition to presentations, research, and publications. In a similar vein and drawing on the work of Pat Hutchings (1999), Cambridge (2000) writes “The scholarship of teaching is not aimed exclusively at publication. Scholars of teaching and learning are exploring multiple ways of making their work public, including the internet, faculty development activities, and public presentations” (p. 57).' (Kreber, 2002, page 17)

Sharing your finding at a departmental and/or institutional level is therefore another method of going public.  Indeed, there are a number of ways in which participation in this resource offers you the opportunity to make your scholarship public for peer scrutiny please contact us for further information.

We welcome contributions of case studies and requests for collaborations for inclusion in the site - if you would like to submit such a contribution or wish to be kept informed about future developments, please contact us.

Questions for reflection:

  1. What do you think about the methods of dissemination mentioned here? 
  2. Should we rely on purely ‘traditional’ methods, or be more creative in how we attempt to disseminate aspects of our teaching practice? 
  3. Why do you think this? 
  4. Can you think of any other methods of dissemination that we might consider, in addition to those mentioned here? 
  5. What are the practical issues involved in considering the best method of disseminating aspects of our teaching practice?


Cambridge, B.L. (2000). The scholarship of teaching and learning: A national initiative. In M. Kaplan & D. Lieberman (Eds.), To improve the academy, 18, (pp. 55–68). Bolton, MA: Anker.

Edgerton, R., Hutchings, P., & Quinlan, K. (1991). The teaching portfolio: Capturing the scholarship of teaching. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education.Hutchings, P. (1999). 1999 Pew Scholars Institute. Menlo Park, CA.

Hutchings, P. (1999). 1999 Pew Scholars Institute. Menlo Park, CA.

Kreber, C. (2001). Designing a teaching portfolio based on a formal model of the scholarship of teaching. In D. Lieberman & C. Wehlburg (Eds.), To improve the academy; 19; (pp. 268–285). Bolton, MA: Anker.

Kreber, C. (2002). Teaching Excellence, Teaching Expertise, and the Scholarship of Teaching. Innovative Higher Education, Vol. 27, No. 1, Fall 2002. 

Trigwell, K. and Shale, S. (2004). Student learning and the scholarship of university teaching, Studies in Higher Education, 29:4, 523-536.

Trigwell, K., Martin, E., Benjamin, J., and Prosser, M. (1999).  Why and how can teaching be scholarly?  In: C. Rust (Ed.) Improving Student Learning: Improving Student Learning Outcomes, Proceedings of the 1998 6th International Symposium, pp. 331–339 Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford Brookes University.

Weston, C., & McAlpine, L. (2001). Making explicit the development towards the scholarship of teaching. In C. Kreber (Ed.), Revisiting scholarship: Perspectives on the scholarship of teaching (pp. 89–99). New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no.86. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.