Register for CAULLT SOTL Webinar (11.00am AEST) 23 September

Thursday 23 September 2021 11am

Supporting all disciplines to transition to SoTL

Presented by Associate Profeessor Kim Blackmore, ANU with

Professor Christy Collis, University of Southern Queensland.

Associate Professor Linda Corrin, Swinburne University of Technology.

Dr Sarah Dart, Queensland University of Technology.

Associate Professor Colin Jones, University of Southern Queensland.

Lyn Kee, Swinburne University of Technology.

Dr Sherre Roy, CQUniversity


Many academics who are passionate educators embark on SoTL mid-career, operating from a foundation of research practices and beliefs in other disciplines. Studies of people engaging in SoTL reveal that they experience “ontological and epistemological transformations” finding themselves to be novices in the field of SoTL, encountering “scholarship” and “engaging effectively with education theory” as threshold concepts, and forming a new identity as a SoTL practitioner through incremental change and reflection.

Earlier work found that people who transition from technical engineering research to engineering education research are intrinsically interested in education and recognise that research output is highly valued within universities. Transitioning requires researchers to develop capital in the form of new research networks, opportunities, and skills. This leads to researchers evolving their epistemological beliefs to align with educational research.

Our project extends and expands on the engineering research by investigating the experiences of educators in a variety of university disciplines, to determine the commonalities and distinctions in the experience of transition to SoTL and to capture (personal and institutional) factors that prevent the transition from occurring. We also investigate the experiences of those that embarked upon the transition and have returned to discipline-based research, to understand how their expectations were not met, with regard to (personal and institutional) factors.

Based on this analysis, we will identify institutional responses to support the transition and enable academic staff in our institutions to engage in quality SoTL that supports our education and research mandate.