Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

At present, there are seven Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in our SoTL-Asia circle. We would be pleased to have you on board to share your experience and advance this initiative with us.

Academic development

Facilitator:
Johan Geertsema

The special interest group on SoTL and/as academic development has a dual focus.

  • First, members of this SIG aim to strengthen academic development (also variously know as educational or faculty development) by taking a more scholarly approach to it (Felten et al., 2007). To that end, the group studies good practices to academic development as reported in scholarly literature relevant to the field. This includes paying attention to enhancing faculty and student capabilities as academic learners and teachers, as well as evaluation of academic development initiatives to evidence value (Bamber & Stefani, 2016; Chalmers & Stefani, 2015).
  • Second, members investigate how SoTL can be an instrument for academic development by fostering reflective practice informed by relevant theory, thereby developing academics’ knowledge base with regard to the integration of two interrelated areas: expertise in the discipline, and expertise in teaching that discipline. SoTL can be an instrument of academic development if such reflective practice results in scholarly investigations of practice; if such investigations are subjected to peer review; and if results are then made public at appropriate levels to foster scholarly conversations about teaching as a key compenent of academic practice (Mårtensson et al., 2011).

The overarching goal of the SIG is to work towards a strategic approach to academic development for the benefit of our universities and their organisational learning.

To learn more or join this SIG, please email Johan at cdthead@nus.edu.sg.


References

Bamber, V. & Stefani, L. (2016) Taking up the challenge of evidencing value in educational development: from theory to practice. International Journal for Academic Development, 21(3), 242-254. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2015.1100112.  
Chalmers, D. & Gardiner, D. (2015). An evaluation framework for identifying the effectiveness and impact of academic teacher development programmes. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 46, 81-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2015.02.002  

Felten, P., Kalish, A., Pingree, A., & Plank, K. (2007). Toward a scholarship of teaching and learning in educational development. In D. Robertson & L. Nilson (Eds.), To improve the academy: Resources for faculty, instructional and organizational development (Vol. 25, pp. 93–108). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Mårtensson, K., Roxå, T., & Olsson, T. (2011). Developing a quality culture through the scholarship of teaching and learning. Higher Education Research & Development, 30(1), 51–62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2011.536972

Assessment for Learning

Facilitator:
Mark Gan Joo Seng

This SIG welcomes all colleagues who are keen to learn more about how assessment can impact teaching and learning. As pointed out by Black and Wiliam (1998), learning about assessment allows us to look inside the black box – how we teach and how students learn. Furthermore, assessment for learning creates opportunities for discursive feedback that promotes purposeful interactions between teachers, students, peers and the wider learning community. In essence, our SIG draws on notions of assessment for learning to engage in dialogue amongst colleagues, both local and overseas, to share ideas, activities and to develop a better understanding of our assessment processes and practices.

To learn more or join this SIG, please email Mark at mark.gan@nus.edu.sg.

Institutional Leadership

Facilitator:
Chng Huang Hoon

Those who lead must themselves be equipped with the knowledge and skills that will serve them well in their work. This is the fundamental motivation for starting a special interest group (SIG) on Institutional Leadership for SoTL, to provide a platform for individual leaders of institution to learn and share about:

  • SoTL and SoTL leadership together
  • Their leadership experiences
  • Ways to facilitate colleagues’ SoTL journeys
  • Fostering SoTL community and culture in the institution

To learn more or join this SIG, please email Huang Hoon at pvochh@nus.edu.sg.

Publishing

Facilitators:
Nachamma Sockalingam and Sandy Cook

A key characteristic of SOTL work is sharing and disseminating your inquiry into the impact and effectiveness of teaching efforts. Some examples of SOTL dissemination are abstracts, presentations, newsletter articles web blogs, structured curricular material and of course peer reviewed journal articles. Scholarly dissemination of these efforts require systematic planning and often an IRB, Such evidence-based scholarly inquiry into teaching and learning is often cited to be challenging  This SIG aims to support the community of practitioners in formulating their teaching ideas into scholarly projects appropriate methodology and data analysis, and understanding what and when an IRB is needed, with particular focus on getting their findings to some type of dissemination venue, including publications. If you are interested in helping yourself or others in this wider (Asian) SOTL community and work towards strategizing and planning activities towards supporting scholarly SOTL dissemination, do join us.

To learn more or join this SIG, please email Nacha at nachamma@sutd.edu.sg and/or Sandy at sandy.cook@duke-nus.edu.sg.

Scholarship of Technology-Enhanced Learning (SoTEL)

Facilitators:
Toru Iiyoshi and Jeanette Choy

Technology innovation have the potential to transform teaching and learning practices in promoting higher-order learning. This SIG aims to foster a supportive community for practitioners who are engaged in, or wish to engage in technology-enhanced approaches to teaching. With this broad intention, the SoTEL Asia group seeks to provide a platform for interested individuals to:

  • acquire information on thoughtful and reflective implementation of TEL
  • create and exchange ideas about practices and resources on TEL
  • explore the unique affordances of technology to enhance students learning experience and outcomes
  • foster collegial relationships that enable collaboration and research activities

To learn more or join this SIG, please email Toru at iiyoshi.toru.6m@kyoto-u.ac.jp and/or Jeanette at jeanette.choy@nus.edu.sg.

SoTL in the disciplines

Facilitator:
Wu Siew Mei

The aim of this group is to encourage conversations on both conceptual and practical issues related to the SoTL approach within respective disciplines. The deliberations are meant to raise individuals’ awareness on what the SoTL approach might mean, especially in the context of their relevant disciplines. Disciplinary SoTL experience is gained through the sharing of the design and implementation of small discipline- specific studies amongst group members. SoTL knowledge is also gained through the discussion of published articles on the investigation into teaching and learning practices. Some areas that are interest to this group include the following:

  • the SoTL approach
  • conceptual underpinnings of the SoTl approach
  • features of SoTL research in my discipline
  • pertinent SoTL issues in my discipline
  • methods and methodologies in SoTL
  • challenges, tensions and resolutions in a disciplinary-based study
  • avenues for/ preparation towards the dissemination of disciplinary investigations

There is much to be tapped from the sharing of cross disciplinary experience in teaching and learning research and this group works towards that aim of sharing expertise and experience.

To learn more or join this SIG, please email Siew Mei at elchead@nus.edu.sg.

SoTL in non-conventional teaching contexts

Facilitator:
Lee Kooi Cheng

Informal learning may be defined as incidental or unplanned learning that takes place usually beyond the formal classroom and informal settings.  Manifestation of informal learning includes but are not limited to interactions along the corridor and participation in student activities that are either part of or beyond the formal curriculum.   In fact, the influential and positive impact of informal curricula has been underscored by scholars including Dewey (1938) in the 1930s and Piner (1995) in the mid 1990s.  In the recent decades, there has been a renewed interest in informal learning which has been viewed as important in building and enhancing an individual’s competencies and life skills anchored in shared core values and beliefs of respective communities.  At institutions of higher education, this increased emphasis placed on informal learning means a purposeful staging of student experience with intended learning outcomes.  Investment has therefore been placed on the development and enhancement of structured informal curriculum through experiential learning, learning visits, field trips, workshops, and camps.  Through this process, students learn critical life skills and workplace competencies of human negotiation and team play.   Following this line of thought, this SIG intends to critically discuss the nature of informal curriculum, the intended outcomes, and the extent to which the intended outcomes align with the ethos of the respective academic communities. 


To learn more or join this SIG, please email Kooi Cheng at elcleekc@nus.edu.sg.


References

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. New York: Macmillan.

Pinar, W.F. (1995). Understanding Curriculum. New York: Peter Lang.