Spring 2010
Krug Hall 3
Tuesday, 7:20pm to 10:00pm

Darren Cambridge
Enterprise Hall 436

Office hours: Tues, 4 to 6pm, and by appointment

Course Description
This course provides students with an overview of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) in post-secondary education.  Focus is placed on current literature in higher education that looks at how students learn, how learning can be improved, and different methods and examples for scholarship of teaching and learning.  We will also examine the practice of SOTL within the disciplines and within various academic setting.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Students will learn about the SOTL movement in higher education (primarily in the context of the Boyer/Rice models of scholarship).

2. Students will consider major perspectives on how students learn, including different learning styles, and how to improve student learning.

3. Students will develop an ethic of inquiry (problem-based thinking) in which to explore aspects of teaching and learning.

4. Students will explore various methods and approaches for undertaking and assessing SOTL.

5. Students will become familiar with how to do research in the area of teaching and learning: how to formulate questions, how to use various resources, and how to publicly disseminate scholarship in this area.

6. Students will develop taxonomy of questions regarding teaching in one’s own discipline: what works, what it looks like, and possible opportunities for learning.

Policies and Practices:

GMU student information and resources:

Higher Education Program Website:

GMU Honor Code:

Honor Code: To promote a stronger sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust, and fairness among all members of the George Mason University community and with the desire for greater academic and personal achievement, we, the student members of the university community, have set forth this honor code: Student members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat, plagiarize, steal, or lie in matters related to academic work.

If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations please see me and contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 703.993.2474.

All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office.

Students must inform the instructor at the beginning of the semester, and the specific accommodation will be arranged through the Disability Resource Center.

An incomplete grade (IN) is used only if the student requests it in writing. The University counts IN as a failing grade until completed, and it automatically turns into an F if a grade is not turned in by the deadline in the Schedule of Classes.

Readings: Some website URLs change over time; if you have difficulty, check the GMU Library website for these items, or check Google (some students have found the essays through that).  Please let me know if you cannot access the information.


Reading log: 10% of the grade will be based upon weekly posting to the course blog—key points, brief reflection, questions for class conversation. You need not respond to others, but I expect you to read each other’s posting, and encourage you to respond when a topic or comment sparks a rejoinder. Another 10% of the grade will be based on a learning & reflection log–one page that you will write after each class that summarizes what is important for you about the readings and the class discussion, with brief reflection of what difference this information & experience might make in your thinking about teaching & learning and about a research topic. The log is due on February 23rd and April 13th on the course blog. (You may post each entry individually or post the whole log up to each of the two due dates, and you may choose to make your entries public or to password protect them.)

Annotated Bibliography: a list of selected readings that focuses on your discipline and SOTL. Selections should be published during the past ten years.  15% of final grade. Due April 20th.

Disciplinary/context report: For the three weeks we study the community college setting and disciplinary examples of SOTL, seminar members will lead the discussion. Use the assigned texts and websites, plus other examples that you find on your own. Provide a one page summary of key features of the disciplinary or contextual perspective on SOTL.  20% of final grade.

Research Proposal: develop a question or “problem” on teaching and learning that you might research and explain its importance to you personally and to the profession. Briefly summarize prior or relevant research, explain the method(s) you might employ, and the venue (conference or publication) where you might “go public.”   25% of final grade. Due April 27th.

The remaining 20% of the final grade will be based on seminar contributions. More details about seminar expectations and standards of performance will be developed during the first two weeks of class.

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