Facilitators and Barriers to Engagement and Effective SoTL Research Collaborations in Faculty Learning Communities

  • Claudia A. Cornejo Happel Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Xiaomei Song Central Michigan University
Keywords: faculty learning community, collaborative research, collaboration strategies, teaching center support for SoTL


To determine factors that influence faculty engagement and success in faculty learning communities focused on collaborative Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), our project gathered information on (1) faculty motivation to engage with SoTL; (2) structures that support collaboration; (3) the perceived impact of SoTL on teaching, scholarship, and faculty engagement in academic communities on campus and beyond; and (4) the role of the teaching center in supporting collaborative faculty learning communities focused on SoTL. In this explanatory, sequential design mixed-methods study, participants were asked to complete a survey on their experience as participants in faculty learning communities at a large comprehensive public university in the southeastern United States; researchers then conducted one-on-one interviews with select participants to gain an in-depth understanding of trends and questions emerging from the survey data. Results indicate that personal, institutional, professional, and team factors contribute to participants’ perception of the success and effectiveness of collaborative research teams. Findings from the study offer guidance for setting up effective collaborative structures for SoTL projects and nurturing inter-disciplinary research among faculty members, thus providing insights that can inform the design and facilitation of similar programs in the United States and internationally.

Author Biographies

Claudia A. Cornejo Happel, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Claudia A. Cornejo Happel is Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach (USA).

Xiaomei Song, Central Michigan University

Xiaomei Song is Director of Assessment and Program Evaluation in the College of Medicine at Central Michigan University (USA).


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How to Cite
Cornejo Happel, Claudia A., and Xiaomei Song. 2020. “Facilitators and Barriers to Engagement and Effective SoTL Research Collaborations in Faculty Learning Communities”. Teaching & Learning Inquiry 8 (2), 53-72. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.8.2.5.