Supporting SoTL Development through Communities of Practice
Keywords:SoTL, communities of practice, scholarship, professional development, life sciences
Increasingly, academics are engaging with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). However, within United Kingdom higher education, the definition of and activities that constitute SoTL remain open to debate. In this article, we explore SoTL through four career histories that give insight into how SoTL has developed and played a role in the careers of four life sciences-based, teaching-focused academics in UK universities at different points in their careers. The recurring themes in the career histories include collaboration; professional development; sharing and dissemination; and funding. The career histories also highlight aspects of and the importance of communities of practice. We reflect on the role of communities of practice in supporting SoTL and discuss how communities of practice external to one’s home institution can play a role in developing SoTL and teaching practice. Internationally there is a growing focus on SoTL, and although the four career histories presented here are authored by academics based in UK institutions and focused on the UK context, the themes they reveal are widely applicable.
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