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2012 Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Academy

The 4th Annual Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Academy

Collaborative Engagement

Eberhard Conference Center

Grand Valley State University

Grand Rapids, Michigan

May 20-22, 2012


The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Academy seeks to bring together all members of the academy engaging in or wanting to learn about the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Applications are encouraged from experts and novices in this field, at all career stages. This national conference will provide a forum for presenting new SoTL work, for sharing reflections on SoTL and its role within the academy, and networking with others engaged in this enterprise.


col·lab·o·rate intr.v. En·gage   v.intr.
To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort. To involve oneself or become occupied; participate

The theme of the 2012 SoTL Academy is Collaborative Engagement.  The theme seeks to convey two central tenets or elements of the practice of the scholarship of teaching and learning.

The scholarship of teaching and learning is your intellectual inquiry into those conditions, factors, and experiences that enable effective teaching and deep student learning.   While it engages your intellect, the scholarship of teaching and learning is, at its heart, a collaborative effort in which you will engage peers at various stages in the investigative process.

Scholarship, broadly speaking, both uses the knowledge of past work to inform and improve new work, and is dependent upon the collaboration of others to ensure its merit and meaning.

We hope the 2012 SoTL Academy engages your intellect and is a bridge to new collaborations.







Engaging Student Voices in the Study of Teaching and Learning: Ordinary People, Plain Pretzels, and Conversational Scholarship

Carmen Werder, Director, Teaching-Learning Academy, Writing Instruction Support, & Learning Commons

Blair Kaufer, undergraduate student

Western Washington University

Bellingham, WA

Involving college students as co-inquirers in research on teaching and learning seems like an obvious need. Yet, in higher education, we often overlook the voices of those learners that can tell us the most about what we need to know and change. And, in employing only traditional methods of undergraduate research, we risk slighting more organic ways of engagement, namely dialogue. The speakers describe the dialogue structure they have built at their university to engage a range of students including student leaders, disenfranchised students, and those students just trying to earn enough credits to get a degree. Presenters will invite participants into the dialogue process they call "structured informality" or "conversational scholarship."

Speaker Biographies


An Apprenticeship in Democracy: The Future of SoTL and Engagement in Higher Education

Dan Butin

Founding Dean and Associate Professor, School of Education

Merrimack College

North Andover, MA

Democracy, so the saying goes, is not a spectator sport. Yet a troubling paradox exists in higher education: even as more and more students and faculty argue for ever deeper models of collaborative engagement (e.g., service-learning, undergraduate research, translational research), the contemporary culture and models of higher education actually diminish the opportunities for meaningful, sustained, and impactful outcomes in, with, and for local and global communities. This presentation explores how the SoTL movement is, and should be even more, a meaningful part of institutions' commitment to the practices of engaged scholarship and its impact on the college classroom and beyond.

Speaker Biography



Christine Rener Grand Valley State University
Todd Stanislav Ferris State University
Ric Underhile Grand Rapids Community College