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Advancing SoTL Bit by Bit: 360 Pedagogic Projects in 18 Months at Uppsala University
Uppsala University, University Administration, Planning Division.
Uppsala University, University Administration, Planning Division.
2014 (English)In: ICED 2014, 2014Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Abstract: During the last 18 months 360 new pedagogic small-scale projects have been performed within the framework of the pedagogic teacher training courses in higher education at Uppsala University. In the presentation we focus on the following questions. What interests in developing and exploring teaching and learning in HE do our new teaching staff have? How are the new findings and results from the projects received in the faculties? Does the process of working with pedagogic development have any impact on our new teaching staff? A dominant element in the central pedagogic teacher training course, a basic course for the university teaching staff, is the planning and execution of a small-scale project which focuses on scholarly and reflective pedagogic development. The course participants are encouraged to select a topic based on their own teaching and educational experiences which they would like to explore and develop. The project work load is six to seven days, including readings and planning, and is assessed on the basis of predefined evaluation criteria as well as by a structured peer and facilitator feedback procedure. Approximately 360 new projects have been produced during a period of 18 months. The conference audience is introduced to the framework and goals of Uppsala University´s pedagogic teacher training course. This is followed by examples from selected projects in order to demonstrate the richness and depth of the work performed by course participants. The focus is on the topic areas, especially motivations behind selections, methodology, as well as theoretical basis, implementation and evaluation blueprints. The topics are systematically categorized on the basis of specific variables that were identified through a combination of previous published models and the findings in the process of analysis In the analysis of the project topics important questions regarding the relevance of university teacher training courses and the impact of the course structures and content arises. What is received and retained by participants and how are results transferred to the actual teaching and learning activities across the university? A number of previous project authors are interviewed in order to follow-up the implementation and impact of the projects both regarding the teaching and learning and on the teacher/author. The presentation argues that organized training courses and projects are powerful, yet under-utilized, tools to enhance a SoTL-aware approach to teaching and learning as well as a motivational factor for the new teaching staff to engage in research and development in a reflective, scholarly fashion as framed by Boyer (1990). Furthermore that the engagement level of the participants generally supports a relatively high level of scholarship quality in the actual projects, besides a high level of practical value, and encourages a scholarly approach to the art and craft of teaching. There is, however, an inherent conflict in that there is a tendency to view course projects as less scholarly, a view we object to, as there is a risk that quality contributions to SoTL do not receive the attention they deserve. We propose that such work contributes significantly to engaging those involved in all three approaches to teaching as described by Kreber (2002) and should be firmly supported by pedagogic and quality-management leaders in higher education. Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Princetown, N.J.: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Kreber, C. (2002) Teaching Excellence, Teaching Expertise, and the Scholarship of Teaching, Innovative Higher Education, Vol. 27, No. 1, Fall 2002 Schön, D. (1995). The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. London, UK: Ashgate

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
SoTL, pedagogic project, university teacher training, teaching and learning in higher education
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226945OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-226945DiVA: diva2:727860
International Consortium for Educational Development, ICED 2014, Educational Development in a Changing World, Stockholm
Available from: 2014-06-23 Created: 2014-06-23 Last updated: 2015-03-25

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Gunnlaugsson, GeirAxelsson, Svante
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