Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Framework
The Southern Cross University Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoLT) Framework is designed to guide and support academics in their contribution to learning and teaching. It offers a definition of SoLT as well as a guide for academic career progression through outlining the evidence base academics can draw on to demonstrate and evaluate their SoLT achievement.
The Framework is developed from the principle that academics who teach at Southern Cross University will work strengthening the quality and impact of their teaching activities and be supported to innovate in their practice as they progress through their career.
What is SoLT?
In their Guidance note (May 2022) TEQSA write that in the context of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (HES Framework), ‘scholarship’ means “those activities concerned with gaining new or improved understanding, or appreciation and insights into a field of knowledge, or engaging with and keeping up to date with advances in the field.” SoTL is a form of scholarship, one that is grounded in learning and teaching.
SoLT at Southern Cross University is defined as scholarly activity grounded in practice and a shared, evidence-based approach to improving our students’ learning experiences and outcomes.
SoLT takes many forms of shared, evidence-based approaches to learning and teaching activities (see Boyer (1990), Trigwell et al. (2000), Williams et al. (2013) and as prescribed by TEQSA (see Guidance Note: Scholarship). At Southern Cross University, academics’ SOLT will also be guided by standards and forms of evidence specified in the University’s Promotions policy.
Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoLT) therefore may be evident in research output, but it is not limited to research output. It typically focuses on Teaching Scholars’ own learning and teaching practice, or learning and teaching practice in their field, but may also involve scholarly activity in interdisciplinary spaces aligned with Faculty, College or University priorities.
SoLT is core activity of the University that is based upon three pillars
- It drives improvements in the quality of learning, teaching and the student experience, thereby contributing to the student and broader communities we serve, as well as our TEQSA registration status as a University.
- It drives recognition of the quality of our offerings and practice within the institution, nationally or internationally.
- It provides a pathway for academic career progression through forming an evidence base on which to demonstrate and evaluate achievement (see Scholarship of Teaching – Academic Promotions Policy).
What SoLT is not
The University has determined that within the context of the HES Framework the following activities do not represent sufficient evidence of scholarship. These include, but are not limited to:
- personal or professional development activities that constitute lower-level training or are unrelated to the teaching role (e.g. undertaking a Blackboard training session, attending an Emotional Intelligence training workshop, learning unrelated software, an unrelated research technique or taking a course in an unrelated field)
- membership on one or more academic governance committees
- dated or irrelevant scholarly activity (e.g. content or methods that are no longer employed in the field)
- research in disciplines/fields not strategically aligned with the Faculty’s or the College’s goals (e.g. information systems teacher conducting research in art history, a pathways academic researching in an unrelated discipline, outside of the Faculty or College’s strategic priorities)
- basic or routine practice that does not engage with advances in practice, or is unrelated to the discipline/field (e.g. an accountant preparing personal tax returns for individuals while teaching corporate finance or training in software use)
- involvement in professional/community groups or activities unrelated to the content or teaching methods of the discipline/field being taught (e.g. an engineering lecturer attending a literary group).
Being responsible for SoLT
This Framework emphasises personal responsibility and agency within a supportive professional development environment. Within the Southern Cross University SoLT Framework, academic staff are responsible for planning for, developing, and maintaining evidence of their scholarly activities. Evidence of engagement with scholarly activity ensures positive outcomes for staff, enabling them to further share knowledge and skills with their peers and bring about positive change. Faculties and Colleges are responsible for oversight of and producing reports on their SoLT and sharing these with the Teaching and Assessment Committee.
Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton University Press, 3175 Princeton Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ.
Kern, B., Mettetal, G., Dixson, M., & Morgan, R. K. (2015). The role of SoTL in the academy: Upon the 25th anniversary of Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 1-14.
TEQSA (May, 2022) Guidance Note on Scholarship. Version 3.0. https://www.teqsa.gov.au/latest-news/publications/guidance-note-scholarship
Trigwell, K., Martin, E., Benjamin, J., & Prosser, M. (2000). Scholarship of teaching: A model. Higher education research & development, 19(2), 155-168.
Williams, M., Goulding, F., & Seddon, T. (2013). Towards a culture of scholarly practice in mixed sector institutions. NCVER. ISBN 978 1 922056 47 4.