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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Conduct


Problem Formulation

Consider types of questions.
  • What works questions
  • What is questions
  • Visions of the possible
  • New conceptual frameworks




Literature Review

A central step in SOTL inquiry is a thorough review of the literature. Kathleen McKinney has observed that the literature review may be challenging for new researchers. For many, the process requires scholars to move beyond their home discourse community. Depending on the field, the literature review may serve a range of purposes including:  a published product, a tool for learning, a tool for designing research, or a more passive survey or list. In SOTL, most research articles include an analytical and critical literature review.

The literature review will help you to discover how your work fits into the broader scholarly conversation and will help you ask and answer questions like:

  • What is the theoretical (learning theory or discipline-based theory) foundation to my inquiry?
  • How have other scholars approached (methods) questions like mine?
  • What observations or conclusions did these scholars draw?
  • What on-going research questions did these scholars pose?
  • How does my work fit into or contribute to these conversations?



Step One: 

Register with Zotero



Step Two:

Download Zotero

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Step Three:

Sync Your Account

Step Four:

Become Familiar with Zotero Interface

Step Five:

Import Citations Into Your Zotero Library

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Step Six:

Learn More 

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Gathering Evidence

Consider how best to gather evidence and address your research question. It may be helpful to consider types or genres of SOTL studies.

  • Case studies and success stories
  • Pre-test and post-test comparison (Quantitative or Qualitative)
  • Reflection on curricular practice or intervention
  • Annotated bibliography or meta-analysis
  • Observational studies
  • Focus groups or semi-structured interviews
  • Content or discourse analysis



Institutional Review Board

Research Administration and Support LogoThe University of Colorado's Institutional Review Board provides a high quality review of human subjects research being undertaken by Faculty, Staff and Students at the University of Colorado – Boulder. 

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