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Teaching & Learning Scholarship

In higher education, “scholarship” or “research” typically refers to activity distinct from teaching and something we do outside the classroom. But the broader definition of scholarship – and the force animating higher education more generally – focuses on the process of questioning, scrutinizing, and analyzing our surroundings, and then revising and applying our understanding. This is an orientation we should, ideally, apply to our teaching. 

On a formal level, the application of research methods to teaching contexts is known as the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). The field boasts an ever-growing list of peer-reviewed journals designed to publicly share findings. SoTL articles provide insight into how a particular teaching strategy or intervention worked in a specific context. If that context corresponds to our own teaching environment, you might find the conclusions of that article useful. If not, the article might, at best, provide some questions we can ask of our own teaching contexts. Because SoTL findings are often context specific, we should not think of SoTL as a handbook for how to teach.

It might be more helpful to think about SoTL dialogically. While it isn’t always the case, teaching-related research often taps personal experience – something’s not working in our classes, so we look for ways to fix it. Our personal experience and individual teaching contexts ALWAYS matter. The dialogue between our experiences in the classroom and SoTL is fertile soil for improving our teaching.

Instructors can most effectively engage in this dialogue by reflecting on your teaching and learning more about SoTL. This page includes a selection of SoTL-focused academic journals and interdisciplinary conferences that you might explore and/or contribute to. In addition, the page shares resources for those interested in conducting SoTL research.

If you have recommendations for additional periodicals or interdisciplinary conferences to add to the list, please let us know at

Teaching & Learning journals

Interdisciplinary journals

Arts & Humanities journals

Natural Sciences journals

Social Sciences journals

Built Environments journals

Business journals

Education journals

Law journals

Engineering journals

Environmental studies journals

Information science journals

Medicine/health sciences journals

Social work journals

Teaching & Learning interdisciplinary conferences and symposia:

Interested in conducting SoTL research?

If you are interested in conducting classroom-based research about effective teaching strategies, the following resources can help you get started.

  • Office of Research. Your campus’s office of research can provide you with information about developing a research plan, applying for funding, and managing a research study.
  • UW Human Subjects Division This resource can help ensure that your research plan and data collection complies with federal guidelines.