SoTL Canada Writing Groups | Call for Group Facilitators
October 27, 2023
SoTL Canada Writing Groups (SCWGs)
The theme for STLHE 2024 Conference (Committed to Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) provides significant support in what matters most for engaging in conversation, debate and advances in SoTL. Foregrounding the reflection on SoTL in Canada, we look to Simmons and Poole’s calls to action (Simmons & Poole, 2016) that serve to focus our efforts on advocacy, development, and dissemination. These commitments can be sub-divided into six key questions:
- How can we best advocate for SoTL’s recognition as valuable scholarship?
- How can we increase SoTL supports and funding, not only institutionally but also at provincial and national levels?
- How can we do these things in ways that acknowledge that most of the work is being undertaken as volunteer endeavors? How can we bring committed volunteers together in synergistic networks for greater impact?
- How is it that we have been outlining what needs to be done to move SoTL forward in Canada, but we seem to be so slow at doing it?
- Are we sure we are asking the right questions?
- Where next? Who do we need to invite into the conversation?
With this in mind, the SCWGs are focusing our commitment to SoTL by engaging with what matters most in different contexts, settings and environments. These groups bring together academics (faculty, staff, and students) to co-create articles on teaching and learning topics from a Canadian perspective. The SCWGs are encouraged to work toward publication in the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning.
We invite group facilitator applicants to identify both a topic predicated on the themes identified above and a plan for developing the article with a nationally diverse group of participants. We rely on your expertise, experience and creative ideas to develop your topic.
The SCWG will convene for a face-to-face working session during the pre-conference workshops, prior to the STLHE conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario (June 2024). Before and after the conference, the groups will work together online to develop their article and group contribution. All SCWG leaders, group facilitators, and participants are expected to attend the pre-conference working session and register for and attend the conference.
Aims and Outcomes
The aims of the SCWGs are to
- build capacity of participants to innovate and work collegially in national collaborative groups;
- promote, share and extend SoTL-based practices and findings through traditional peer-reviewed article outputs
- develop original contribution to SoTL.
Facilitator Role Expectations
In this role, your focus will be on leading and facilitating your group, and engaging with the whole SCWG cohort (i.e., the co-leaders, the other facilitators, and participants). We, as the SoTL Canada Executive, will lead the overall SCWG coordination and logistics of the face-to-face meeting in Niagara Falls, ON.
If you are selected as an SCWG group facilitator, you will
- Facilitate a national group of 6-7 members (including you as the group leader) in developing and completing the article, starting in January 2024 and through to publication no later than March 2025.
- Work with your group at a distance via online applications throughout that time period, and face-to-face at the SCWG session immediately prior to STLHE24. The objective being to develop an academic article before March 2025.
- Ensure that your group meets the various deadlines (see below).
- Collaborate with the SCWG Working Group and other group leaders in the broader initiative.
This initiative supports SoTL Canada’s mandate to build capacity in advocacy, development, and dissemination, including mentorship, leadership, and communities of practice across expanded networks of colleagues in Canada.
All SCWG leaders, group facilitators, and participants are expected to attend the pre-conference working session, as well as register for and attend the STLHE24 conference in Niagara Falls, ON.
We expect to have group facilitators selected by mid-October. After selecting the group facilitators, we will release a call for applications from the group members of SCWGs in late October. The SoTL Canada will adjudicate these applications and create the groups.
The current timeline has groups actively working from January 2024 – March 2025 with tentative milestones being:
- 15 November 2023 – SCWG group facilitators notified
- 17 November 2023 – Call for SCWG participants
- 1 December 2023 – SCWG participant applications due
- 22 December 2023 – SCWG participants notified
- January to June 2024 – SCWGs work at a distance and prepare abstracts, plans, and identified needs for group projects.
- June 2024 – SCWGs work together in Niagara Falls, ON: face-to-face working session immediately prior to STLHE conference. Attend STLHE conference.
- June 2024 – March 2025: SCWG cohort and individual groups continue working until completion of final submission
- March 2025 – Final articles should be ready for submission for publication, recommend presenting at STLHE25
To prepare your application package:
- A maximum of 300 words clearly outlining your topic and explaining how it meets the above brief for the SCWG.
- Key reasons (100 words max) why you believe you would be an effective facilitator for an international collaborative effort on this specific project.
If you would like to apply to be a group facilitator for this exciting new initiative, please submit an application via Google Forms by 9 pm PST October 27, 2023.