Using Communication Technology to Build a Global Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Community of Practice

Deborah CLARKE
Charles Sturt University, Australia

University of Western Australia, Australia

Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand


As new scholars transition into their role in academe participating in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) may be, for some, a daunting proposition. To assist new scholars to "learn the ropes" of SoTL, members of the HERDSA New Scholars Portfolio created a series of technology enabled seminars aimed at socialising new scholars into the SoTL community of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991). The online community of practice comprised 18 academics from a range of universities and polytechnics across Australia and New Zealand. New scholars engaged in a series of five sequentially scaffolded, synchronous learning seminars which were supported by two communication technologies Adobe Connect and Edmodo. These technologies provided the platform to connect members of the community across geographic boundaries, time zones and institutions. As technological tools these platforms created a shared space in which the new scholars (legitimate peripheral participants) were introduced to the language and conventions of SoTL and to those tasks that specifically related to SoTL practice. To evaluate the efficacy of the project, data were gathered via an anonymous online survey and interviewing consenting participants. Data analysis was performed using i) Yin's five phase conceptual cycle (2011); and ii) Lave and Wenger's (1991) theoretical framework of communities of practice. This roundtable presents the results of this research and poses questions for discussion relating to the sustainability of pursuing SoTL for the CoP.

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