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The following articles were used to help inform the structure and content of the SoTL Taxonomy. These articles are listed in chronological order to show the potential nature of the changes in perspectives of thinking about SoTL. Not that the last column, TYPE, is a classification of the article as either prescriptive (P): the author(s) discuss how to conduct SoTL, or descriptive (D): the authors discuss what SoTL is.

Author Method/Goal Summary Type
(Hutchings 2000) Defining the four types of SoTL questions
  • What works (evidence of effectiveness)
  • What is (descriptions of practice)
  • What could be (visions of the possible)
  • New Conceptional frameworks
(Trigwell et al. 2000) Phenomenography study, which developed five Categories of Description of Approaches to Scholarship of Teaching. Note this article uses the historical term “scholarship of teaching” versus the current terminology of “scholarship of teaching and learning
  • The scholarship of teaching is about knowing the literature on teaching by collecting and reading that literature.
  • Scholarship of teaching is about improving teaching by collecting and reading the literature on teaching.
  • Scholarship of teaching is about improving student learning by investigating the learning of one’s own students and one’s own teaching.
  • Scholarship of teaching is about improving one’s own students’ learning by knowing and relating the literature on teaching and learning to discipline-specific literature and knowledge.
  • The scholarship of teaching is about improving student learning within the discipline generally, by collecting and communicating results of one’s own work on teaching and learning within the discipline.
(Gwynn Mettetal 2002) The components of Classroom Action Research, which form much of the basis of many SoTL initiatives
  • Background information
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Reflection
  • Presentation
(Felten 2013) Lists the five principles of good SoTL practice
  • Inquiry focused on student learning
  • Grounded in context
  • Methodologically sound
  • Conducted in partnership with students
  • Appropriately public
(Hubball and Clarke 2010) A review of the methodological approaches used in SoTL. Relevant is the framework for comparing these methods
  • SoTL Research Context
  • Central SoTL research questions
  • Methodological Approach
  • Data Collection Methods
  • General Outcomes
(Finelli, Borrego, and Rasoulifar 2015) A formalized taxonomy for Engineering Education Research with 14 trees and multiple branches within each
  1. Assessment
  2. Design
  3. Diversity
  4. Educational Level
  5. Education Setting
  6. Educational technology
  7. Instruction
  8. Outcomes
  9. Professional Practice
  10. Recruitment and Retention
  11. Related Fields
  12. Research Approach
  13. Theoretical Frameworks
  14. Teams
(Miller-Young and Yeo 2015) Developed a two-dimensional framework that plots the Learning Theoretical Framework versus Methodological Approach Learning Theory

  • Behaviourism
  • Cognitivism
  • Constructivism
  • Social Constructivism
  • Humanism


  • Quantitative
  • Qualitative (empirical)
  • Naturalistic
  • Interpretive
  • Critical
  • Postmodern
(Kern et al. 2015) Summarized previous taxonomies to the Dimensions of Activities Related to Teaching (DART) model, which classifies how activities are shared (private-public) versus how activities are conducted (informal-systematic), resulting in four quadrants Dimensions of Activities Related to Teaching:

  • Practice of Teaching (Private/informal)
  • Scholarly Teaching Private/systematic
  • Sharing about Teaching (Public/informal)
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Public/systematic)
(Nelson) Summarized other references/analysis to define five groups of SoTL (with 13 examples)
  • Reports on Particular Classes
  • Reflections on Years of Teaching Experience
  • Larger Contexts (comparisons of courses/students over time)
  • Formal Research
  • Summaries & Analysis of prior studies
(Fanghanel et al. 2016) A systematic review of UK SoTL activities and policies, resulting in a two-dimensional model that references SoTL characteristics and SoTL levels Characteristics

  • Individual SoTL practices
  • Focus on Discipline
  • Role of Institutional structures for recognition
  • Role of Institutional structures for capacity building
  • Role of national and international context


  • Micro: academics and departments
  • Meso: institution
  • Macro: national and international frameworks and communities
(Divan et al. 2017) Survey of research approaches. Focus was on Data Collection Instrument, but guiding questions provide taxonomy insights.
  • How prevalent is quantitative research only, qualitative research only, or mixed methods research amongst empirical SoTL articles?
  • What data do SoTL researchers commonly gather, and when and how do they collect and analyze these data?
  • When mixed methods research is used, how are qualitative and quantitative approaches integrated and/or balanced within these articles?
(Booth and Woollacott 2018) Created a conceptual framework describing the five domains of SoTL based on a literature review
  • Didactic Domain
  • Epistemic Domain
  • Interpersonal Domain
  • Moral/Ethical Domain
  • Societal Domain
(Haigh and Withell 2020) Conducted a review of literature, publishing guidelines and other resources to gain an understanding of the use of research paradigms and reflexivity in SoTL. Though review was tightly focused, the recommendations highlight a need to increase the use and understanding of research paradigms and reflexivity in SoTL research and publications P
(How 2020) A systematic review of SoTL literature, resulting in five categories of SoTL activities
  • SoTL methodologies and approaches
  • Conceptualizing and framing SoTL
  • Institutional support for SoTL
  • Applied SoTL research
  • Teaching and Learning strategies and tools
(Poole and Chick 2022) Categorized seven forms of SoTL introspection
  • Reflection on our teaching,
  • Reflection on student thinking
  • Practitioner identity exploration
  • Practitioner contextualization
  • Field definition
  • Assessment of the state of the field
  • Scrutiny of SoTL as a community


Booth, S., and L. C. Woollacott. 2018. “On the Constitution of SoTL: Its Domains and Contexts.” Higher Education 75 (3): 537–51.

Divan, Aysha, Lynn Ludwig, Kelly Matthews, Phillip Motley, and Ana Tomljenovic-Berube. 2017. “Research Approaches in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Publications: A Systematic Literature Review.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 5 (2): 16.

Fanghanel, Joëlle, Jane Pritchard, Jacqueline Potter, and Gina Wisker. 2016. Defining and Supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL): A Sector-Wide Study: Literature Review: Higher Education Academy.

Felten, Peter. 2013. “Principles of Good Practice in SoTL.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 1 (1): 121–25.

Finelli, Cynthia J., Maura Borrego, and Golnoosh Rasoulifar. 2015. “Development of a Taxonomy of Keywords for Engineering Education Research.” Journal of Engineering Education 104 (4): 365–87.

Haigh, Neil, and Andrew John Withell. 2020. “The Place of Research Paradigms in SoTL Practice: An Inquiry.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 8 (2): 17–31.

How, Zhan Jie. 2020. “A Systematic Review of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Research in Higher Education Institutes from 2014–2019.” In Transforming Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, edited by Seng C. Tan and Shen-Hsing A. Chen. Singapore: Springer Singapore.

Hubball, Harry, and Anthony Clarke. 2010. “Diverse Methodological Approaches and Considerations for SoTL in Higher Education.” The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 1 (1).

Hutchings, Pat, ed. 2000. Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: The Carnagie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Kern, Beth, Gwendolyn Mettetal, Marcia Dixson, and Robin K. Morgan. 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.

Mettetal, Gwynn. 2002. “The What, Why, and How of Classroom Action Research.” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2 (1): 6–13.

Miller-Young, Janice, and Michelle Yeo. 2015. “Conceptualizing and Communicating SoTL: A Framework for the Field.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 3 (2): 37–53.

Nelson, Craig. How Could I Do Scholarship of Teaching & Learning? Selected Examples of Several of the Different Genres of SOTL.

Poole, Gary, and Nancy Chick. 2022. “Great Introspections: How and Why SoTL Looks Inward.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 10.

Trigwell, Keith, Elaine Martin, Joan Benjamin, and Michael Prosser. 2000. “Scholarship of Teaching: A Model.” Higher Education Research & Development 19 (2): 155–68.