University of Southern Indiana


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

SoTL Fellows Program

Planning Your SoTL Project Workshop:
Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at 1-4 pm in UC 2217-18

Printable version of this SoTL Fellow Program description

Congratulations to the 2020 SoTL Fellows!

  • Mark Creager, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
  • Jara Dillingham, Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work
  • Urska Dobersek, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Daniel Elg, Assistant Professor of Engineering
  • Matthew Powles, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Kathy Riedford, Associate Professor of Nursing
  • Ilfa Zhulamanova, Assistant Professor of Education

Application due by January 17, 2020 (preview of the online application).  Thank you for the interest in the SoTL Fellows program; 13 applications were submitted for review.

SoTL Fellows Application (closed)


The SoTL Fellows Program provides USI faculty members with the opportunity to develop and carry out a scholarly project that investigates teaching, student learning, and/or student success.  Through participation in a learning community, Fellows will develop a research project focused on student learning and their outcomes, receive support and guidance during the process, and establish collegial connections across disciplines.  Participants will receive a $1,000 stipend after the successful completion of the multi-semester program, which starts in February 2020 and concludes in May 2021.  Faculty interested in participating in the SoTL Fellows program must apply by January 17, 2020.

As a member of the faculty at USI, one functions as both a teacher and scholar who contributes to their discipline(s), students, peers, and community.  The relationship between teaching and scholarship is strengthened when one’s scholarship, research, and/or creative work informs one’s teaching practice to support student learning and when one’s teaching practice motivates scholarly inquiry its effectiveness on student learning and success.  Acknowledging the commitment of the faculty as teacher-scholars who impact student learning, the SoTL Fellow program provides faculty members with a multi-semester opportunity to enhance one’s scholarship related to teaching and student learning and success.  

Program Goals

  • Encourage and enhance faculty engagement in the scholarly inquiry on student learning, research-based instructional strategies, and student success.
  • Facilitate a learning community of scholars who will receive and give support in scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and student success inquiry projects.
  • Contribute to improving student learning and success at USI.

Participant Outcomes 
Through participating in the SoTL Fellows program, each selected participant will:

  • Expand their scholarship while contributing to the understanding of student learning and student success issues.
  • Identify a research question on evidence-based teaching and student learning or student success and develop an appropriate research plan to explore the question.
  • Submit IRB proposal(s) and obtain approval to conduct the identified research project.
  • Conduct the project and publicly share the results and lessons learned of the project.

Program Information

  • The program provides the selected participants with support in their scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and student success research projects through a learning community of scholars. The program will be facilitated by CETL, with the support of SoTL mentors.
  • The program begins in February 2020 and ends in May 2021.
  • Each selected Fellow will receive stipends totaling $1,000 after the completion of milestones and significant participation in the learning community activities. The first $500 stipend will be provided after the Fellow submits their research question and research plan, with approval, and any necessary IRB approval has been granted (expected during Summer 2020).  The second $500 stipend will be provided after the Fellow collects and analyzes project data and the final report has been approved (expected during Summer 2021).  It is expected that this final report will be a complete manuscript ready for submission.

Program Schedule and Milestones

  • January 17, 2020: Application deadline
  • January 31, 2020: Application notification. Selected applicants must confirm participation and acceptance of program expectations/schedule within a week.
  • February 26 or 27, 2020 (to be confirmed): SoTL workshop; All faculty are invited to participate in this 3-hour workshop with Dr. Jennifer Friberg (Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University and 2019 Celebration of Teaching & Learning keynote speaker).
  • Monthly Sessions: Spring 2020 (every 2-3 weeks), Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021
  • Spring 2020: Identify a research question and draft a research plan; participate in learning community readings and discussions.
  • Summer 2020: Finalize research plan, submit IRB application, and receive IRB approval.
  • Fall 2020- Spring 2021: Conduct the research (data collection in courses, receive institutional data, analyze data) and submit proposals/abstracts for presentations. 
  • Spring 2021: Present at the Celebration of Teaching & Learning Symposium and identify potential journals for manuscript submission.
  • Summer 2021-Fall 2021: Submission of external conference presentation proposal and paper/manuscript to a peer-reviewed publication.

Expectations of Participants 
As a Fellow, each selected participant is expected to:

  • Participate in monthly learning community sessions organized by CETL throughout the program period (Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021). This includes more frequent meetings during Spring 2020, a SoTL workshop in February 2020, and sessions during Summer 2020.  The program is designed to build community among participants; thus, participation in the regular sessions is essential.
  • Identify a research project inquiring on issues of teaching and student learning or student success. Example projects could focus on implementing and assessing the effectiveness of evidence-based instructional practice, investigate an aspect of student learning of a topic or development of a critical skill, or conduct actionable research that explores questions on student outcomes and success at a course or program level.
  • Develop a research plan for the identified question and conduct the study, which includes data collection and analysis with IRB approval.
  • Share project updates within the cohort as the work progresses and provide constructive and collegial feedback on other participants’ projects.
  • Attend and present the project at a Celebration of Teaching & Learning Symposium at USI. Participants may choose to also present the project at regional, national, or international conferences on teaching and learning or student success in higher education.
  • Prepare a paper for a peer-reviewed publication (e.g., journal, book chapter, conference proceeding) that disseminates the work of the identified project. While a submission-ready paper might not be completed by the end of the program period, it is expected that a paper will be completed and ready to submit by the next semester.


  • All full-time faculty at the University of Southern Indiana are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants agree to commit to participating in program activities and be available to participate in the Spring 2020 SoTL workshop and in learning community sessions each semester, including Summer 2020.

Complete the application online by January 17, 2020.  The application requests the following:
[preview of the online application]

  • Applicant information: Name, contact info, role, year joined USI, college, dept/program. Level of experience in SoTL, statistical analysis, and research methods (this will be used to help identify areas of support).
  • Availability: Availability to participate in the SoTL workshop in Spring 2020 and learning community activities during Spring 2020-Spring 2021, and scheduling information for Spring 2020 and Summer 2020.
  • Proposed Project Description (approximately 300-500 words):
    Please describe the SoTL or student success inquiry project you plan to work on. By participating in the learning community, you will identify a research question and more fully develop a project that is relevant to teaching and learning or student success. Thus, describe your initial area of interest that focuses on an aspect of student learning and teaching, or student success, at USI.  Also describe what motivated you to explore this area and the relevance of this topic to student learning, teaching practice, and/or student success.
  • Goals for Participating (approximately 150-250 words):
    Please explain how being part of the SoTL Fellows learning community will help you to achieve your goals. An essential part of the program is a learning community with a facilitator, colleagues from multiple disciplines, and interaction with SoTL mentors who have expertise in statistical analysis and research methods. 
  • Additional Information (optional, up to 100 words): Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Selection Process and Criteria

  • Complete applications will be evaluated by a review committee and CETL.
  • Applications will be evaluated while considering these criteria:
    1. the described connection of the proposed project to student learning or success,
    2. the impact on the applicant’s teaching as it relates to student learning or success and the further development of the applicant as a teacher-scholar,
    3. the potential for contributing to enhanced understanding of teaching and student learning and/or success at USI,
    4. the applicant’s commitment to participating as a member of the learning community, and
    5. the feasibility of the project during the program period.
  • Up to seven participants will be selected from all complete applications.

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