Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

2022 SoTL Funding Support: Reflection, Planning & Preparation

Call for Proposals

Teaching and Learning Innovation and the Division of Faculty Affairs are pleased to offer additional support for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).  Writing is central to SoTL work, and initiating and completing a SoTL project will require a significant amount of text right from the very beginning.  To help faculty members begin this work and advance it toward research and publication, we are offering supplemental support for key written components of the preparatory process.

  • Purpose:Supporting and advancing scholarship on teaching
  • Eligibility: All full-time UT faculty and staff members who teach for UT, and who are eligible to receive additional pay during the award period are eligible to apply.
  • Amount: $1,500 per individual participant
  • Application Deadline: Sunday, March 27st, by 11:59 PM
  • Project Start Date: Thursday, May 19th
  • Project Completion Deadline:Sunday, June 5th, by 11:59pm

2022 Participants

Daiane S. Alves, College of Arts and Sciences, Biochemistry

Robin Barrow Nichols, College of Arts and Sciences, English

Moonhee ChoCollege of Communication and Information, School of Advertising & Public Relations

Meghan Conley, College of Arts and Sciences, Sociology

Renee D’Elia Zunino, College of Arts and Sciences, Modern Foreign Languages & Literature

Maria Hurt, College of Nursing, Traditional & Accelerated programs

Kirsten Secora & Cheryl Shahan, College of Education, Health, & Human Sciences, Theory & Practice in Teacher Education

Suzy Prentiss, College of Communication and Information, Communication Studies

Meet Our 2021 Participants

The Project

This year our funding opportunity includes three options. Please choose one of the following upon deciding to apply.

Option 1: Narrative Reflection

Reflection is the cornerstone of SoTL work, and represents not merely a starting point or step in a process, but rather an ongoing practice.  Many SoTL projects actively produce and analyze self-reflective documents. In autoethnographic or action-research, articles on scholarly teaching also have to present accounts of teaching practices and processes.

Narrative, as a mode of reflection, turns attention to temporality, the dynamics of people and events in time, allowing us to reflect on when things happened (tense), and how long they took to unfold and also how they coincided (aspect).  Narrative also turns attention to subjectivity, to the unique experience of people within a sociocultural environment.  Together, these elements of temporality and subjectivity afford access to ideas about the connections between people and events, causality and agency.

The present process invites participants to compose a narrative reflection, an account of salient experiences over the course of the past year, and possibly into an imagined future.  This reflection should involve a critical reconsideration of how participants’ experiences fit together, to establish a foundation for further scholarly work, which might include collaborative analysis of the narrative works, further theoretical study, or preparation for further research activity.

Examples of this type of work includes:

  • Collaborative qualitative analysis of the narrative works by their creators 
  • Further theoretical work applying new frameworks to the salient narrative elements 
  • Preparation for further scholarship on teaching practices in the classroom 
  • Sustained programs of collaborative, possibly interdisciplinary, research 
  • New efforts toward innovation in teaching at the departmental or college level 

Option 2: Review of the Literature

Research in UT classrooms will require an IRB Application, and preparing an effective application will mean attending closely to existing studies on the topic under consideration.  Every SoTL project will need to consider the literature on several dimensions of the project, which may include:

Discipline-specific practices:  How does the discipline tend to handle the learning outcomes desired for your course?  Are there evidence-based best practices, documented in peer-reviewed studies?  What theories drive educational praxis in your discipline?

Interdisciplinary teaching strategies:  For projects studying how a given teaching technique works, where and how has this technique been documented in the literature?  In what other disciplines have similar methods been used, and with what degree of success?  Do other disciplines mobilize different theory bases to drive this kind of work?

Assessment and research methods:  For projects studying similar student learning outcomes, how are the goals operationalized?  That is, how do other studies determine whether a given outcome or experience has taken place?   What do they measure, or what kind of data do they gather?  What kind of analyses do they construct.

Ideally, a literature review should establish that the project has antecedents in existing studies, but that it promises to create new knowledge that will add to the knowledge base.  The IRB application will require a brief 1-2 paragraph literature review, but the present project will aim to create a larger document, adaptable both for the IRB application and a future publication.

Option 3: Activity Plan (Methods)

For those who have already reviewed the available literature and are ready to begin planning for research in the classroom, the next step will be to create a plan for research activities, which can be used both in the IRB application and in the methods section of an eventual publication.  This activity plan should usually address the following components:

Purpose / Objectives: The plan should indicate what course context is being studied, and what the study aims to learn.  This may take the form of a research question and hypothesis, or just a less-well-understood area of the existing literature, which the study will explore.

Study Population: The plan should explain who will be potential participants in the study.

Activities:  The plan should indicate what data will be collected, and how the collection process will take place.  If you intend to use existing instruments, this is the place to identify them and provide a rationale for their use here.

Analysis:  The plan should indicate how you will analyze the data, and how this analysis will serve to address the research question or purpose outlined at the beginning of the plan.  If you intend to use specialized analytical methods, this is the place to identify them and provide a rationale for their use.


The Process

The writing process itself will be at the discretion of the participants—upon acceptance, no additional meetings are required prior to turning in the completed manuscript—but for those who prefer more dialogue, members of TLI and UT Libraries staff, will be available to facilitate brainstorming or “accountability” check-ins.  Similarly, members of TLI and the UT Libraries, will be available to help participants find ways to take the next steps forward with these projects, upon completion.  The final manuscript should be:

  • Length: At least 2,000 words (no upper limit)
  • Focus: 
    • Option 1 – Narrative Reflection:  A critical consideration of specific experiences related to teaching and learning (other elements of course merit consideration, but the central focus should relate to teaching and learning—see additional prompts in the application).
    • Option 2 – Literature Review:  A critical consideration of the existing literature on the topic, with a clear argument about what remains to be learned (gaps in the literature; again, the central focus should relate to teaching and learning).
    • Option 3 – Activity Plan:  A thorough and detailed plan for activities, including all of the listed components (again, the central focus should relate to teaching and learning).
  • Deadline: All final products produced should be completed and emailed to Dr. Chris Kilgore, TLI Associate Director for SoTL, at ckilgor4@utk.edu, by 11:59pm on Sunday, June 5.
  • Next Steps: TLI will retain an archive of the manuscripts for use as examples in future programming, and members of TLI and the UT Libraries will work with participants to help disseminate their work, and/or use it as a foundation for further research.

If you have any questions about the project’s intent or the process, please contact Chris Kilgore (ckilgor4@utk.edu).

The Application Process

Thank you for your interest in applying, unfortunately applications are now closed for the 2022 SoTL Funding Support opportunity.