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Scholarship of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (SoTL) Incubator

Teaching and Learning Innovation is introducing an initiative to facilitate and advance faculty projects involving scholarship on teaching and learning (SoTL) in the courses they teach at the University of Tennessee. This initiative is designed to help faculty members carry out new studies related to teaching and learning methods and disseminate their insights to the wider higher-education community. It is open to all instructional faculty members and to graduate teaching assistants/associates with faculty advisor support.


  • Assist faculty members in carrying out new SoTL studies in higher education at UT
  • Assist faculty members in disseminating results (journal articles, conference presentations, etc.)
  • Help advance faculty members’ career goals
  • Contribute to SoTL literature and TLI data-driven, evidence-based practices

SoTL Incubator provides a framework for effective research design, IRB application, and implementation. It consists of a series of meetings, structured by workflow documents and facilitated by TLI staff. Faculty members participating in the program may choose only specific options from this list or may initiate the entire process. At present, there is plenty of capacity for new projects, but as more get underway, there may be limits to how many we can accommodate at the same time—this website will be updated accordingly.

Program Overview & Meeting Schedule

With the assistance and support of TLI staff, faculty members sketch out the overall plan for the project, including some initial decisions about its scope and purpose.

TLI staff, as well as any collaborators identified during the first meeting, will assist and support faculty members in developing a plan for the literature review process and can assist in identifying and curating a file of available articles on the chosen intervention or project. Depending on the nature of the project, timing, and availability, some staff may also be able to assist in evaluating the existing literature and coauthoring parts of the lit review.

TLI staff and faculty collaborators can assist in developing a research design that will produce useful and appropriate data (quantitative, qualitative, mixed, or observational) to fill the identified gaps in the literature, while maximizing efficiency. Please Note: TLI embraces a general workflow, reflected in the structure of this series of meetings, but our staff are open to many different methodologies and philosophies of SoTL work.

TLI staff can assist in planning for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) submission process and in developing documents regarding human-subjects research. We also recommend consultations with the IRB coordinators, who can provide specific advice.

TLI staff can assist in securing and tracking informed consent, collecting data, and preparing data for analysis in a variety of ways, depending on the nature of the project, timing, and availability.

TLI staff can assist in data analysis and/or locate and coordinate with collaborators who have requisite expertise, as needed depending on the nature of the project.

TLI staff can provide any level of assistance with the writing and publication process, from editing and formatting assistance to the drafting or composition of components.

Getting the Ball Rolling

This new TLI initiative is transitioning from a pilot phase toward full-scale implementation, so we are looking for faculty members who may have already joined the SoTL Faculty Support Network and are interested in trying out the framework. If you are interested in beginning with an initial planning meeting, please complete the form below. If you have questions about the program, please contact TLI Special Programs Coordinator Dr. Chris Kilgore at

SoTL Incubator Interest Form



The incubator program is currently supporting the following faculty and their projects:

  • Motivation & Engagement in a Gameful Learning Environment: Jedediah Blanton, Assistant Professor of Practice & Rachel Williams, Doctoral Student, Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sports Studies
  • Stretched Calculus: Anne Ho, Lecturer & Joan Lind, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics
  • World of Professionals: Ryan Windeknecht, Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy
  • First Year Composition Academy / High Impact, High Enrolment Course Academy: Sally C. Harris, Distinguished Lecturer, Department of English
  • Applied Oral Communication Evaluation: Michelle Violanti, Associate Professor, School of Communication Studies
  • Case Studies to Reduce Test Anxiety: Daiane Santana Alves, Lecturer, Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology