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

With the Incubator program, Teaching and Learning Innovation helps facilitate and advance faculty projects involving scholarship on teaching and learning (SoTL) in the courses they teach at the University of Tennessee. This program 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

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 Associate Director for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, Dr. Chris Kilgore, at

SoTL Incubator Interest Form



The incubator program supports the following 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 Enrollment 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
  • Reflection, Social Justice, and Metacognition in a Spanish Class: Laura Trujillo-Mejía, Distinguished Lecturer, Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Teaching on Trauma, Winter Mini Term and Beyond: Phyllis Thompson, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Social Work
  • Literature of the Conquest & Service Learning (2 projects): Millie Gimmel, Associate Professor, Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • eTHRIVE: Lisa Davenport, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Nursing, & Meghan Parson, eTHRIVE Project Manager
  • Shelter Medicine, Outreach, & Community Engagement: Jennifer Weisent, Assistant Clinical Professor; Becky DeBolt, Clinical Assistant Professor; Alexis Niceley, Program Administrator, Small Animal Clinical Sciences; Jaime Norris, Cait Program Assistant, Small Animal Clinical Sciences; College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Biology Booster Shot: Caroline Wienhold, Lecturer, Division of Biology; Randall Small, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; Patrick Biddix, Professor of Higher Education; Virginia Stormer, Associate Director for Curriculum Development & Design, TLI
  • Case Study on Accelerated Format: Amber Giffin, Doctoral Student, Educational Psychology
  • Alternative Grading in Asynchronous Basic Calculus: Shel Swenson, Senior Lecturer, Mathematics
  • Scenario-Based Learning in Astronomy: Sean Lindsay, Senior Lecturer, Physics & Astronomy
  • Non-Western Perspectives for an Online Adult Learning Course: Qi Sun, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies; Amber Giffin, Doctoral Student, Educational Psychology
  • Exercise — Theory Into Practice:  Adam Ibrahim, Doctoral Student, Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies
  • Geoscience Interests:  Robert Jacobsen, Lecturer, Earth & Planetary Sciences; Lauren Pinkard, Undergraduate Student, Earth & Planetary Sciences
  • Problem-Based Learning — Ag VolCore:  Molly West, Lecturer; Victoria Beasley, Lecturer; Blake Colclasure, Senior Lecturer, Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication
  • Specifications Grading in GenEd World History: Claire Mayo, Administrative Associate, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Religious Studies Multi-Institutional Study: Joe Witt, Associate Professor, Religious Studies
  • Students’ Perceptions on the Use of AI in Peer Review: Alejandro Velez Melendez, Assistant Professor, Psychology
  • Self-Efficacy in Patient Medication Education: Kathryn Crawford, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing & Cameron Carr, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
  • Primary Sources: Taylor’s Version: Grace Therrell, Assistant Professor, UTK Libraries & Erin Whitaker, Assistant Professor, UTK Libraries
  • Teaching with Generative AI in First Year Composition – Exploring Students’ Attitudes and Uses: Christopher Mayer, Doctoral Candidate, Department of English