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What is SoTL?

SOTL stands for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. It is defined as “Methodologically rigorous scholarly work conducted to enhance teaching and advance learning, ideally resulting in peer-reviewed products made public" (Society for the Teaching of Psychology, 2013). Within all academic domains, research is used to advance knowledge and inform practice. Teaching requires the same scholarly approach and rigor. SoTL work includes engagements with existing literature on teaching and learning, self-reflection and methodologically sound experimentation of pedagogy, and public sharing or dissemination of such work.

The Center for Faculty Excellence fully supports SoTL work and sponsors numerous events throughout the year to support faculty in their endeavors. In addition, MSU Denver has a vested interest in research that enhances the quality of teaching particularly in regard to increasing student learning.

Are you already involved in SoTL? Let us know!

Are you considering SoTL work but don't know where to start? Have you completed a project but are struggling to disseminate it? Over the fall 2013 semester the CFD held three SoTL workshops. Below you can find the powerpoint files that accompanied the workshops. An important step in all research is to gain Institutional Review Board approval (IRB). This particular workshop was video recorded and can be viewed below (coming soon). In addition Dr. Ropp and Dr. Bethany Fleck wrote an essay entitled "Using Students as Participants: Gaining IRB Approval for SoTL Research"  which has been accepted for publication in the Society of the Teaching of Psychology's" E-xcellence in Teaching online publication. Click the link above to read the article.

  • Introduction to SoTL : Moving beyond practice into Scholarship: Lead by Dr. Bethany Fleck & Dr. Rey Hernandez. 
  • Using Students as Participants : Navigating the IRB for SoTL work. Lead by Dr. Bethany Fleck & Michaela Clemens, Human Subjects Protection Program (HSPP) Coordinator. 
  • Hot Off the Press : Publishing your SoTL work: Lead by Dr. Bethany Fleck & Dr. Aaron Richmond. Bethany K.B. Fleck, Ph.D., MST
  • A Compendium of Scales for Use in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning -  The 2015 Early Career Psychologists Committee created this e-book to encourage and support Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research in psychology. Very few resources exist that provide an evaluative review of a variety of measurement tools, especially within the SoTL literature. Organized by topic, this compendium contains scale descriptions, validation information (if available), and marked references so scholars can examine past research that used each scale. In addition, the authors—each well established within their area of focus—provide advice on choosing appropriate scales, developing scales, and the types of scales the SoTL literature still needs. The e-book is divided into two sections, 1) choosing, using, developing, and validating scales, and 2) scales for use in SoTL including a broad range of topics such as critical thinking, learning and self-efficacy, professor-student relationships, well-being, service learning, and student perceptions of learning and teaching. Although this e-book will clearly be helpful to those just getting started in SoTL, it will be equally valuable to seasoned researchers or could serve as an excellent supplementary text for courses such as tests and measurements, research methods, and educational assessment.


SoTL Scales for Research: 

  1. Teacher Behavior Checklist: Keeley, J., Smith, D., & Buskist, W. (2006). The Teacher Behaviors Checklist: Factor analysis of its utility for evaluating teaching. Teaching of Psychology,33(2), 84-91.
  2. Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire: Pintrich, P. R. (1991). A manual for the use of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ).
  3. Big 5 Personality Traits: Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann Jr, W. B. (2003). A very brief measure of the Big-Five personality domains. Journal of Research in personality37(6), 504-528.
  4. Student Professor Rapport Scale: Wilson, J. H., Ryan, R. G., & Pugh, J. L. (2010). Professor–student rapport scale predicts student outcomes. Teaching of Psychology37(4), 246-251.
  5. Student Engagement: Handelsman, M. M., Briggs, W. L., Sullivan, N., & Towler, A. (2005). A measure of college student course engagement. The Journal of Educational Research98(3), 184-192.
  6. Metacognitive Awareness Inventory: Schraw, G., & Dennison, R. S. (1994). Assessing metacognitive awareness.Contemporary educational psychology19(4), 460-475.
  7. Memory Self-Efficacy Questionnaire: Berry, J. M., West, R. L., & Dennehey, D. M. (1989). Reliability and validity of the Memory Self-Efficacy Questionnaire. Developmental Psychology25(5), 701.
  8. Teacher Humor Scale: Frymier, A. B., Wanzer, M. B., & Wojtaszcyk, A. M. (2008). Assessing students’ perceptions of inappropriate and appropriate teacher humor. Communication Education, 57(2), 266-288. doi: 10.1080/03634520701687183 
  9. Need for Cognition Scale: Cacioppo, J. T., Petty, R. E., & Feng Kao, C. (1984). The efficient assessment of need for cognition. Journal of personality assessment48(3), 306-307.
  10. Self-Description Questionnaire III (self-concept): Marsh, H. W. 1987. The Self Description Questionnaire (SDQ) III: A theoretical and empirical basis for the measurement of multiple dimensions of late adolescent self-concept: An interim test manual and a research monograph. University of Western Sydney, Australia.
  11. The Post-Experimental Intrinsic Motivation Inventory: McAuley, E., Duncan, T., & Tammen, V. V. (1987).  Psychometric properties of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory in a competitive sport setting: A confirmatory factor analysis.  Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 60, 48-58. 


The Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching

International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The Society for the Teaching of Psychology


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