You can choose from six workshops to be held on Wednesday 15 June from 13:30 to 16:30 in the Brooks building, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Workshop A

Using the hands-on Utrecht Roadmap for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (UR-SOTL) to shape a SoTL project

Lindy Wijsman, Utrecht University

Irma Meijerman

Starting a scholarly teaching inquiry (SoTL) to improve teaching and student learning can be a challenge and can raise many questions. After all, most academic teachers are not educational scientists with ready to use knowledge about teaching and learning processes. The Utrecht Roadmap for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (UR-SoTL) was designed to support academic teachers shaping a SoTL project by integrating the principles of SoTL1 with an instructional design model called ‘CIMO’-logic2. In eight steps the roadmap guides academic teachers in the process of designing and executing their own SoTL project through step-by-step information, useful tips, tricks, and pitfalls to avoid. It is a helpful tool for everyone new to SoTL and for academic teachers who are already engaged in SoTL and want to further advance the systematic approach of their projects.

In this hands-on workshop we will introduce the first three steps that have to be taken to go from a general idea for a SoTL project to a specific researchable teaching question. Furthermore, attendees have the opportunity to actively engage in the SoTL-community through discussing their SoTL-projects with other participants in small groups.

The Utrecht Roadmap for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (UR-SoTL).

The UR-SoTL stimulates academic teachers to analyse the organisation of their teaching and investigate the effect of their teaching on student learning in a methodologically sound way, grounded in relevant theory. A unique feature of the UR-SoTL, compared to many other SoTL-guidance documents, is the offered support to go from an initial question or experienced problem in the teaching practice to a specific researchable teaching question. The added instructional design model, the ‘CIMO’-logic2 plays an important role in shaping the SoTL project by zooming in and out on the alignment between the:

  • learning Context: the specific context of the teaching and learning practice.
  • learning Outcomes: the aspects of the students’ learning processes one would like to understand or improve.
  • learning Mechanisms: The learning processes influencing the (desired) learning outcomes. These are cognitive, motivational, and regulatory processes3.
  • learning Interventions: the teaching activities used to achieve the desired (learning) outcomes.

These four elements support teachers to find relevant literature about the learning of their students and the design of their teaching activity, as an aid to formulate their focused and specific research question and determine their research methods. Moreover, the ‘CIMO’-logic encourages teachers to use a more scholarly approach in their SoTL-project.

Session Plan

After the introduction, the workshop contains three parts, highlighting steps 1 to 3 of the UR-SoTL. Step 1 is the context and reason to start a SoTL project, step 2 the analysis of teaching activities using the ‘CIMO’-logic, and step 3 is formulation of a researchable teaching question. Each part contains some information about the step, followed by application to participants’ own project idea. In small groups, participants will share and discuss their project ideas with the other SoTL-community members in this workshop. The workshop will end with a summary and information on how to continue with the SoTL-project.


  • Felten, P. (2013) Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal, 1(1), 121-125
  • Denyer, D et al (2008) Organization Studies 29(3), 303-413
  • Vermunt, J.D., & Donche, V. (2017). Educational Psychology Review, 29, 269-299.

Workshop B

Getting published: Going Public with your SoTL Work

Mick Healey, Healey HE Consultants and University of Gloucestershire

Kelly Matthews, Alison Cook-Sather, Ruth Healey

There is growing acknowledgement that we ought to learn more about writing if we want to be published in academic journals (Murray, 2009, p.3).

Why do you—or why might you—write about learning and teaching in higher education? What scholarly conversations are capturing your attention and how do or might you contribute to them? Do you find yourself wanting to start new, or radically change existing, conversations about learning and teaching? These questions, and more, motivated us to expand an article on writing about learning and teaching (Healey, Matthews, & Cook-Sather, 2019) into a larger, more layered and nuanced, yet practical book on writing about learning and teaching in higher education (Healey, Matthews, & Cook-Sather, 2020).

The workshop fits well with the conference theme “Building Communities through SoTL” as our argument is that for SoTL to be sustainable we need to communicate our practices through a wide range of writing genres that capture and represent the diversity of SoTL practitioners and readers. In short, we argue that there is no one way of going about writing for publication in SoTL, and we offer guidance for writing in eleven different genres.

In our book we extend the thinking of fellow scholars—established and new academics, graduate and undergraduate students—to discuss the practicalities of writing as an identity-shaping and values-clarifying learning process within learning and teaching discourse communities. We argue throughout the book that writing is a process of joining or creating conversations. We conclude that we need to move beyond a narrow best-practice model of writing successfully about and for SoTL.

For this highly interactive workshop we will lead participants through a series of steps that prepare you to publish SoTL in refereed journals in the following genres: empirical research articles; theoretical and conceptual articles; literature reviews; case studies; reflective articles; and opinion pieces.

Session plan

Getting to know each other and what you want to get out of the workshop.

SoTL writing and identity:
Reflect on your identity and values in writing about SoTL.

Choosing a journal:
How do you choose a journal to write for?

Selecting a title:
What makes a good title for a SoTL article?

Writing your abstract:
What should be contained in a good abstract for a SoTL article?

Planning and structuring your article:
Discuss the application of the guiding questions for your chosen genre to your proposed article.

Completing your article:
Discuss the steps in making your article ready for submission and how to respond to referee’s comments.

What is your take home message and one action point?


  • Healey, M., Matthews, K. E., & Cook-Sather, A. (2019). Writing scholarship of teaching and learning articles for peer-reviewed journals. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 7(2), 28-50.
  • Healey, M., Matthews, K. E., & Cook-Sather, A. (2020). Writing about learning and teaching in higher education: Creating and contributing to public scholarly conversations across a range of genres. Center for Engaged Learning Open-Access Books, Elon University, USA.
  • Murray, R. (2009). Writing for Academic Journals. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.

Workshop C

Building Reflective Communities: A Practical Introduction using Enactive Decoding Dialogue

Niall Palfreyman, Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Science

Michelle Yeo

Decoding the Disciplines (Pace & Middendorf 2007) coins the term bottleneck to describe teachers’ intuitive awareness of misalignment between intended and enacted learning outcomes in their classes. Recurring misalignments arise when we, as teachers, assume the narrative thinking underlying our own expert competence to be transparent to our learners. This becomes a problem because narratives are frequently so difficult to express in words that we elide them from our awareness.

When you as an expert exercise elegant competence in some situation, you access motifs of personal intention, situated expectation and habituated sensorimotor coordination that arise from your direct, engaged experience of that situation. Yet these motifs are individually less important to you than the narrative of ongoing engagement that you weave from them. Consequently, when you as a teacher later attempt, in isolation from engaged experience, to express this narrative to others, the underlying motifs are not automatically accessible to you.

Decoding resolves this dilemma using playfully engaged dialogue with non-experts to analyse the fluid competence of situated expertise. Decoding dialogue uses learning misalignments as a springboard for uncovering the narrative kernel that underlies expertise. Uncovering these narratives enables teachers to teach this expertise more effectively and encourages the reflective sharing of teaching and learning experience.

Workshop participants will conduct step-by-step decoding dialogues in supervised groups of three people adopting four conversational roles:

  • A Teacher who observes a misalignment in her teaching, in which the enacted learning outcomes of her class diverge significantly and consistently from her intended learning outcomes.
  • An Expert, who is proficient in the skill giving rise to that misalignment.
  • An Apprentice, who is curious to learn how to perform this skill.
  • A Coach, who supports the Apprentice in this endeavour.

The dialogues take place in two phases. In the Teacher phase, the Teacher typically sings a song of woe about a recurring bottleneck in her teaching, while the Apprentice and Coach support her in transforming this bottleneck into a very specific learning outcome for the next phase.

In the Expert phase, the Expert approaches this learning outcome as a discipline-specific problem task, while Apprentice and Coach assist her in reflecting on the following six aspects of the enactive structure (ES) of her skilful problem-solving:

  1. To what kinds of thing am I attending in this situation?
  2. What criteria am I evaluating or deciding in this situation?
  3. How do I use these criteria to influence the situation?
  4. What evidence do I use to test these criteria?
  5. What metaphorical narrative best expresses my way of engaging with this situation?
  6. To what reliable consequences does this way of engaging lead?

Through these staged dialogues, workshop participants learn to:

  • Recognise the ES of a learning outcome or activity.
  • Apply the ES of an outcome or activity to formulate effective reflective questions.
  • Analyse a verbal account of expert competence to uncover underlying narratives.
  • Elicit and suggest options for weaving such narratives into course design.
  • Build a culture of reflective dialogue that develops and sustains learning community.

Workshop D

New Leadership Models for Hopeful Higher Education Communities

Paul Taylor, University of Leeds

Claire Hamshire, Heather Smith, Jessica Riddell, Rachel Forsyth

Universities across the globe are under pressure to be more efficient, increase external research income and offer an outstanding student experience, with significant risks to the cohesion of our University communities. Educational leadership is critical in managing this agenda yet it is an under-researched, under-developed and perhaps sometimes an under-valued area conflated with educational management and business models of leadership. We are exploring a new model of leadership that makes space for contestation and conflict in change; with a focus on story-telling to explore narratives of community with distinct voices and contexts: one part autoethnography, one part critical reflection, and one part dialogic.

We critique conventional approaches to leadership by adopting a guerrilla-style perspective on leadership informed by Che Guevara’s handbook on guerrilla warfare (1961). This theoretical model of leadership in higher education takes as its starting point the need to enact culture change at the grassroots level and design nimble, strategic approaches to dismantling or manoeuvring around structural and systemic challenges. The metaphor, we have found, provides insights into power, embedded ideologies, structural and institutional obstacles to social change. The session leaders will present brief case studies from their own institutions relating the creation of new communities from employing the guerrilla model.

However, the guerrilla metaphor has its limits. For some the metaphor represents a ‘call to arms’. Others have expressed deep discomfort with any metaphor that deploys war or conflict. We now aim to reframe the discussion of strategic action and its underlying trajectory of hope in order to equip participants with critical pedagogical insights, a theoretical lens for culture change embedded in the values of social justice, and a practical toolbox for uniting new leadership communities. Participants will reflect with us on why we need change, what we hope for and how, collectively, we can create an action plan for the future and frame our experience in the literature in a way that is conversational and accessible to multiple disciplines and perspectives. Together we can dare to hope.

The workshop will have two main components. In the first part, we will outline the origins of the project, the feedback received from the world SoTL community and the opportunities and challenges we identified. After open discussion of the theoretical perspectives, we will each present a case study from our own practice, illuminating the main themes. Participants will then break into groups to reflect on their leadership experiences and identify their own need for new approaches, optionally feeding back their thoughts to the whole group before the break.

Next, participants will develop a manifesto for hopeful leadership of their own higher education community. We will provide participants with an engaging template to structure their thoughts, individually or working with fellow activists. We will circulate and provide support and hope to colleagues. Participants will be invited optionally to share their plans in a concluding plenary. We will record copies of the manifestos where participants are willing, but all delegates will keep their own hopeful plan as their workshop output.

Workshop E

Online learning communities: The psychology of authenticity and connection in the digital learning environment

Gillian Proctor, University of Leeds

This will be an opportunity to present some paradoxes of psychological relating in teaching and learning online (identified from the literature and experience) and offer participants time to explore and discuss the impact of these paradoxes on their teaching. The aim is to improve participants' awareness of the psychological impact of digital synchronous learning and improve practice. Discussion of experiences and interaction will be an integral part of this workshop.

Many learning communities are now virtual and fostering a sense of community and belonging brings particular challenges when relating in this format. Digital inequalities add to already existing societal inequalities, creating particular concerns for students feeling excluded from a virtual learning community and it is necessary that these risks are directly addressed and mitigated as far as possible.

This workshop will be part of a research fellowship on this subject and I will be asking participants to evaluate the impact of the material and discussions as part of the workshop.  As such, participants will help develop guidance and recommendations for best practice in teaching and learning through synchronous digital platforms.

10 paradoxes of how we relate psychologically online (as articulated by Susman 2021) will be presented with opportunity to discuss each with respect to participants' experiences of teaching and consider how to maximise benefits and limit potential exclusion.


  • Susman, K. (2021) Between the tiles: the psychology of the virtual room.  Appropriating and subverting the digital sphere for authentic and meaningful encounter.  Person-centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 20(4), 327-344.

Workshop F

Bringing Communities Together

Sandy Cope, Nottingham Trent University

Bianca Fox, Kate Cuthbert, Laura Stinson, Adam Tate

‘The Trent Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) promotes excellence in learning and teaching, and supports our strategic plan University, reimagined.  TILT is an institution-wide community of practice that recognises inspirational teaching at NTU, shares innovative practice, and investigates emerging themes in learning and teaching.’ (, 2022)

TILT have various mechanisms for creating and continuing to build Communities of Scholars (Lave and Wenger, 1991) drawing upon the integration of scholarship in learning and teaching (Boyer 1990).  During Covid, TILT moved activities online to support colleagues with teaching, and to allow a space for colleagues to share experiences and ask the community for help – TILT Online was born.  TILT also facilitate and support a series of Professional and Scholarship Groups (P&S Groups) which whilst institutionally led, are self-directed and self-managed and derived from topics of common interest to the community. These groups develop a scholarly approach to learning and teaching in their topic area, develop a shared practice of resources, experience, stories, tools and innovative approaches to addressing challenges, and are tasked with advancing and disseminating knowledge of effective practice both nationally and internationally. Active Collaborative Learning, Academic Integrity, Decolonising the Curriculum, Staff and Student Partnerships, to name but a few.

Inculcating new staff members who join our Academic Professional Apprenticeship or our Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE (PGCLTHE) into both TILT online and the P&S Groups has been a deliberate strategy of the Academic Practice team. This simple act has numerous benefits; it allows new members of staff to meet a wider cross section of the community and with purpose, it provides support for topics of development from more experienced peers, it keeps the communities fresh with new members joining.

This session will share the approach used at NTU and invite the audience to discuss different strategies used in other organisations.


  • Boyer, E. (1990) Scholarship Reconsidered.  The Priorities of the Professoriate. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  London.  Wiley Publications.
  • Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991) Communities of Practice. Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.