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SVC chemistry professor authors chapter about scholarship of teaching and learning for STEM faculty

SVC chemistry professor authors chapter about scholarship of teaching and learning for STEM faculty

by Public Relations | June 26, 2024

LATROBE, PA – College educators who embrace new teaching methods often wonder about the long-term effects. Have these new practices improved their students’ engagement, learning and satisfaction? Do they benefit some students more than others? The answers can be found by engaging in an approach called the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).

In a chapter of the recently published book “Becoming an SoTL Scholar,” Saint Vincent College professor Dr. Matt Fisher explores some guiding principles for science, technology engineering and math (STEM) faculty who engage in SoTL. The book—a collection of chapters by numerous educators from around the world—is part of the Open Access Book Series from Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning.

“The book is about how do you make the scholarship of teaching and learning part of your career path and part of who you are as a scholar,” said Fisher, a professor of chemistry in the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing.

SoTL is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on systematic investigation into student learning. It focuses on how to better enable student learning via modern teaching methods such as active learning, cooperative learning and problem-based learning.

Dr. Fisher first encountered SoTL in 2005 as a Carnegie Scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. His wrote his chapter in “Becoming an SoTL Scholar” over a span of 18 months.

“The principles I put forward in the chapter were designed to help STEM faculty understand how this form of scholarship is different in some important ways from [for example] running chemistry experiments in a laboratory,” he said. “My hope is to communicate those differences in a set of general principles that would make it easier for faculty to engage in this form of scholarship over an extended period of time.”