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Register for SoTL Commons Conference at Georgia Southern

When you earn a doctorate and prepare to teach at the college level, you become an expert in your subject area. You learn a lot, but you don’t necessarily learn to teach.

‘Many college faculty are instinctively good teachers,” says Raleigh Way, instructional designer in the Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET) at Georgia Southern University. ‘But many find they need to know more about the process of teaching and the ways in which students learn. Out of that grew the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), a new wave in education and research that focuses on pedagogy, or the effort to improve teaching.”

The CET will address that new wave when it hosts the first SoTL Commons Conference Thursday and Friday, Nov. 1 and 2, bringing together people whose goal is to improve learning outcomes in higher education. More than 100 scholars have already registered to present their research, and 300-400 are expected to attend the conference, which will be held in the Nessmith-Lane Building on the campus of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. Early registration is available until July 15 at http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/conference/registration.htm.

‘Teaching and learning is a vital topic that draws worldwide attention,” says Way, pointing out that professors from around the globe are planning to take part. ‘Many of the scholars who will present their research at the SoTL Commons Conference live and work as far away as England, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Swaziland, Singapore, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, and more are coming from all over the United States. We’ve got something really international here.”

The keynote speaker for SoTL Commons will be Mary T. Huber, author and senior scholar on SoTL at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She directs the Integrative Learning Project and works closely with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Her latest book, co-authored with Carnegie Vice President Pat Hutchings, is The Advancement of Learning: Building the Teaching Commons (2005).

Featured speaker will be Robert Beichner, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, Department of Physics, North Carolina State University. His work focuses on increasing the understanding of student learning and the improvement of physics education. One current project is the creation and study of a learning environment supporting a new way to teach called SCALE-UP: Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs.

The International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, published by the CET at Georgia Southern University, is a companion to the SoTL Commons Conference. This open access, peer-reviewed eJournal is at http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/current.htm.

More information about the SoTL Commons Conference and its participants is at http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/conference/. For questions about the conference, call the CET at 912-681-0049.

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