SoTL Spotlight: Teaching & Learning Inquiry
by Nancy Chick, CFT Assistant Director
Nancy is the author of a variety of SoTL articles and book chapters, as well as co-editor of two books on signature pedagogies and co-editor of Teaching & Learning Inquiry, the official journal of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL). “SoTL Spotlight” is her ongoing feature on the CFT website.
I just put the first issue of Teaching & Learning Inquiry to bed. It’ll be published by the end of the month. As a literary scholar, my first thoughts went to Anne Bradstreet’s poem “The Author to Her Book,” but I quickly noticed the differences: unlike Bradstreet’s speaker, who humbly calls her poem the “ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain” and “My rambling brat…unfit for light,” the journal is both well-formed and fit for light, and it’s definitely not the child of a single parent. In fact, I’m struck by all of the hands it took to produce the journal.
First and foremost, the last year and a half included many hours of close work–online, on the phone, and in person at ISSOTL‘s annual conference in Edmonton, Alberta–with my co-editor Gary Poole (Psychology, University of British Columbia). We started by putting together a robust Editorial Board with representation from ISSOTL’s international regions (US, Canada, Australasia, and Europe), the entire career spectrum (from student to retiree, and all between), a breadth of disciplines and professions, and a variety of institutional types. With the consistent help of these 36 women and men, we conceptualized, planned, and selected the inaugural articles for the journal.
Before any of us, though, there was ISSOTL’s Going Public Committee, which developed the proposal that ISSOTL should sponsor an official journal. They worked with the ISSOTL Board of Directors for at least four years before deciding to move forward. (They all wanted the right people, the right vision, and a university press as the publisher.)
Since September, Gary and I have also been grateful for the help of Katie Headrick Taylor (Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt), a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the CFT, who has served as TLI‘s Editorial Manager. She ushered the manuscripts through the entire publication process and worked closely (again, at a distance) with Judith Caldwell, our Publication Manager at Indiana University Press. For the aesthetics, IU Press’s Marketing Manager Linda Bannister designed the cover (see image, above) and every detail of the pages for the journal.
Then, of course, there are the authors. The authors! For the inaugural issue, we invited pieces from some of the big names in SoTL and from the ISSOTL membership. We asked them to “explore SoTL’s traditions or its cutting edges, its highest moments or the challenges that remain, its efforts to go public or its impacts in campus classrooms or hallways, its relevant constituencies or its unexplored audiences.” TLI‘s table of contents is now populated by the likes of Carolin Kreber, Barbara Cambridge, Jan Parker, Daniel Bernstein, Joëlle Fanghanel, Linda Hodges, Keith Trigwell, Joy Mighty, Lorraine Gilpin, Erik Blair, and Peter Felten. And Harry Hubball, Marion L. Pearson, and Anthony Clarke; Barbara Mae Gayle, Nancy Randall, Lin Langley, and Raymond Preiss; Phillip Dawson, Margaret Bearman, David J. Boud, Matt Hall, Elizabeth K. Molloy, Sue Bennett, and Gordon Joughin; and Chng Huan Hoon and Peter Looker. To say we are honored to have these authors contributing to the first issue is an understatement.
When it is published in a couple of weeks, I’ll dig into the content by sharing the article we’ve selected as the free online sample. Until then, I’m going to rest after a busy but exciting year. Oh, but before I do, I have one important correction: we just put the first issue of Teaching & Learning Inquiry to bed.