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Definitions of Scholarship

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Scholarship of Teaching

The University Standing Committee on the Evaluation of Teaching defines the scholarship of teaching as follows:  The scholarship of teaching and learning is creative sharing of disciplinary knowledge and enhancing of student learning that is peer-assessed; communicated outside the traditional teacher/student interaction; and reflectively critiqued.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is relevant to the first two realms of faculty responsibility: (1) Teaching and Mentoring of Undergraduate and Graduate Students; and (2) Discovery of Knowledge through Discipline-Guided Inquiry.  The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) is a systematic study of teaching and learning that is documented in a public forum and is available for peer review.  The goals of SoTL are to enhance student learning and to improve instructional practices in higher education.  The scholarship of teaching and learning is distinguishable from scholarly teaching.  Scholarly teaching requires knowledge of content and appropriate pedagogy to teach a particular content.  All teaching faculty are obligated to be scholarly teachers.

Evidence to document SoTL may take multiple forms, but all methods used should be in a format that can be peer reviewed.  Examples of SoTL include teaching portfolios, peer reviewed publications in journals that are discipline specific or in more general journals about teaching and learning in higher education, and teaching commentaries in other publications.  Teaching portfolios used to document SoTL should include analyses of the effectiveness of teaching.

Additional information is available on the Office for Faculty Excellence web site.

Scholarship of Extension and Engagement

From the 2009-2010 Scholarship of Engagement Task Force Report:

Definition. The scholarship of engagement is the collaborative generation, refinement, conservation, and exchange of mutually beneficial and societally relevant knowledge that is communicated to and validated by peers in academe and the community.

Purpose. The scholarship of engagement aims to develop ethical and practical solutions to social, health, economic, and environmental issues. This scholarship may involve higher education institutions and communities on and off campus in partnerships that hold common goals and share expertise and resources. This scholarship serves to integrate learning, discovery, and engagement.

Broadening Concept of Scholarship. The scholarship of engagement challenges narrow definitions of academic scholarship that solely emphasize the products of discipline-based research rather than the process. The scholarship of engagement recognizes that engaging in scholarship creates an intellectual environment that stimulates knowledge discovery, integration across disciplines, application to significant problems, and teaching that encourages public service. In 1996, Boyer proposed that the scholarship of engagement describes the mission of institutions of higher education. In other words, universities are to engage public groups in (1) specifying areas for study, action, and teaching and (2) assessing together the impact of collaborative work.

The 2003 N. C. State University Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure  Committee recommended that serious consideration be given by all departments, colleges, and the university as a whole to the following “General Standards of Expected Performance” developed in the form of eighteen checklist questions by Glassick, Huber, and Maeroff (1997) in Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate.

The following general standards were included in the report of the 2009-2010 Scholarship of Engagement Task Force.  They are designed to apply to creative scholarship necessary for excellence in each of the three traditional missions of research-extensive universities: teaching, research, and service. We find them also very suitable for evaluating faculty performance in each of the six realms of faculty responsibility defined on the Academic Tenure Policy.

Clear Goals
-Does the scholar state the basic purposes of his or her work clearly?
-Does the scholar define objectives that are realistic and achievable?
-Does the scholar identify important questions in the field?

Adequate Preparation
-Does the scholar show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field?
-Does the scholar bring the necessary skills to his or her work?
-Does the scholar bring together the resources necessary to move the project forward?

Appropriate Methods
-Does the scholar use methods appropriate to the goals?
-Does the scholar apply effectively the methods selected?
-Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?

Significant Rules
-Does the scholar achieve the goals?
-Does the scholar’s work add consequentially to the field?
-Does the scholar’s work open additional areas for further exploration?

Effective Presentation
-Does the scholar use a suitable style and effective organization to present his or her work?
-Does the scholar use appropriate forums for communicating work to its intended audiences?
-Does the scholar present his or her message with clarity and integrity?

Reflective Critique
-Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work?
-Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique?
-Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work?