Application Writing Prompts

Minnesota State has adopted a common vision described in Equity 2030. Program participants will reflect on their teaching, develop SoTL questions, and explore their teaching and their students’ learning using a lens of equity.   

Writing Prompts 

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is both a scholarly practice and a teaching practice. When doing SoTL, you begin by reflecting on your teaching, identifying a problem, question or curiosity from your experiences with students and then create an inquiry project that explores your teaching, your students learning and deepens your practice. SoTL can transform teaching and improve student learning. Educators who engage in SoTL often make changes in their teaching or the ways they design their courses as an outcome their SoTL practice.   

The ARCC SoTL Scholars Program is structured as faculty learning communities where members reflect on their teaching practice together, collaborate with each other, and encourage one another in their SoTL work and their teaching. It is okay if you do not know what you wish to explore in your SoTL work. In fact, it is likely that what you write today will not be what you explore in your SoTL work. We encourage you to think about your teaching experiences and how growth and development can be anchored in challenge, reflection and inquiry.  

As you prepare your responses, consider what makes SoTL a priority for you or your team and how SoTL can help you grow as an educator(s).  

Provide a paragraph description for each of the following writing prompts. An evaluation rubric is provided below. 

  1. Describe a teaching experience that raised some questions in your mind about equity in teaching and learning. This may have been a point of frustration, a problem, or a surprising insight. To connect reflection and inquiry, identify one or two questions that arose for you from this experience.  
  1. Teaching is a practice that engages us as learners and we continue to make changes and develop our practice. Provide an example of a time when you have worked to improve your practice by changing something. 
  1. Discuss the value of working within a collaborative community when exploring equity in teaching and learning. Share why you seek this experience within the SoTL program community. 
  1. What relationships and support will you seek or leverage to support both you and your SoTL work? As an example, this could be a supportive colleague, dedicated time in your schedule, or open communication with your supervisors and peers.  

Application Evaluation Rubric

 Not present  Present  Strong Evidence 
 1 2 3 4 5 
Reflection on teaching and openness to examining equity within own practice. Description of teaching experience is broad or hypothetical. e.g. pointing to literature instead of personal experience.  Reflection on teaching points to a generalization of personal teaching experiences.  Detailed and contextualized teaching experiences provided that illustrates a personal reflective practice and readiness for inquiry.  
Desire to collaborate and engage with the SoTL community. Statement of value of collaboration is generalized and not directly connected to personal interest in working in a collaborative community.  Statement expresses personalized value of engaging in a collaborative community, but does not contextualize the value in scholarly or reflective teaching.  Personalized description of desired to collaborate in the SoTL community both locally, regionally, and nationally. Contextualized interest in this collaboration for advancing teaching and learning. 
Desire to develop a SoTL practice as part of teaching.   Discussion of SoTL interest limited to a singular experience as part of the program or disconnected from personal teaching practice.  Explanation of how SoTL has reasonable implications for informing current and future teaching practices.   Clear application of how and why SoTL can be an ongoing practice beyond the cohort experience  
Commitment to the program and to doing SoTL.   Does not give a reasonable expectation that the program can be completed regardless of the narrative offered; not very realistic.  Offers a reasonable level of commitment that includes a few key strategies to meet various parts, or milestones in the project OR a brief narrative justifying the strategies for commitment   Offers a reasonable level of commitment that includes a few key strategies to meet various parts, or milestones in the project and a brief narrative justifying the strategies for commitment  
Openness to making changes in teaching.   Applicant makes pedagogical statements as absolutes.  Stated openness to change as part of SoTL practice.  Example of previous changes made provided or expresses desire to change practice based on evidence or reflection. 

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