SOTL and DBER Learning Community

Image of a desk with a notebook and pencil with window overlooking campus in the background.The Drake Institute sponsors a learning community focused on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and Discipline-based Education Research (DBER). The SoTL and DBER Learning Community offers faculty and staff an extended (typically a year-long) opportunity to learn about and undertake a project in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and/or Discipline-Based Education Research while establishing collegial relationships across disciplines and reinforcing a faculty culture that brings together the scholarship, research, and practice of teaching and learning.

Information on Drake Institute SoTL and DBER Learning Community Opportunities

Program Elements

Participants selected for the program are expected to:

  • Identify a project involving SoTL or DBER relevant to instruction in their discipline. For example, the project could be aimed at implementing and assessing the effectiveness of an instructional practice, or it could investigate some aspect of student understanding and learning of a topic or skill in your field.
  • Develop and implement a plan for the identified project. This will likely include data collection and analysis (incorporating both direct and indirect methods such as embedded testing, student surveys, pre and post testing, use of rubrics, etc.)
  • Participate in monthly sessions organized by the Drake Institute. The program is designed to form community among participants, so participation in the monthly sessions is essential. The current LC opportunity is scheduled to run from September 2023 through May, 2024.
  • Present on their projects informally within the group as their work progresses and provide feedback on other participants’ projects.
  • Attend at least one OSU conference focused on teaching and/or SoTL/DBER
    • OSU Assessment Conference (held annualy in late October/early November).
    • OSU Academy of Teaching Conference (held annually in May)
    • OSU FYE Conference (subsequent dates TBD) 
    • Other related OSU conferences related to teaching or SoTL/DBER that become available.

Participants may also choose to:

  • Attend regional or national conferences on college teaching.
  • Attend events organized by the Drake Institute, ODEE, the Academy of Teaching or others that may include special-topic seminars or forums, workshops, and/or book discussion groups.
  • Prepare a scholarship of teaching project for publication or conference presentation.
  • Share their results with colleagues by presenting or facilitating a session at a Drake Institute-coordinated event to discuss the project or report results of the implementation.


Program Implementation

  • The next LC opportunity will officially begin in September 2023, and end in May 2024. 

  • Each participant will receive $1,000 for professional development, teaching, or research support. Payment will occur at end of LC (Summer 2024). Participants must significantly participate in LC activities in order to obtain compensation, as defined by the LC facilitator, in consultation with the Drake Institute.
  • Participants will propose a budget to the facilitator. The funds may be used for any expenditure that relates to the project or relevant professional development. Funds for capital purchases is will require special approval.  


Selection Process and Criteria

  • All Ohio State faculty and associated faculty including tenured, tenure-track, clinical, teaching and practice, adjunct and lecturers who are ≥ 75% appointment and regularly teaching at Ohio State main or regional campuses are eligible. Graduate and undergraduate students are not eligible to apply. Up to ten participants will be selected from all applicants.

  • To be considered for participation in the Drake Institute SoTL/DBER Learning Community, applicants must complete or have completed the Teaching@OhioState Carmen course modules and the associated Teaching Practices Inventory survey.

  • Applications will be reviewed by a steering committee for the Drake Institute. Consideration will be given to the quality of the proposed project, the diversity of this faculty cohort (e.g., discipline, position, campus), and commitment to being a member of a community. Decisions will be made jointly by the committee and the Drake Institute.



SoTL and DBER Learning Community Calendar

August 25, 2023: Applications Due for the 2023/2024 SoTL and DBER learning community 
September 2023: Learning Community begins
May 2024: Learning Community concludes