Presenting SoTL Research

Presenting SoTL Research

This module will discuss sharing the results of SoTL research projects through academic presentations.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the various opportunities for presenting SoTL research and how to find these opportunities
  • Explain the components of a successful presentation and factors that should be considered
  • Discuss the presentation skills necessary and tips for a successful presentation

For research in the area of scholarly teaching to be considered scholarship, one criteria is that the results must be shared and made public. The most common methods for sharing research results are through academic presentations and publications. The following module focuses on guidelines and tips for presenting SoTL research results. The type and nature of the presentation will vary by discipline, but following are general guidelines for preparing to present SoTL results:

Location/Venue: There are a multitude of ways to present SoTL results ranging from local presentation opportunities on your campus to international conferences. In considering the options, the researcher should think about the target audience, who will benefit from the work, potential interaction with colleagues and fellow researchers, the type of presentation (oral, poster, etc.), networking opportunities, and so on. It is important to find the right match for the research, the type of conference and audience.  Most conferences and meetings will have a Call for Proposals and the researcher is asked to submit a proposal for his or her presentation. It is acceptable to send proposals to different conferences to explore the available options.  Be sure sure to follow the proposal instructions carefully for the greatest chance of acceptance. Below is a list of a several types of presentation opportunities to consider:

  • Departmental or campus wide meetings, conferences, or teaching-learning symposiums.
  • SoTL sessions at disciplinary-based regional or national conferences.
  • Cross-disciplinary or general conferences calling for SoTL topics.
  • Conferences specifically focused on SoTL topics.
    • Click here for a list of suggested national and international SoTL conferences: SoTL Conferences.

Types of Presentation and Tips for Preparing: A researcher has many options for presentation formats when presenting his or her SoTL work. It may be formal or informal, as an oral, paper or poster presentation, local or international, and so forth. Regardless of the type of presentation, following is a list of tips to remember when preparing a presentation:

  • Know the audience and consider the knowledge, interest level, and academic backgrounds.
  • Try to make the session interactive and engaging if possible.
  • Create handouts and visual aids to accommodate different learning styles.
  • Be well-organized; presentation should flow logically and adhere to standards for that specific presentation type. Refer to the resources on this page for specific guidelines for preparing poster sessions and oral presentations.
  • Demonstrate exemplary teaching in your presentation.
  • Use PowerPoint appropriately and follow the guidelines for good PowerPoint presentations.
  • Allow time for questions, comments and feedback.

Presentation Skills: The best content can be lost if it is not delivered well. Practicing the presentation and honing presentation skills is a must for a successful presentation. Following is a list of general tips for presenting research. For more detailed instructions, see the Resource Links on this page.

  • Practice to develop confidence. Know the material.
  • Dress appropriately. A professional look boosts confidence and credibility with the audience.
  • Practice the length. Be sure to allow time for questions and comments. It is critical to adhere to the time limit.
  • Develop strategies to relax before and during the presentation.
  • Visualize a successful presentation.
  • Do not rush. Allow time for the audience to absorb the material. Do not stray from the presentation as prepared because it will disrupt the flow and throw off the timing.
  • Eye contact with the audience is critical to engaging them. Speak directly to them.
  • Be passionate about your topic and convey enthusiasm.
  • Provide acknowledgement and thank all those that contributed to the work.

For additional information on how to create and give an effective oral presentation, please see the following YouTube video:   Oral Presentation – A How To Guide    

The following YouTube video, Giving an Effective Poster Presentation, demonstrates the dos and don'ts of giving a poster presentation:  

Suggested Readings

Atkinson, M. P. (2001). The scholarship of teaching and learning: Reconceptualizing scholarship and transforming the academy. Social Forces, 79(4), 1217-1229.
Block, S. M. (1996). Do's and don't's of poster presentation. Biophysical Journal, 71(6), 3527.
Hatch, T. (2005). Into the Classroom: Developing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Jossey-Bass, An Imprint of Wiley. 10475 Crosspoint Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46256.
Hoessler, C., Britnell, J., & Stockley, D. (2010). Assessing the impact of educational development through the lens of the scholarship of teaching and learning. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2010(122), 81-89.
Huber, M. T., & Morreale, S. P. (2002). Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Exploring Common Ground. AAHE Publications Orders, PO Box 1932, Merrifield, VA 22116-1932.
Hutchings, P., Huber, M. T., & Ciccone, A. (2011). The scholarship of teaching and learning reconsidered: Institutional integration and impact (Vol. 21). John Wiley & Sons.
Hutchings, P. (2002). Ethics of Inquiry: Issues in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Carnegie Publications, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 555 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
Hutchings, P., & Shulman, L. S. (1999). The scholarship of teaching: New elaborations, new developments. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 31(5), 10-15.
McKinney, K. (2010). Enhancing learning through the scholarship of teaching and learning: The challenges and joys of juggling (Vol. 139). John Wiley & Sons.
Miracle, V. A., & King, K. C. (1994). Presenting research: Effective paper presentations and impressive poster presentations. Applied Nursing Research, 7(3), 147-151.

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