Seeding SoTL Plans and Applications

Below are selected resources and recommendations for planning your Seeding SoTL application and activity.

Organizing Your Reading Group

There are many resources online, but Lit Lovers’ “How to Run a Book Club” and Penguin's book club checklist are helpful. Cheryl Jeffs' guide on academic book clubs will also be added to the Taylor Institute Guide Series this fall. Organizers may also meet with Taylor Institute educational development consultants for strategies to facilitate the reading group.

Recommended Books for Reading Groups

  • Critical Reading in Higher Education: Academic Goals and Social Engagement by Karen Manarin, Miriam Carey, Melanie Rathburn, and Glen Ryland  
  • Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning by James M. Lang  
  • Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher by Stephen D. Brookfield 
  • Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching: A Guide for Faculty by Alison Cook-Sather, Catherine Bovill, & Peter Felten 
  • Decoding the Disciplines: Helping Students Learn Disciplinary Ways of Thinking edited by David Pace and Joan Middendorf 
  • How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, Marie K. Norman, and Richard E. Mayer  (also available for free online)
  • The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy by Barbara Seeber & Maggie Berg 
  • Lesson Study: Using Classroom Inquiry to Improve Teaching and Learning in Higher Education by Bill Cerbin 

Organizing Your Teaching Square

The Taylor Institute's guide on teaching squares is an excellent introduction and set of resources.  Participants may also meet with Taylor Institute educational development consultants for additional strategies.  Neil Haave’s “Teaching Squares Bring Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives” and the University of Waterloo’s Information sheet are also good introductions, and the manuals by Northern Virginia Community College and Stonehill College are helpful in setting up a teaching square.  

Organizing Your Community of Practice

The notion of communities of practice was developed by anthropologists Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (1991). The following are effective guides and explanations: Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Traynor's “Communities of practice: a brief introduction: a brief overview of the concept and its uses" is good. (Note particularly the definition and the three characteristics of CoPs on pages 1-2.)  The seven principles in Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, and William M. Snyder's “Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge–Seven Principles for Cultivating Communities of Practice” is equally helpful.  The “Community of Practice Design Guide: A Step-by-Step Guide for Designing & Cultivating Communities of Practice in Higher Education” by Darren Cambridge, Soren Kaplan, and Vicki Suter has many additional details.

Organizing Your Crossroads Unconference

First, read John Settlage and Adam Johnston’s “The Crossroads Model” from Educational Leadership. Their Science Education at the Crossroads website provides clear instructions for proposals (“Vexation and Venture”) and the specific session format (called “Incubators”).  Their 2008 paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, “Communities of Learning, Practice, and Scholarship: Applying Social Learning Systems Theory to an Association of Educational Stakeholders,” is a thoughtful exploration of the principles underpinning the Crossroads unconference.

About Hospitality

Please consult the University's Travel & Reimbursement Handbook for relevant policies, such as 4.3 "Documentation for Meals, Hospitality, and Alcohol" on page 14.

If you use the university’s catering service for hospitality, consult their menu. A few examples are below:

  • Breakfast muffins are $2.25 per person, and a fruit salad is $3.75 per person.
  • Break snacks range from $5.50 to $14.75 per person. A platter of hummus, vegetable tapenade, and herbed goat cheese for 10 to 12 people is $57 (or $28 for ½). A charcuterie board for 10 to 12 people is $145 (or $72.50 for ½).
  • Their deluxe boxed meal, for example, is $17 per person, or a lasagna lunch buffet for 15 people is $281.75.