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Boardwalk scene of lake

I was fortunate enough to present at this year’s Conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL), which was held in early November in Kelowna, Canada, home of the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus which is situated in the unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nationand their peoples, whom our gracious hosts at UBC acknowledge and I in this article acknowledge.

This was my second in person ISSOTL conference, the first I attended was in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA in 2019.  Both conferences have been exceptional, with over 400 delegates passionately discussing their Scholarship work to enhance their teaching and/or support of learning. The program is really packed, with lots of parallel sessions, so its impossible to see everything, though some highlights from me were:

  • A fabulous first keynote from Dr Bryan Dewsbury who explored inclusive education through the lens of both his own experiences in the classroom and through the work of Bob Moses, a civil rights leader and academic who considers how lessons learnt from the American Civil Rights movement teach us much about creating inclusive learning communities. 
  • Talks from Drs Jennifer LofgreenJessica Raffoul and David Andrews which explored through a humanities lens how SoTL works both at an epistemological and a practical level with the context of the University systems we work within. Something which I’m interested through my own work. 
  • A session on Lego Serious Play and how it can used in Reflective Practice with Dr Mary Anne Peabody. These ideas I’ll be bringing to Durham’s PGCAP programme. 
  • The final day focussed on Leadership, with a brilliant session from Andrea Webb and Melanie Hamilton on the attributes of someone leading in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
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My own talk was called “Leading SoTL Based Change at the Programme Level” and was focussed on a set of interviews which I’ve done around leading change with a dozen participants in DCAD’s Leadership in Learning and Teaching Course which I created and run. The course itself has been turned into an edited volume, which I’ve edited and contributed too with collaborator  Steve Hutchinson.

Kelowna is a beautiful city, even if the journey home is proving challenging due to snow delayed flights. The ISSOTL conference will take place in Utrecht in the Netherlands next year which is just a short train ride from Amsterdam.