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ISSOTL 2008: "Celebrating Connections: Learning, Teaching, Scholarship"

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
16 October 2008 00:00 - 19 October 2008 00:00

Together, ISSOTL, the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta, invite you to share your passion about inquiring into and understanding teaching and its relationship to student learning with scholars from across the globe.  They invite you to make connections, engage in discussion, reflect, and share your discoveries.

The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning presents us with a unique opportunity to bring together scholars from around the world, so we can better explore the interconnections between teaching, learning and scholarship. Together, they invite you to share in the wisdom and insights that have been gained through your own research and inquiry.   This conference then is not only a celebration of connections, but a celebration of the people that make these connections happen. Together, they hope to take the scholarship of teaching and learning to new heights of recognized excellence.  To this end, they need your active involvement, your collaboration and support, and a renewed and deepened commitment to excellence in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Presentation Themes

During the 2008 Conference, you are invited to explore the connections between groups, disciplines, processes, organizational strategies, ideas, and innovations.

Proposals can be submitted in which scholars from across the disciplines can report on their scholarly inquiries into teaching and learning within and across their disciplines. As well, scholarly and critical accounts of the idea of the scholarship of teaching and learning will be welcomed.

In relation to the theme of the conference (Celebrating Connections) proposals can be submitted related to one or more of the following four topic areas (example questions are included for each area):

1. Connecting with Each Other

  • How can we become better connected to our learners? Who are our learners? Are our learners changing? If so, how can we remain connected? How do we engage learners?
  • How can we foster connections within and across various disciplines? How can we foster cross-disciplinary conversations? 
  • How can we build communities of practice?
  • How can we better connect the people who are central to the scholarship of teaching and learning to each other (E.g. Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, etc.)?
  • How can we connect and collaborate with graduate students about teaching as a form of scholarship?
  • How can we become better connected to our local, national and international communities (E.g. Fostering community involvement, outreach, technology, service learning, public engagement)?

2. Connecting through Process, Strategies & Policy

  • What evidence is there of successful processes that support faculty in their efforts to embrace the scholarship of teaching and learning?
  • What evidence is there of how our universities, colleges, classrooms, and learning spaces can be structured to foster connection among learners?
  • How can the scholarship of teaching and learning inform institutional, local, and national policies?

3. Connecting through Ideas, Discoveries, Inquiry & Innovation

  • What emerging ideas, discoveries and areas of inquiry can help inform and foster the enhancement of teaching and student learning?
  • Where is theory currently being actively connected to practice?  How can we integrate research and discovery into our teaching practices?
  • What insights have been gained through our experience in disciplinary and trans-disciplinary learning that can help inform the scholarship of teaching and learning?
  • How can technology be used to enhance the scholarship of teaching and learning?  What are effective pedagogies and instructional strategies that can be used to integrate technology into educational practices?

4. Connecting with Our Past & Thinking about Our Future

  • What evidence of success do we have of our previous efforts to improve the quality of our teaching and learning environments and our students’ learning?
  • Critically reflecting on your own experience, is the scholarship of teaching and learning now beginning to receive the recognition it deserves on college and university campuses?
  • What have been your greatest successes with respect to fostering the scholarship of teaching and learning? How can these best be celebrated?
  • What are the most significant challenges still facing the scholarship of teaching and learning? How can these challenges begin to be addressed?
  • Where are the areas of opportunity with respect to fostering the scholarship of teaching and learning on college and university campuses? 
  • Who are the driving forces?
  • How can we begin to explore these areas of opportunity?
  • What are our ultimate goals with respect to fostering scholarship of teaching and learning?  What are our markers of success?
  • How will we know when we’ve reached these?

More About Your Hosts

University of Alberta (U of A)
Founded in 1908, the U of A is Alberta’s oldest and largest research university. With an enrolment of over 36,000, it is among the five largest universities in Canada. The main campus covers 50 city blocks with over 90 buildings directly across the North Saskatchewan River from downtown Edmonton.  The U of A is home to the Faculties of Arts, Science, Engineering, Medicine and Dentistry, Law, Education, Agriculture, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Business, and Physical Education as well as Pharmacology and special programs such as the Campus Saint-Jean and the Faculty of Native Studies.

Grant MacEwan College
With an enrollment of over 11,000 students, MacEwan is Alberta’s largest college. Its main campus comprises 5 city blocks in downtown Edmonton. Three satellite campuses are located throughout the city.  MacEwan describes itself as a comprehensive college offering a mix of certificate, diploma, university transfer, applied and baccalaureate degree programs. Major faculties include the Performing Arts, Business, Arts and Science, Health and Community Studies.

Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, a Canadian province. It is the northernmost North American city with a metropolitan population over one million. Covering an area larger than Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto or Montreal, Edmonton has one of the lowest population densities in North America (about 9.4% that of New York City). Edmonton is a cultural, government and educational centre. It plays host to a year round slate of world-class festivals, earning it the title of “The Festival City”. It is home to North America’s largest mall and Canada’s largest historic park.

International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
This will be ISSOTL’s 5th international conference and the second to be held in Canada. The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning serves faculty members, staff, and students who care about teaching and learning as serious intellectual work. The goal of the Society is to foster inquiry and disseminate findings about what improves and articulates post-secondary learning and teaching.

Future ISSOTL Conferences

ISSOTL 2009    ISSOTL 2010
Bloomington, Indiana, USA
October 22-25

For information, contact ISSOTL 2009 Co-chairs Jennifer Meta Robinson ( and Whitney M. Schlegel (

Liverpool, United Kingdom
For information, contact ISSOTL 2010 Chair Rust, Oxford Brookes University (

Contact Email:

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