Inquire: Graduate Certificate in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The Inquire: Graduate Certificate in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning program is designed for University of Guelph faculty, instructors and staff who are interested in conducting research on teaching and learning.

The underlying philosophy of the program is to develop teacher scholars (Boyer, 1990) using a framework of inquiry-based learning. Over three consecutive modules taken in a 16-month time frame, program participants will learn about the history and philosophy of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), design a methodologically sound and ethical research project, apply for research ethics approval, collect and analyze data, and publicly share the results of the investigation.

sedalogo This program is accredited by the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA).

Applications for 2021-22 Inquire Program

Applications for the 2021-22 Inquire Program are now being accepted. Applications are due by Friday, April 16th, 2021.

Program Structure

Program participants will conduct a SoTL research project throughout the program. Participants can work individually or as a research team.

Activities to support the completion of the research project include:

  • Attendance at a three-day kick-off institute
  • Participation in monthly meetings with cohort members including Action Learning Sets and workshops on topics including:
    • survey and interview design
    • ethics in the scholarship of teaching and learning
    • quantitative and qualitative data analysis dissemination of SoTL research
  • Consultation with facilitators
  • Presentation at the Teaching & Learning Innovations (TLI) Conference
  • Participation in an Inquire Writing Retreat
  • Submission of a paper to a peer-reviewed journal, or dissemination of research results through another avenue

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Inquire program, Inquire participants will be able to:

  • Develop and implement a research project on teaching and learning in higher education by writing a research plan which includes a research question with aligned methodologies, a critical review of current literature, a plan for implementation, and ethics approval through the University's Research Ethics Board.
  • Contribute to the scholarly discourse of research and knowledge related to teaching and learning in higher education within the University of Guelph community.
  • Disseminate the SoTL project in an appropriate forum outside the University of Guelph community (e.g., via publication in a peer-reviewed journal).
  • Collaborate with colleagues to enhance your own SoTL research project and support others with their endeavours by participating in structured Action Learning Sets and consultations.
  • Critically reflect on the research process and results to continuously enhance professional development and practice as both researcher and instructor.

Participants will also achieve the following SEDA Specialist Outcomes:

  • Locate their research within a wider context (through the completion of the literature review portion of the research proposal)
  • Demonstrate how their research is informed by relevant legal and ethical considerations (through the completion of a Research Ethics Board proposal and response to REB feedback)
  • Utilize a range of specialist knowledge/skills related to their research practice (through conducting their research projects and using research skills including designing surveys, interviewing participants, analyzing data, etc.)
  • Disseminate outcomes of their research (through the Research Progress Presentation)
  • Undertake self-management and/or leadership activities appropriate for their research role (through participation in the Action Learning Sets and through conducting their research project)

Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive an Enhancing Research Practice Award, accredited by the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA).

Program participants will also receive a University of Guelph Certificate (awarded by the Senate Committee on Non-Degree Studies)

Inquire Research Topics

Current and former Inquire participants have conducted empirical investigations of several topics related to teaching and learning including:

  • Item Response Theory and exam fairness
  • Effects of teaching approach on student engagement and satisfaction in an undergraduate Business course
  • Sleep and academic performance in first-year undergraduate students
  • Experiences of language-based discrimination for additional language speakers
  • Instructor perceptions of student mental health in the classroom
  • Graduate students’ perceptions on the effectiveness of Individual Development Plans

Inquire participants have used quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods to investigate SoTL research questions. Inquire facilitators are experienced in SoTL research and can support participants to conduct research using a variety of methods.