Inquire: Certificate in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The Inquire: Certificate in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning program is designed for University of Guelph, Guelph-Humber, and Ridgetown 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.

 Applications for 2023 - 2024 Inquire Program 

Applications for the 2023 - 2024 Inquire program are open now. For more information, see the Inquire 2023 - 2024 page.


A maximum of 12 participants (or up to 6 research projects) within any cohort. In the event of more than 12 applicants to the certificate, program facilitators (Educational Developers in the Office of Teaching and Learning) will rank applications using the following criteria: 

  • Strong alignment of rationale with the outcomes and goals of the Certificate;
  • Awareness of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning;
  • Articulated goals for participation in the Certificate;
  • Potential for successful execution of the research project.  

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 an in-person three-day kick-off institute (May 23,  24,  29, 2023)
  • 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
  • Submission of a paper to a peer-reviewed journal, or dissemination of research results through another avenue

An Image of 3 Modules: Module 1: Planning Your SoTL Project from May to August for Year 1. The activities are 3-day action institute, study design workshop, and 1 action learning set. Deliverables are research proposal presentation, TCPS-2 CORE tutorial certificate, REB application, and research proposal. Module 2: Conducting SoTL from September to April for Year 1. The activities are 3 action learning sets, progress presentations, and 4 data analysis workshops. The deliverables are research progress presentation and TLI abstract submission. Module 3: Communicating Findings in SoTL from May to August for Year 2. The activities are TLI conference, inquire writing retreat, and 1 action learning set. The deliverables are presentation at TLI conference, external dissemination of project results, and reflection on research-practice link.

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.

Program participants will 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.

Contact Us


E-mail the Office of Teaching and Learning ( with any questions related to your teaching and learning needs.