Recipe for SoTL



By Carolyn Hoessler

Many a metaphor is used to make new ideas feel more familiar.

I’m an avid baker, so I wanted to share this alternative sweet way of seeing the elements and processes involved in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).  Let me know if you’ve got something cooking.

Book in a Loaf Pan

Photo by Brian Hoessler

1 cup questions, concerns or new possibilities

2 cups curiosity and excitement for your teaching and your students

1/2 cup reading literature inside your discipline about teaching courses and students like yours (see for example the list at

1/2 cup reading literature from educators in other disciplines with similar questions or approaches (see the list at

4 tablespoons appropriately chosen methodology that makes sense for you

2 tablespoons relevant analysis

4 teaspoons of reflection as a practioner on your teaching and SoTL experiences


Blend questions and concerns with curiosity and excitement together until coalesces. Shift together readings and fold in. Add in methodology and analysis, and sprinkling in reflection. Stir thoroughly.

Pour into single large pan or into several smaller pans. Fill about 2/3 full initially as often expand during writing.

Bake through reflection, writing and revision.

Serve to audiences near and far.

 ~ from the kitchen of  Carolyn “Dr. Cupcake” Hoessler


For a clearly written set of instructions see Donna M. Qualter’s “Six Steps for Turning Your Teaching into Scholarship

My favourite survey design resource, beyond Fluid Surveys (free for us at the UofS), is the  “Basics of Survey and Question Design” webpage

Also come by or drop us a line at the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness in the Murray Building right across from the Murray Library (and Starbucks) entrance.

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