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UNMC570 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in Higher Education: Ethics and Methods


UNHE503 Scholarship in Higher Education

Unit rationale, description and aim

To be professionally capable and progressive as a tertiary educator you need to inform your practice through skills of scholarship in learning and teaching (SoTL) including dissemination. This micro-credential is designed as a capstone to the ACU Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. It builds on your foundational SoTL knowledge, skills and project planning developed in micro-credential MCHE570 by providing resources and processes that support reporting of scholarship. You will continue the development of your project by reviewing a range of approaches to the analysis of qualitative and/or quantitative data and describing and justifying an analytical method suitable for the data that you have (or anticipate) in your SoTL project. You will apply an analytical method to a data set in order to report and discuss findings from research including the implications of these findings for the higher education sector, integrating relevant scholarly literature (including higher education, professional and/or disciplinary sources) that informs your research question. Therefore, the aim of this micro-credential is to develop your skills in the demonstration of scholarship. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Apply an analytical method to a collection of data to develop evidence of SoTL (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8)

LO2 - Critically evaluate SoTL data in the context of theories of adult learning and relevant disciplinary literature at a standard suitable for dissemination, ideally through publication in Higher Education forums (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

Module 1 – Data management and analysis 

  • Data management and analysis principles, procedures and limitations 

Module 2 – Reporting research findings and drawing conclusions 

  • Reporting and critically evaluating SoTL research in the context of adult learning theory, HE policies and other relevant literature  

Module 3 – Dissemination  

  • Contributing new knowledge through publication. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

To maximise flexibility and engagement for all students and therefore foster learning opportunity, student-centred, self-paced learning is an underpinning strategy adopted within this micro-credential. It follows that you will be expected to interact with your peers, contribute to online discussions and contribute to a pool of shared resources including an online (LMS) post of your formative assessment task response. You are also encouraged to keep a reflective journal (in your LMS profile) supporting your ability to engage in critical self-reflection. Engagement with teaching staff in this fully online micro-credential will be facilitated primarily through online forums and meetings. This online engagement will be supplemented by phone and email communication as required by individual clients. Individualised textual feedback on your formative and summative assessment tasks is provided to support your continuing development and refinement of your project as you prepare for dissemination. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this micro-credential are designed for you to demonstrate your achievement of each learning outcome. These tasks follow the logical narrative sequence of adult learning theories related to constructive alignment. To scaffold your learning, achievement of the first learning outcome is supported by a formative assessment task that helps you to demonstrate your relevant knowledge acquisition and comprehension and to explore the application of this knowledge through draft planning. You will outline and justify a plan for analysis of SoTL data that is relevant to your research question and aims and is well-aligned with your selected research methodology. The first and second learning outcome are achieved through a summative assessment task that allows you to apply your data analysis method to generate, describe and critically evaluate SoTL research findings in the context of key scholarly and professional literature informing your project.  

It should be noted that UNMC580 is a Pass/Fail micro-credential and as such there is no grade allocated to assignments in this micro-credential. In order to pass this micro-credential, you are required to:  

1. Submit a credible attempt for each assessment item  

2. Demonstrate a passing standard (or better) for the summative assessment task. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Formative assessment 

The kind of assessment task needed is one that requires you to identify and defend an appropriate approach to the analysis of data generated in your SoTL research.  

In this micro-credential, the task is for you to write an online forum post (1000 words) discussing and justifying a data analysis plan for SoTL data.  

For feedback


GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Summative assessment   

The kind of assessment task needed is one that requires you to explain the outcomes of your SoTL research in terms of implications for the HE sector and their own practice.  

In this micro-credential, the task is for you to develop an oral or written account of your research, such as a narrated PowerPoint, poster or written report, that critically discusses findings and conclusions relevant to teaching and learning in HE.  

This task uses Turnitin. 


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references


Punch, K. (2014). Introduction to social research: Quantitative & qualitative approaches (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE. 

Quantitative data 

Frey, B. (2018). The SAGE encyclopedia of educational research, measurement, and evaluation (Vols. 1-4). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications 

Fejes, A., & Nylander E. (Eds) Mapping out the Research Field of Adult Education and Learning. Lifelong Learning Book Series, Vol 24. Cham: Springer International Publishing. 

Qualitative data 

Flick, U., Metzler, K., & Scott, W. (2014). The SAGE handbook of qualitative data analysis. London: SAGE Publications 

Nassaji, H. (2015). Qualitative and descriptive research: Data type versus data analysis. Language Teaching Research, 19(2), 129-132. 

Empirical studies  

Divan, A., Ludwig, L., Matthews, K., Motley, P., & Tomljenovic-Berube, A. (2017). Survey of Research Approaches Utilised in The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Publications. Teaching and Learning Inquiry, 5 (2). pp. 16-29.  

Gurung, R., Richmond, A., Drouin, M., Landrum, R., & Christopher, A. (2019). The Past, Present, and Future of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 5(2), 97-120. 

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