By Kathleen McKinney, Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL
Illinois State University
For each of the 14 academic years since 2001-2002, there has been a competition for internal Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) University Research Grants (URGs). [i] At Illinois State University, SoTL is defined as the systematic study/reflection on the teaching and learning of our ISU students made public. Approximately $20,000 each year was awarded, through a peer review process, for a total of about $280,000 across the 14 years. [ii]
A total of 63 SoTL URGs were funded in these 14 years. [iii] These grants represent work in most departments and in all the academic colleges as summarized below:
In terms of departments/schools, the most involvement in grants [iv] (the total number of times a department/school affiliation was listed by research team members) was from the following departments:
In addition, during two years of the SoTL URG program, applications were required to be from departments, programs, or units and to involve unit teams. Those four grants were awarded to Criminal Justice Sciences, the College of Nursing, the School of Communication, and the Urban Pipeline Program.
Finally, individuals from the following departments/units were also involved in one or more grant teams over the 14 years:
Agriculture, Art, Biology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Dean of Students, English, Health Sciences, History, Information Technology, Languages, Literatures, and Culture, Management and Quantitative Methods, Marketing, Mathematics, Music, Nursing, Politics and Government, Social Work, Sociology/Anthropology, Special Education, Student Government, Teaching and Learning, Technology, and Theater.
A student worker obtained ISU email addresses for the lead researcher/author on each of the 63 grants via grant reports or the department listings on the ISU web page. The Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL sent emails to these individuals requesting a reply via email with a list of all ‘outcomes’ from the grant project such as publications, presentations, other grants, videos, performances, applications in reports, etc. Thus, the lead researchers determined what was seen as a grant outcome. A time frame of two months was given for the information request, a reminder email was sent after five weeks, and a final email reminder was sent a few days before the due date. Though no emails were ‘returned’ ‘undelivered’, some of the researchers had left the university or retired and it is unclear whether they received the message request. Responses were received by the deadline for 39 of the 63 grants (or 62%). Therefore, the data reported below is limited to those grants. It is unknown what biases in the data, if any, exist from this response rate.
As the grants were awarded over a period of 14 years, the time frame for the creation of outcomes or products varies just past the end of the grant/project to just over 13 years past the end of the grant/project. It was often (though not always) the case that there were fewer outcomes from grants just completed in the last couple of years. Furthermore, a condition of the funding was that, for each grant, researchers were to present their findings at our local teaching-learning symposium and submit a brief report, reprint, or link to a poster or paper to be posted on line. Most, but not all, grant recipients/teams met this requirement.
The outcomes or products submitted for the 39 grants for which responses were received were coded into eight general categories [v] :
Thus, a total of 152 grant outcomes were listed, which represents an average of 3.9 outcomes per reported grant, thus far. There were 47 publications/videos etc. and 87 presentations. The most common outcome submitted was one or more external presentations followed by internal presentations and external publications.
[ii] The total amount was slightly more than this as, in some years, a small additional amount from the Cross Chair in SoTL regular general revenue was added to the URG funds to support part of an additional grant. This amount and this report also do not reflect the funding and outcomes of SoTL travel grants or SoTL mini-grants.
[iii] Four additional grants for a total of $20,000 were awarded for 2015-2016. As these research projects are just beginning and no outcomes have yet occurred, these four grants are not included in this report.
[iv] The same individual and his/her unit affiliation were counted each time he/she appeared on a different grant. Some PIs listed student research team members and their departments; others did not. When listed, students’ department affiliations were counted.
[v] A complete list of the citations for the outcomes and products submitted by researchers for this report is available at sotl.illinoisstate.edu/grants/outcomes/citationsfy15. Citations were left in the formats provided by the researchers.