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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in STEM
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in STEM

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2 Stakeholder analysis for a SoTL inquiry

One of the first stages in designing and running your SoTL inquiry is to conduct a stakeholder analysis: who will be involved? What role will they perform? What information will they need before, during and after the inquiry?

Stakeholders are people who may be able to influence your inquiry, or who may be able to provide assistance, or who will participate as collaborators in your inquiry, or who may be interested in the outcomes of your inquiry.

It is important to start thinking about stakeholders early on in the inquiry to plan for the SoTL lifecycle such as the ethical considerations, research design and dissemination.

These are some aspects and questions as probes that may help you to think about your inquiry’s requirements and for stakeholder analysis:

  • Institutional buy-in: do I need to engage with colleagues in the department or at an institution level to get the buy-in for SoTL activity (Plews and Amos, 2020)?
  • Funders/sponsors: who will be interested in funding/sponsoring this inquiry – within the institution or outside?
  • Data gatekeepers: am I using pre-existing data? Will I need access to real-time learning analytics (Muljana and Placencia, 2018)? Who are the gatekeepers? What permissions and approvals do I need?
  • Specialist skills: do I need any specialist skills? For example, a statistician for analysing survey-data; or a data analyst for making sense of learning analytics; or an accessibility specialist for checking that the research materials are accessible?
  • Specialist IT/technical support: do I need hardware such as tablets, virtual reality headsets, a hi-spec computer, recording equipment or storage devices? Do I need software licenses such as for NVivo [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , qualitative data analysis software? Do I need to set up online spaces (e.g. wiki, blog, discussion-forum) for the inquiry? Will I need to run online meetings/events? Do I need access to workshops or labs? Who will provide support for hardware and software requirements? Who will provide specialist support?

NVivo is a qualitative data analysis software (QDAS). It is used for the analysis of unstructured text, audio, video and image data, including (but not limited to) interviews, focus groups, surveys, social media and journal articles. NVivo also integrates with quantitative software tools, making it a valuable tool for mixed methods research. You will learn about mixed methods research in Session 5.

  • Training support: do I have any training requirements? For example, use of NVivo for qualitative data analysis; or specialist training for research data management; or use of social media for public engagement?
  • Students: what will be the nature of their involvement? What are the ethical considerations for student recruitment and participation? What permissions do I need?
  • Advisors or critical friends or mentors: are there colleagues who have conducted a similar inquiry who I could seek help from once in a while?
  • Audience: who will be interested in the outcomes of the inquiry? Why would they be interested? Which dissemination routes will help me to reach them before, during and after the inquiry?
  • Other participants: who else will be directly and indirectly involved in various stages of the inquiry? Are there any ethical considerations of their involvement?

You may think of requirements and stakeholders other than the ones that have been suggested above.

Activity 3 Stakeholder analysis

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

For your SoTL inquiry or any other project that you are planning to carry out, think about the possible stakeholders. How useful are the probes in this section when thinking about the different stakeholders? Record your reflections below.

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The next step in the SoTL lifecycle is to start formulating the aim and research questions for the SoTL inquiry. We will consider this in the next section.