3 Mentoring in SoTL
If your institution has a dedicated SoTL centre such as, the Centre for STEM Pedagogy in the Faculty of STEM at The Open University (OU), you may be formally allocated a mentor to support your SoTL inquiry, or you may like to suggest a colleague who you would like to be a mentor. Alternatively, you could request a colleague to be an informal mentor.
Hubball et al. (2010) examined mentoring in SoTL in a research-intensive university. They found that SoTL scholars, especially those unfamiliar with educational research and social science methodologies, experienced significant research challenges when investigating SoTL. The authors found that effective mentoring strategies as part of a community of practice can offset these challenges and influence positive SoTL research outcomes. Being mentored by an experienced SoTL colleague helps the novice SoTL researcher gain confidence in conducting research on teaching and learning. Mentoring facilitates continuous two-way exchange of SoTL ideas between the mentor and the mentee, fostering a positive learning environment (Friberg, 2017).
A mentor performs two key roles: facilitating SoTL research and supporting SoTL networking.