6 Summary of Session 4
SOTL inquiries should be done with rather than to students as much as possible. You have seen that engaging students as partners in SoTL is an ‘umbrella’ term that encompasses a range of strategies. Partnership raises awareness of implicit assumptions, encourages critical reflection and opens up new ways of thinking, learning and working in higher education for both students and educators (Healey et al., 2014). There are, however, challenges when involving students as partners: establishing the partnership, making it inclusive, maintaining and sustaining the partnership and ethical considerations.
The ethical challenges in a SoTL inquiry should be viewed as opportunities to examine the critical relationships between educators, students and other stakeholders and how they affect teaching, learning and SoTL research (MacLean and Poole, 2010).
Although in this session, we have focused on students as the key stakeholders in a SoTL inquiry, the principles and concepts of ethical SoTL practice are applicable for other participating stakeholders, too. Healey et al. (2013) have developed an Ethical SoTL Matrix that acts as a framework to encourage ethical reflection regarding different stakeholders engaged in a SoTL inquiry.
Throughout the research project’s lifecycle, it is vital to reflect on and evaluate the ethical practices in your SoTL inquiry. How well informed are the participants? How freely have they given consent without coercion, and how careful are you to maintain their confidentiality?
Now move on to.