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

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2.2 Research methods for SoTL

There is no distinctive SoTL methodology and method that is consistently advocated in SoTL literature (Hubball and Clark, 2010). Methodology implies the assumptions or beliefs underlying research that shape and justify the logic of how an inquiry is approached, while the methods that follow from the methodology are the tools used to collect and analyse data (Berenson, 2018).

The methodological opportunities for SoTL research are endless; furthermore, multiple methods can be applied to generate meaningful representations of the complexity that characterises teaching and learning (Poole, 2013, cited in Mueller, 2018). In fact, there are no inherently right or wrong answers when it comes to making methodological choices in SoTL research.

The key criterion is that the research methods should align with the project’s aim and research question(s) (Mueller, 2018). Mueller (2018) mentions Burns (2016) as an example that showcases how the methods employed throughout the project were aligned to the formulated research questions and the chosen methods helped to answer those questions.

One of the ways to think about the research methods is in terms of types of data: quantitative and qualitative data.