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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Co-leads: Caroline Hackerott, Mark Landahl

Brief Description

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) SIG focuses on the pedagogical and andragogic theories and tools applicable to the design and delivery of education within the emergency management discipline. Members examine the potential outcomes of integrating instructional strategies including experiential learning, program and course assessment, online learning, and creating and maintaining community partnerships. This SIG serves as a resource to share empirically supported state-of-the-art practices in data collection from emergency management and homeland security classrooms and programs. This SIG also promotes the use of empirically grounded research approaches when analyzing the design of new courses, modifying existing courses, or enhancing the program. Members of the SoTL SIG serve to strategically disseminate results, actionable items, and materials to academics and practitioners at conferences, annual meetings, journals, and workshops. Activities include supporting a research method Focus Group which connects emergency management educators with other disciplinary educational researchers through higher education research professional organizations.

Purpose

The SoTL SIG is critical in ensuring EM and homeland security (EM/HS) education promotes true learning and student preparation. In order to accomplish this goal, SoTL examines all aspects of faculty and student experiences involving EM/HS higher education. Research topics may include faculty preparation, faculty/student interaction, classroom learning experiences, administrative approaches, and student dynamics. The key aspect of quality SoTL research is that it is conducted in a manner which builds on empirical evidence, theoretical frameworks and foundations, and reflects scientific research standards.

Understanding that the majority of EM/HS higher education programs are not housed within research-focused institutions, the SIG strives to provide the community with SoTL research education and research support activities to encourage new researchers (as well as veteran scholars) to develop projects/studies examining educational strategies to inform effective EM/HS education.

Next Steps: Objectives, Projects, or Activities

  1. Pre-Symposium Workshops outlining the key steps in developing a SoTL research study. The last Pre-Symposium Workshop included a 4-hour introduction to conducting SoTL research and a 4-hour session in which presenters provided individualized coaching on the development of proposed/ongoing studies.
  2. Multiple webinars focused on presenting research methodologies, research topic development, and writing/dissemination strategies for SoTL projects. The SIG is happy to support any community member who wishes to present a SoTL topic or will help develop a webinar on a SoTL topic by request.
  3. FEMA sponsored SoTL focus groups (general). The initial focus group developed and published an EM/HS SoTL overview in the Journal of Emergency Management.
  4. FEMA sponsored SoTL focus groups (research methodologies). In 2017-2020, FEMA sponsored focus groups to attend the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting. Each focus group member attended a number of self-selected conference sessions and contributed to a collective report. The 2017, 2018, and 2019 reports are available through the FEMA HiEd Program website. In 2020, the focus group experienced a shift due to COVID-19 and cancellation of the 2020 AERA annual meeting. The focus group split into 3 teams with each team preparing a SoTL manuscript for publication. Topics include access and inclusion in online EM/HS higher education (to be presented at the 2020 Association for the Study of Higher Education meeting followed by journal publication), the use of simulation in EM/HS higher education (for journal publication or posting on the FEMA HiEd Program website), and the history and value of SoTL in EM/HS higher education (for journal publication).
  5. The development of a brief handbook of SoTL research study/project development. The handbook should be available on the FEMA HiEd Program website in summer 2021.
  6. Webinars and online workshops involving empirically supported pedagogical strategies for EM/HS higher education. Topics have included “Modifying Your Traditional Classroom Course to the Online Environment” (designed to help community members pivot to online environments rapidly due to COVID19), “Designing Online Courses for Student Engagement”, and “Integrating Case Study Pedagogy into EM/HS Courses.” Again, community suggestions are welcome.
  7. The SoTL SIG promotes and curates the SoTL educational track for the Annual HiEd Symposium. Everyone is encouraged to apply to present through this peer-reviewed process. The SoTL SIG is also always looking for additional peer reviewers.

In most cases, access to past workshops and webinars is available through the FEMA HiEd Program website or more recently, the Center for Homeland Defense Study (CHDS) website.

SIG Co-leads

Caroline Hackerott, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University
caroline.hackerott@ndsu.edu

Mark Landahl, Ph.D., CEM
Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management
Frederick Community College
MLandahl@frederick.edu

 
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