Many years ago, I decided to become a professor and deliver online learning as a way of ensuring that students can learn at their leisure and in the comfort of the home. My original motivation at that time when I started to provide online learning in an asynchronous environment, was rather to understand what was missed in the previous system since there were countries that did not introduce the online learning as one of the options available to all students. The interesting part that I found through my direct experience was that many students were demotivated to learn outside of the traditional school environment because the students had to be persistent, diligent, critical in how they learned etc. Some qualities that I also try to develop during the synchronous classes through the SoTL that I presented in "Plan for a SoTL Project".
What I did not realize at the beginning is the amount of effort that institutions, different Government levels, methodologies, and resources are required to assess and continuously improve the system such that the Quality of Education prevails.
As I completed a short plan for SoTL and shared my motivations, the changes are quite evident as we need to take smaller steps if we all want the quality and education standards to meet the OECD mandate. Therefore, the following positive education outcomes would require funds, plans, methodologies, resources:
- As increased diversity in voice and perspective in the pedagogy leading to stronger institutional values on teaching and learning,
- Promotion of new networks among members at institutions,
- Scholarship opportunities in the form of presentations and publications with opportunities for outside funding to support program innovation.
To expand my own professional development, I found that the scientific research I have lately been engaged in does follow the methodology that is a quality cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act used in general by large and small organizations.
Similarly, the teachers engaged in SoTL projects frame research questions, systematically gather and explore the evidence, reflect on and refine new ideas, craft the results in a form that is suitable for public presentation, and peer review (Cambridge, 2001; Christensen Hughes, 2005). This final step of ‘going public’ is crucial, as it makes the results of individual inquiries available for others to build upon and to learn from, enhancing the wider profession of teaching in the process (Huber & Hutchings, 2005; Hutchings & Shulman, 1999).
When scientific research is performed in education, the results are incommensurable as students become the direct benefactors. Societies benefit when the systematic approaches are well documented and based on data that is shared among all parties that are involved in development.
While the ethical implications have to be considered, the project plan that I proposed can be used without affecting the privacy of any student who would participate.