James J. Lakso Center for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning 

The James J. Lakso Center for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) at Juniata College promotes professional development related to evidence-based practice in higher education. The creation of the SoTL Center at Juniata College was catalyzed by a grant from the Teagle Foundation in 2008. 

The goals of the center are to increase:

  • open and honest discussion of issues related to teaching effectiveness at Juniata
  • awareness of the literature on evidence-based practices in education at Juniata 
  • scholarly teaching at Juniata 
  • the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) at Juniata 

National Recognition for the Lakso Center

The James J. Lakso Center has been recognized nationally for its faculty-driven approach to SoTL, most recently in a case study published by the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment

How we promote scholarly teaching and learning:

SoTL is the systematic investigation and reporting of issues that influence student learning and how we use what we learn to inform teaching practices. The center fosters an open atmosphere for the discussion of teaching through three primary mechanisms:

  • hosting SoTL brown bags
  • creating learning communities
  • utilizing summer grants

Learn more about the Lakso Center for SoTL

To learn more about the establishment of the center, the governance structure, and the center activities, click on the title of the following paper to download a PDF.

If you'd rather grab a snack and listen to us explain the process, stream the presentation How to create a faculty-driven, cost effective SoTL center, by Phil Dunwoody, Kathy Westcott, David Drews, Jay Hosler, and Mike Boyle at The SoTL Commons, Statesboro, Georgia, March, 2011: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14345380

Mission

The James J. Lakso Center for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (CSoTL) promotes professional development related to evidence-based practice in higher education. The goals of the center are to increase: 

  • open and honest discussion of issues related to teaching effectiveness at Juniata
  • awareness of the literature on evidence-based practices in education at Juniata
  • scholarly teaching at Juniata
  • the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) at Juniata

The center adopts McKinney’s (2007) definitions of scholarly teaching:

“Scholarly teaching involves taking a scholarly approach to teaching just as we would take a scholarly approach to other areas of knowledge and practice. Scholarly teachers view teaching as a profession and the knowledge base on teaching and learning as a second discipline in which to develop expertise. Thus, scholarly teachers do things such as reflect on their teaching, use classroom assessment techniques, discuss teaching issues with colleagues, try new things, and read and apply the literature on teaching and learning in their discipline and, perhaps, more generally.” (p. 9-10)

Mission Statement

View the entire SoTL Mission Statement (PDF)