Evidencing the Impact of Institutional Scholarship: A Tried and Tested Approach
Keywords:impact, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), evidence, institutional scholarship, national frameworks
The UK’s Open University has a vision for a university-wide unified approach to scholarship of teaching and learning, otherwise known as SoTL, intended to create broader knowledge and an evidence base to increase excellence in teaching and learning. A large number of scholarship projects and activities occur throughout the university, enabled through the presence of scholarship centres. However, there is a paucity of published work across the sector to assess the impact of scholarship activities (particularly in reference to SoTL), especially when these are conducted on an institution-wide scale. We seek to address this issue, with particular reference to the LATIS scholarship centre. University staff have been involved in a number of LATIS projects and in a number of scholarship projects conducted prior to the formal launch of LATIS. Using the new Impact Levels (IL) model and Spheres of Influence (SoI) model, we examine the work of these scholarship projects, looking at different levels of impact and how these can be evidenced. We conclude in recommending the adoption of existing frameworks (such as the UK’s REF and TEF), and also consider new ways of assessing impact (using the Spheres of Influence model) that can have relevance to both institutional priorities and wider stakeholders.