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Left to right: Dr. Marnie Kramer and Dr. Kim Mitchell (SoTL support fund major project recipients)

Congratulations to the 2023 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Support Fund recipients

Eight academics awarded funding to support projects advancing student learning at UM

September 18, 2023 — 

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Support Fund provides opportunities for professors, instructors and librarians to undertake projects that increase knowledge in pedagogy and learning.

This year, eight awards of $6K and one major award of $25K were awarded, as well as one scholar award which provides teaching replacement support over one semester.


2023 Major Project recipients:

This year, the SoTL Major Project was awarded to Dr. Marnie Kramer and Dr. Kim Mitchell, professors in the College of Nursing. Their project will examine the threshold concepts of three courses in the College of Nursing program curriculum in order to better understand its impact on student learning.

Threshold concept theory in the study of higher education focuses on a core concept that is difficult for students to grasp; it argues that once understood, that concept will dramatically impact the students’ understanding of the larger subject matter. The challenging concept is more than just struggling with course content, but often includes course material that is troublesome or transformative in nature.

Dr. Kramer and Dr. Mitchell’s study will explore student and faculty perspectives about the troublesome nature of learning concepts of health and illness and use that knowledge to evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching and learning strategies employed within specific Nursing courses.

This study builds upon a previous SoTL seed grant, received in 2021, which focused on metacognitive learning strategies of a nursing pathophysiology class. Their findings highlighted the need for further study on students’ conceptual understandings and experiences when studying pathophysiology.

Dr. Marnie Kramer says, “Research on the effectiveness of conceptual learning in health and illness is very limited. We hope that this study will contribute to better understanding of how concepts in these courses act as portals to the students’ development of professional nursing identity.”

“Are we engaging in concepts that students would themselves identify as critical to their learning? Are all concepts necessary to successfully develop nursing practice? These are some of the questions that we know will be of great value for informing our concept-based curriculum,” adds Dr. Kim Mitchell.


2023 Seed Award recipients:

Dr. Monique Dumontet, Director, Academic Learning Centre

  • Project title:  Teaching and learning in plagiarism cases: The Cite Right model

Dr. Kevin Scott and Ms. Cassandra Debets, Faculty of Science

  • Project title:  Does peer review in an introductory biology laboratory improve student learning gains and narrow the performance gap for underrepresented students?

Dr. Aleksandra Glogowska, Max Rady College of Medicine and Dr. Chrysi Stavropoulou, College of Dentistry

  • Project title:  Cadaveric surgical simulation training as novel teaching and learning strategy for the development of surgical skills in dental clinical graduate programs: A new collaboration between Dentistry and Anatomy

Dr. Terry Li, Max Rady College of Medicine

  • Project title:  Ultrasound-Guided Procedures with Augmented Reality by a Head-Mounted Display: The Educational Perspective

Dr. Snehil Dua, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

  • Project title:  Understanding and Addressing Challenges in Work-Integrated Learning: A Comparative Study of Domestic and International Students

Ms. Kristin Hildahl-Shawn, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

  • Project title:  Measuring students’ engagement and its relationship with students’ performance in the course in both face to face (f2f) and distance learning modalities


2023 Scholar recipient:

Dr. Xinli Wang, Department of Mathematics

  • Project title:  Investigating whether artificial intelligence systems can help math students in learning mathematical proofs more effectively


There are four funding streams within the SoTL Support Fund:

Teaching and Learning Seed Project: This program is available to all full-time tenure track/tenured faculty and probationary/continuing instructors and librarians. Funds up to a maximum of $6000 per project. Up to ten (10) projects are funded each year.

Teaching and Learning Major Project: This program is available to all full-time tenure track/tenured faculty and probationary/continuing instructors and librarians. Funds up to a maximum of $25,000 per project with matching/in-kind contributions from the unit(s). Up to three (3) are funded each year.

Teaching Scholars: This program is offered to a maximum of three (3) tenure-track faculty members and probationary/continuing instructors and librarians. Scholars will spend 40% of their time focused on SOTL and will be situated in CATL. Funding will be provided for a course replacement instructor to the unit. (Priority may be given to those individuals who have completed the Teaching and Learning Certificate Program.)

Teaching Fellow: This program will support one (1) tenured faculty member per year. The successful applicant will dedicate between 40-50% of their time for a two-year term. The program will provide funds for a course release instructor(s), as well as a project funding up to $25,000 over the duration of the fellowship and units will provide matching funds.

The call for proposals for the 2024 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Support Fund begins in January 2024. Find the guidelines and applications here on the Provost website.



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