Curriculum, Creativity, Circus, and Chapters: A Review of the ISSOTL 2014 Conference

Earle Abrahamson
2015 Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal  
The annual International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) 2014 conference was held in picturesque Quebec City. Hosted by Laval University, the conference was a Mecca for the dissemination of information, debate, development, and engagement. This year saw a number of innovative practices, in clud ing the addition of an ISSOTL mobile application which kept delegates informed of sessions and areas of interest. One of the most inspiring aspects of the conference was the
more » ... conference was the incredible manner in which the keynote addresses were scribed in both visual and textual formats. This enabled delegates to appreciate the key messages within the plenary sessions. The scribing of conceptual and contextual ideas on a whiteboard not only flooded the Twitter lines, but more importantly painted a picture of what the future for SoTL publication may become. The conference attracted a wealth of expertise across multiple levels of learning and learners. The theme for the conference captured the uniqueness of creative expression in teaching and learning. This was carefully developed through the plenary sessions which ranged from transformational learning and criti cal pedagogies to the expression of "delicious uncertainty," to learning as a practised identity and understanding how to navigate among and between learning chapters. Apart from the oral, poster, symposia, and workshop presentations, the annual conference further provided important meeting spaces for its numerous special interest groups. These groups gathered to communicate the ethos, vision, and work of the Society by focussing specifically on key learning issues within specialist areas. Some of the groups developed proposals for a new series of textbooks to examine the scholarship of teaching and learning through different and innovative SoTL lenses. Lunch time and early breakfast meetings saw members of these special interest group learn, lead, and of en lend support to their colleagues. There were a number of regional specific meetings to mobilise interest amongst members from different geographical locations. The importance of ISSOTL is best captured in the way members from regional groups disseminate information and learning to their regions and institutions, and engage colleagues with the value of SoTL, even if the term is alien and/or problematic to many. The conference further witnessed the meeting of journal editors to debate the future of SoTL publications and the impact of open access publication on academic scholarship. International liaison and collaboration are criti cal to the success of the Society, its present and future endeavours, yet the future of SoTL relies on the process by which
doi:10.20343/teachlearninqu.3.1.91 fatcat:ud3mqm4omncuffxi32lcfdmqi4