Research-Informed Design

From the beginning, SAIL was designed as a research-informed process that fosters scholarly teaching and promotes the scholarship of teaching and learning within and beyond the university; and follows a principled-approach (Thompson Rivers University, 2022):

  1. Growth and learning-oriented
  2. Equitable and learner-centred
  3. Faculty-driven
  4. Ongoing cyclical improvement
  5. Purposeful and holistic design
  6. Reflexive approach to learning

Action Research

To address the research questions about the efficacy and utility of shared ILO rubrics and assessment results, we chose to apply an action research design because action research engages faculty in systematic, reflexive enquiry into practice about student learning. Action research cycles, common to educational research, are focused on generating solutions to practical problems and the subsequent development of activities to improve outcomes across multiple cycles (Koshy et al., 2010): the findings of which can contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

As part of the action research, we prioritized the use of qualitative methods. In particular, we applied collaborative self-study and focus group techniques, rubric-based descriptive assessments, and community consultations that included a mixed-methods survey and presentations to elicit feedback. Finally, we included some initial quantitative descriptive analysis of consent rates.

SAIL has always been and continues to be an iterative faculty-led process – hallmarks to SoTL research.

The SAIL research design fits within a subcategory of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) called the Scholarship of Curriculum Practice (SoCP), which “uses an inquiry-based approach to gather data to better understand the curriculum, form the basis of evidence-informed discussions, and potentially lead to curriculum renewal.” (Huball & Gold, 2007).


Hubball, H. & Gold, N. (2007). The scholarship of curriculum practice and undergraduate program reform: Integrating theory into practice. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2007(1), 41-57.

Koshy, E., Koshy, V., & Waterman, H. (2010). Action research in healthcare. SAGE.

Thompson Rivers University. (2022). Learning outcomes and assessment principles and procedures. Learning Outcomes and Assessment Principles and Procedures (PDF)


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Strategic Assessment of Institutional Learning Copyright © by Carolyn Hoessler and Alana Hoare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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