As an educator, I believe it is important to engage in research on teaching and learning, especially on teaching and learning that I am engaged in, in order to critically assess and improve my practice as well as to contribute to the field of education. Research on teaching and learning can include the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) which can be defined as “systematic reflection on teaching and learning made public” (Illinois State University, 1998). SoTL was introduced by Ernest Boyer in 1990, and has continued to grow in popularity as a field of educational research.
In the fall of 2009, I engaged in a SoTL research project at The Native Education College (NEC) a private Aboriginal post-secondary institution in Vancouver, BC. As an instructor in the Family and Community Counselling Diploma Program at NEC, I had taught two courses in the 2008-2009 academic year including FCC 230: Legal Advocacy and FCC 240: Child Welfare. I worked with two former students who had taken FCC 240 from January to April 2009 and we collaboratively developed a course student assessment model that was based on the medicine wheel. The model was used to assess student assignments in the January to April 2010 offering of FCC 240.