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defining your problem

Defining your Problem

Pat Hutchings from the Introduction to Opening Lines. “A Taxonomy of Questions - Every scholarly and professional field is defined in part by the questions it asks. It is useful, then, to examine the kinds of questions that characterize the scholarship of teaching and learning.”

taxonomy of questions in sotl
Taxonomy of Questions in SoTL

Unifying Themes

Defining models and conceptual frameworks

necessary steps toward defining your problem 1
Necessary steps toward defining your problem - 1
  • What problem do I have?
    • What is my evidence of this problem? What are my underlying assumptions regarding this problem?
    • Is my evidence strong – and my assumptions few – such that I have confidence that the problem I have defined is the “true” problem?
    • What do I hope will change as a result of my research into this problem?
necessary steps toward defining your problem 2
Necessary steps toward defining your problem – 2
  • What question does this problem lead me to ask?
    • How does prior SoTL/education research help to refine my question?
    • What types of data will I need to answer my question?
    • How will I analyze these data – and who will I need to help me?
    • How does a consideration of assessment help me to refine my question?
necessary steps toward defining your problem 3
Necessary steps toward defining your problem – 3
  • Who will be the audience for my research?
    • How will I reach this audience?
  • What will it take to persuade this audience