Growing Lemon Trees from Lemons: Lessons Reaped from a SoTL Faculty Learning Community's Research "Failures"

Linh Dich, Karen M Brown, Jeff H Kuznekoff, Theresa Conover, John P Forren, Janet Marshall


Failure can be central to faculty research; however, failure produces a vehicle for learning. Through an interdisciplinary faculty community, the authors supported each other in facing, learning from, and overcoming “failed” aspects of research projects. This article reports obstacles encountered in conducting Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research and the role of a faculty learning community in overcoming these challenges. Research pitfalls included lack of student participants, non-significant findings, expectations for understanding related course content, technology issues, use of deception, determining the research question, and managing bias. Ultimately, the faculty learning community engendered a foundation for successful research projects by shared inquiry into these research “failures.” 


Faculty learning communities, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, failure, success, interdisciplinary communities, action research

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ISSN 1527-9316