You are invited to join our engaging and reflective conversations that explore how stories are key elements of our courses. We will investigate how stories convey meanings and enhance abstract concepts, how courses tell a story and can be constructed like a story, how autobiographical elements are relevant for our classes, how we frame and solve problems through narrative approaches, how stories can be used for research purposes, and much more. During the Institute we will allow ourselves to be drawn into great stories and to learn from great storytellers.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) serves as a lens by which we explore our teaching and our students' learning. This year's theme provides us with an incentive to reconsider and investigate our own teaching. SoTL projects are stories themselves; they start with a question or problem that emerges in our teaching, move through an investigation period, and reach an answer or solution that we can share and implement at the end. We will trace out the development and lessons we learn from our SoTL investigations and explore the research approaches that help us to better understand our teaching and our students' learning.

The Institute and this year's theme encourage inter- and multidisciplinary conversations and invite a variety of disciplinary and methodological studies.
Consider participating in IISSAM 2013 in one of three ways, as

  • A scholar having your work-in-progress mentored;
  • A poster-presenter, showing a project that is completed, nearly completed, or just at the beginning stages;
  • An attendee, learning about SoTL and joining the conversation to share ideas and suggestions with other SoTL scholars.

Storytelling is relevant for all types of teaching and learning, although it can take very different forms.

More on IISSAM's 2013 Storytelling theme from a limited cross-disciplinary selection of perspectives:


"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it."
–Hannah Arendt, Men in Dark Times

"Experience, though it seems quite like scientific knowledge and art, is really what produces them."
Aristotle, Metaphysics

"If a story is not about the hearer, he will not listen. And here I make a rule — a great and interesting story is about everyone or it will not last."
–John Steinbeck, East of Eden

"The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon."
–Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

"A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead."
–Graham Greene, The End of the Affair


Barthes, R., Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives, 1977.

Boyd, B., On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction, 2010.

Bruner, J., The Narrative Construction of Reality, 1991.

Fisher, W., Narration as a Human Communication Paradigm: The Case of Public Moral Argument, 1984.

Glebas, F., Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation, 2008.

Gottschall, J., The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, 2012.

Herman, D., Story Logic: Problems and Possibilities of Narrative (Frontiers of Narrative), 2004.

Herreid, C.F., Schiller, N., Herreid, K.F., Science Stories: Using Case Studies to Teach Critical Thinking, 2012.

Ochs, E., Taylor, C., Rudolph, D., Smith, R., Storytelling as a Theory-Building Activity, 1992.

White, H., The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality, 1980.

White, J., Lowenthal, P., Minority College Students and Tacit "Codes of Power": Developing Academic Discourses and Identities, 2011.