For they are jolly good (TAU) fellows

Belinda Bantham -- Fri, 11/10/2017 - 14:34

For they are jolly good (TAU) fellows

Two North-West University (NWU) academics have been chosen for the South African Teaching Advancement at University (TAU) Fellowship Programme. The great honour of being selected by the TAU panel again confirms that the NWU’s academics have a well-deserved reputation for their expertise, hard work and dedication.

The two who have done the NWU proud are Dr Molekodi Matsipane, lecturer at the Department of Nursing Sciences on the NWU’s campus in Mahikeng, and Prof Jako Olivier, associate professor of the Self-Directed Learning research focus area of the Faculty of Education on the campus in Potchefstroom. They say they feel honoured to be participating in the 2018/19 TAU programme.

The TAU programme seeks to contribute towards the enhancement of teaching and learning in higher education in South Africa by supporting the development of academics across institutions and disciplines as scholars, leaders and mentors in their fields.

It also enhances the status and stature of teaching and popularises the understanding of teaching excellence in varied institutional and discipline-specific settings.


Sharing their teaching skills

TAU fellows are expected to conduct a seminar or workshop on teaching at their own institution and report on this during one of four contact sessions required. They will also participate online with members of the TAU enquiry group and, with the support of TAU, work on an individual project for the duration of the programme. Their projects must respond to a teaching and learning challenge that each participant identifies in their own institutional environment.

“I am experienced in teaching and also received a teaching excellence award in 2012 from the NWU. I am eager to participate in the TAU fellowship programme and to share my expertise and knowledge with other colleagues within the South African context,” says Dr Matsipane.

He says his participation in the programme will sharpen his teaching leadership so that he can be a role model to his colleagues. “What is also exciting is the research project that I will be conducting during the TAU fellowship programme in collaboration with other colleagues from South African universities. I believe this will equip me to be a mentor and change agent, and be supportive of newly employed academics at the NWU.”

Prof Olivier says through his involvement in the fellowship, he envisages working towards the enhancement of teaching and learning in his academic area at the NWU. “I also aim to support the development of academics in terms of using research-based and pedagogically sound multimodal learning strategies to enhance self-directed learning.”

He also considers this as an opportunity to raise further awareness about open educational resources and the philosophy of openness in terms of teaching and learning content.

Prof Jako Olivier Dr Molekodi Matsipane


ITEA stars to receive awards at HELTASA conference

Meanwhile, the NWU has announced that two other academics who were recognised at the university’s Institutional Teaching Excellence Awards (ITEA) ceremony earlier this year will receive recognition during the national conference of the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of South Africa (HELTASA) later this month. They are Prof Alfred Henrico from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and Dr Munyaradzi Manjoro of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, who received a distinguished teaching excellence award and a teaching excellence award, respectively, from ITEA.

“It is wonderful news that Prof Henrico and Prof Manjoro, together with our HELTASA TAU Fellowship awardees, Dr Matsipane (Health Sciences) and Prof Olivier (Education), have put NWU ’on the map’ yet again in terms of the recognition we have received for our teaching and learning excellence,” says Prof Robert Balfour, deputy vice-chancellor for teaching and learning at the NWU.

He says these commendations and fellowships are rare, so the NWU should take great pride in the colleagues’ achievements.

“At the NWU we are recognised for our excellence in teaching and learning, not only in terms of measurables like success rates of our students, which have been consistently over 75% over the last seven years, but also for the support provided by academics through a wide range of programmes. These include extended and preparatory programmes like Univprep and Excel and initiatives such as Supplemental Instruction. I am delighted to congratulate the four colleagues who have achieved national recognition in 2017.”

Prof Alfred Henrico Dr Munyaradzi Manjoro