Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement continues to celebrate presentations delivered at the 2020 SU Virtual SoTL Conference
The first ever Stellenbosch University (SU) Virtual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Conference took place on Wednesday 04 November 2020. Judging by the positive feedback, it was a resounding success and an exciting celebration of teaching and learning (T&L) at SU. The conference offered a space for academics to reflect on and share innovative practices stemming from the unique teaching circumstances related to Emergency Remote Teaching, Learning and Assessment. Delegates were able to share with one another their research findings, innovative ideas and reflections.
The theme of the conference was “Celebrate, Appreciate, Reflect in the e-environment”, abbreviated as “CARe”. The theme was born from a realisation that academics are feeling extremely pressured during the migration to Emergency Remote Teaching, Learning and Assessment (ERTLA) because they have many aspects to deal with, including family, working from home and students who are struggling. Academics need to feel appreciated and supported by the University, and the SoTL Conference Space offered a great way of providing this kind of re-assurance through conference sessions addressing, amongst others, issues of CARe.
Instead of the customary conference keynote speaker, there was a CARe-note panel this year, to align with the conference theme. The purpose of the CARe-note was to create a shared and reflective space where the voices of management, lecturers, professional support staff and students could be heard. These were presented in the form of the most authentic and sincere digital stories. These stories touched on aspects such as how management responded to the care needs of staff and students and showed compassion in many different and diverse ways, the challenging but enormously rewarding care work done, as well as the positive, open and caring responses from the university to the needs of students, which enabled them to “function effectively and survive”.
If you were not able to attend the conference, you really missed out on an amazing T&L event. The good news is that, in an effort to continue celebrating the amazing presentation outputs that were produced during the conference, you can request access to the recordings of the presentations by e-mailing Dr JP Bosman at firstname.lastname@example.org If you are interested in research in T&L or you would like some T&L inspiration, you should not miss out on this opportunity. Presentations are of a wide variety and include themes such as postgraduate teaching, student support and success, transforming the curriculum, programme renewal and educational leadership, to name but a few. You are also welcome to peruse the Conference Abstract Booklet, available here.
Another highlight of the conference was the launch of an online book entitled Responding to the necessity for change: Higher Education voices from the South during the COVID-19 crisis The book attempts to offer honest, reflective insights into the scholarly and practical activities of a proportion of staff members involved in the continuous support of sound teaching, learning and assessment practices during the period of ERTLA. The authors celebrate lessons learned, but also aim to build on identified opportunities for change and further critical reflection.
In the words of one of the SoTL Conference CARe-note presenters, “Let us focus our energy on building the new…” to make T&L at SU the best it can be!
For further information, e-mail Dr Anthea Jacobs at email@example.com
A huge congratulations to these 2020 SoTL Prize Winners!!
*** Please note that this in-house conference is exclusively for Stellenbosch University academics at no cost.***
To get an idea of previous conferences, feel free to click on the Previous conferences menu-item at the top or here.