Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and how they fit into HELTASA

Rieta Ganas

A Special Interest Group is a community with shared interests within a larger organization. HELTASA currently has eight special interest groups that represent the dynamic areas of teaching and learning within Higher Education in Southern Africa. The aim of the SIGs is to share information, engage in discussion and develop a wider knowledge base within the field of interest.

SIGs offer a wealth of workshops, publications and activities focused on specific interests and enable members to share expertise, discovery and best practices.

HELTASA SIGs are invested in advancing the skills of their members, keeping them abreast of emerging trends while offering opportunities for networking with colleagues, staying connected to peers and negotiating the strategic challenges of a specified interest area.

We believe that SIGs can drive innovation across the broad spectrum of teaching and learning within the HE context through the creativity and collaboration of its membership. Through various interactive workshops and events, SIGs share expertise and facilitate dialogue interactions critical to the dissemination of novel and innovative ideas around teaching and learning practices. Many of these forums have become premier events, bringing together researchers, academics and academic developers as well as students to stimulate awareness, understanding and discussion of the teaching and learning issues as experienced within the dIfferentiated HE contexts in Southern Africa. To achieve these broad aims HELTASA has adopted four strategic objectives in terms of the SIGs:

  1. To continue creating an enabling environment for Academic Development practitioners to engage with and advance the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL)
  2. Particular focus on strengthening regionally and nationally collaborated AD events, beyond the annual conference
  3. Creating opportunities for members to be more involved in advocacy work by contributing to important policy debates shaping teaching and learning
  4. Ensuring the sustainability of the organization as well as maintaining and developing new strategic partnerships

We welcome your suggestions, participation in and engagement with the various SIGs. Please refer to the HELTASA website for information on the various SIGs.

SIG                                                         Convenor  and Contact Details

General SIG information                    Rieta Ganas (Wits) – Rieta.ganas@wits.ac.za

Foundation                                            Francois Marais (UFS) – MaraisF@ufs.ac.za

Tutor / Mentor / SI                              Subethra Pather (UWC) – supather@uwc.ac.za

Writing centre                                      Puleng Sefalane (CPUT) – Sefalanep@cput.ac.za

Technology Enhanced Learning       Alanna Reilly (UFH) – ARiley@ufh.ac.za

Reflective Practice Research             Pieter du Toit (UP) – pieter.dutoit@up.ac.za

Professional Development                 Jo-Anne Vorster (RU) – j.vorster@ru.ac.za

First Year Success                                André van Zyl (UJ) – andrevz@uj.ac.za

SAULT                                                    Kibbie Naidoo (UJ) – knaidoo@uj.ac.za