A celebration was recently held to honour the achievement of staff members within the learning, teaching and assessment (LTA) space at Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). This inaugural event was hosted by Prof Karin Baatjes, FMHS Vice Dean: Learning and Teaching, and is set to become a highlight on the faculty's annual calendar.
Being a good teacher, requires more than mere knowledge of a subject, Baatjes said in her welcoming address. “The ability to transfer knowledge in a way that makes it understandable to each student is a talent," she explained. “If the knowledge isn't transferred in a meaningful way, understanding will be minimal, and the effort would have been in vain."
Baatjes continued: “Teaching does not merely entail the transmission of facts but requires an investment into new teaching styles and strategies, and an inclination to use formal and informal professional learning opportunities, for the ongoing development of the role as academic teacher."
In support of this ongoing development, the FMHS, through the Centre for Health Professions Education (CHPE), offers a range of faculty development initiatives throughout the year to equip lecturers and facilitators at the FMHS for their teaching and assessment roles.
Faculty development lead, Dr Rhoda Meyer indicated that interest in the CHPE's LTA offerings have grown in recent years, and in 2022 alone there were more than 610 attendances across their various programmes.
“It has also been a busy year for health professions education at the FMHS in terms of research," Meyer continued. “Faculty members delivered 19 presentations at SU's Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference, and at the same event, the FMHS' Janine Correira, Prof Karin Baatjes and Ilse Meyer were shortlisted for the best research presentation for their study entitled 'Student perceived value on the use of clay modelling in undergraduate clinical anatomy at SU'."
CHPE Director, Prof Susan van Schalkwyk, specifically acknowledged achievements of a number of FMHS staff members for completing various short courses, including: Dr Marli Conradie-Smith for completing the MPhil short course in Curriculum Development and Analysis in Health Professions Education and Mrs Rykie van Toorn for completing the MPhil short course in Skills Development. In addition, those who successfully completed the Teaching in the Health Professions short course were acknowledged. In attendance were Mrs Betsie Vlok, Mr Daniel Mashishi, Dr Matthew Mausling, Dr Heinri Zaayman; and Dr Liezl Smit who is currently completing the Scholarship of Educational Leadership (SoEL) short course. Van Schalkwyk also referred to previous Teaching Fellowship and Teaching Excellence Awardees as well as the significant number of FIRTL (Fund for Innovation and Research in Teaching and Learning) Awards that have been garnered by the FMHS in recent years.
“Today we want to honour your commitment to not only the improvement of our student outcomes, but also for the enhancement of your own development and knowledge base within Health Professions Education – the legacy of which will be seen for generations of students to come," Baatjes concluded.
Photo left: Rykie van Toorn and Dr Liezl Smit. Photo right: Dr Matthew Mausling, Dr Heinri Zaayman, Betsie Vlok and Daniel Mashishi.