Centre for Teaching and Learning
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​​​​​​The name of the “Auxins" originates from Greek (auxano) and means “to grow". The CTL started the Auxins to accomplish their task of supporting SU academics in their teaching responsibilities. To read more about the Auxins, click here.

The Auxins therefore has as its aim to create the following growth opportunities for SU academics:

  • Windows for innovative teaching and assessment practices on campus
  • Opportunities for academics to examine and deepen their knowledge about topics of own interest in the arena of teaching and learning at SU
  • A Scholarship of teaching and learning route on the growth route of becoming reflective lecturers.
The  Auxin series of each year presents teaching and learning innovations in pedagogic practices at SU in the context of our increasingly diverse student body and the need for graduates who can contribute to a complex society​.  

Further support and resources for SU lecturers' innovative teaching and learning are explored in Auxins​, in alignment with the strategic SU vision for networked and collaborative learning; and our Tea​ching and Learning Policy​ providing for resources to support holistic student learning, such as libraries,  and learning technologies, and how they form an integral part of the learning offerings in all modules and programmes. 

​For resources of previous Auxins, click here.​​​​

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Die oorsprong van die naam “Auxin” is Grieks (auxano) en beteken om “te groei”. 

Die Sentrum vir Onderrig en Leer (SOL) het die Auxins begin in die uitvoering van hulle taak om US-akademici met hulle onderrigverantwoordelikhede by te staan. Om meer oor die Auxins te lees, kliek hier​

Die doelwit van die Auxins is om vir US-akademici die volgende groeigeleenthede te skep: 

  • Toonvensters vir​ innoverende onderrig- en assesseringspraktyke op kampus 
  • Geleenthede vir akademici om hulle kennis oor onderwerpe in die arena van onderrig en leer aan die US, waarin hulle self belangstel, te ondersoek en te verdiep.
  • 'n Padkaart vir akademieskap vir onderrig en leer as deel van die algehele groeiproses vir dosente om reflektiewe dosente te word.

Vir hulpbronne van vorige Auxins, kliek hier.​

Igama elithi “i-Okzini" lisuka kwigama lesiGrike elithi “auxano" nelithetha ukuthi “ukukhula".

IZiko lokuFundisa nokuFunda (IFF) laqala i-Okzini ukuze lifezekise umsebenzi walo wokuxhasa abahlohli nabafundi base-SU kumaxanduva abo okufundisa. Ukuze ufunde kabanzi ngee-Okzini, cofa apha

I-Okzini ke ngoko inezi zinto njengenjongo yayo yokudala la mathuba alandelayo ukulungiselela abahlohli nabafundi base-SU:

  • I-Windows ukulungiselela imisebenzi yokufundisa nokuhlola ekhampasini
  • Amathuba abahlohli nabafundi okuba bahlole ze benze nzulu nangakumbi ulwazi lwabo malunga nemixholo abanomdla kuyo kwimeko yokufundisa nokufunda e-SU
  • ISkolashiphu sendlela yokufundisa nokufunda malunga nendlela yokukhula ekubeni ngabahlohli abasebenza ngokubonakalisa. 

Ukuze ufumane imithombo yoncedo yee-Okzii zangaphambili, cofa apha​.

2024 Auxins​​

May 21, 2024
 Dr. Ruenda Loots, Dr. Jerome Joorst, Dr. Jennifer Feldman, Dr. Gerda Dullart, Dr. Anthea Jacobs, Dr. Jean Farmer, Mr Simbongile Ntwasa

Topic: Challenges of Transforming Curricula: Reflections by an interdisciplinary community of practic

Institutional transformation and inclusion have slowly become more prominent in the strategies of historically white institutions in South Africa. Despite these efforts, progress towards these goals has been limited. In this article, we reflect on our conversations about transforming our curricula and teaching practices as an interdisciplinary Community of Practice. Our conversations grappled with the lack of curricular transformation at Stellenbosch University, despite its aspirational transformation plan. We argue that difficult interdisciplinary conversations are key to interrupting our teaching practices and are crucial in the decolonising process. These conversations must be ongoing and enduring, because through sharing our stories we support agents of curriculum transformation in our different contexts. Our conceptual conversations explored various theories about decoloniality, and here we employ ubuntu pedagogy, as well as the concepts of redistribution, recognition and representation from social justice theory. We harness the collaborative energy of an interdisciplinary Community of Practice, with its associated storytelling, reading, writing and reflecting to harness the diversity of personal and disciplinary perspectives. We include some reflective vignettes to illustrate our process. The relevance of this study, beyond our contexts, arises from a gap in the decolonising process, from its theory to its practice. We argue that even a good institutional transformation plan will not guarantee the decoloniality of curricula. More is needed. Systemic change is needed, and difficult interdisciplinary conversations are part of this process. There must be recognition and representation of marginalised voices and specific context-related redistribution of curricula, so that transformation plans and theories can take effect.

April 21, 2024
 Dr Gert Young

Topic: Student feedback: The research possibilities

Student feedback at SU is a process through which significant amounts of information is collected on various matters related to students’ learning experiences. In order for this information to drive and inform change, it needs to be analyzed. What are the analytical possibilities for this data? This session focuses on the research opportunities for student feedback. In particular a distinction is made between student feedback as the object of research and student feedback as a data instrument for research. The purpose of the session is to encourage academics to undertake student feedback research.

​​March 26, 2024​
 Dr Brendon Pearce and Dr Jeannine Marais

Topic: How do we respond to student feedback?

SU students regularly provide feedback on their experiences of lecturers and/or modules. However, most of this feedback comes at the end of a module meaning lecturers have little opportunity to ‘close the loop’ by engaging students on the feedback they provided. And even if lecturers had an opportunity to engage students, there can be uncertainty about how to respond to the feedback. This question – what do I do with feedback once it has been provided by students – is explored by Drs. Marais (Department of Food Science) and Pearce (Genetics Department). It forms part of a series on student feedback, the first of which (28 February 2024) explored alternatives ways to collect student feedback.

February 28, 2024​​
 Prof Gareth Arnott, Prof Debby Blaine

Topic: Renewing Student Feedback at SU: Using class representatives as an alternative way to collect feedback

The purposes for which student feedback is collected and the instruments we use to collect this feedback are important aspects to consider in the renewal of student feedback at SU. Traditionally the SU teaching community approaches student feedback as an evaluation of lecturers and their teaching and relies on the formal feedback surveys distributed at the end of modules to hear students’ voices on their experiences. In this session the two presenters will demonstrate an alternative way of collecting feedback – by engaging class representatives. Their presentation will also suggest that collecting feedback this way serves a different purpose – enhancing student learning. Prof Arnott will describe his use of class representatives at the level of an individual module and Prof Blaine will show this can be scaled up to the level of the programme. The purpose of this session is to encourage the SU teaching community to explore different ways of collecting feedback that can ultimately enhance student learning.

Previous Auxins​​





















Growth opportunities within the AUXINs

The growth opportunities includes the Auxin "Padkos"​-sessions which are held once a month (over the lunch hour) on Tuesdays. Padkos as food for the body will be provided together with “padkos” for the teaching journey.​​

During the padkos-session participants will also get the opportunity to indicate their interest in joining a focused interest group (FIG) to research a specific topic in more depth. The FIG participants can decide how and when they would like to meet and the meetings can include a variety of activities. Possible outputs of the FIG can be an action research project or the facilitation of a workshop.  A FIRLT application might flow from the interactions followed by a presentation at the annual Scholarship for Teaching and Learning Conference and publication of their findings in a academic journal. The participation in awriting retreat will further support lecturers to the point of publication and/or presentation at an external conference. Academics might also decide to take up studies in Higher Education.

See below for a graphic representation of the growth opportunities within the A​​uxins:

Final Poster.jpg 

Explanation of the metaphor

​The Num-Num tree, hardy and indigenous to the Western Cape, was chosen as metaphor for this project because we could see the links between certain of its unique characteristics and SU academics who decide they want to grow during their teaching journey. We interpret these characteristics as follows:

Evergreen: Academics who walks along the Scholarship of Teaching road, are constantly growing and is a sign of “life”.

Indigenous: Academics who focus on their teaching and the Scholarship of teaching, are not aliens. Teaching at SU is their terrain and it is where they flourish.

Hardy and adapts to a wide variety of (garden) conditions: The academic who focuses on his/her teaching role is not easily overpowered. They can make plans and can survive on strange places and under challenging circumstances.

Sweetly scented flowers: Academics that bloom in their teaching role, attract colleagues and students in the same way that sweetly scented flowers attract bees and butterflies.

Fruits are relished by humans: When the academic starts sharing his/her research on teaching at conferences and in publications, it is snatched up by colleagues.

Spines: Academics who focus on their teaching, can live up to anything or anybody.

Enduring wind, heat and salt spray: Although it might be difficult to keep yourself up against the “elements”, the SU academic who focuses on his/her teaching role keeps on growing despite a sometimes difficult path.

Will tolerate moderate drought but does better if watered regularly: Regular interaction with colleagues at CTL and other academics who share the same sentiments about their teaching, supply enough resources to survive droughts and to ensure a bumper crop in times of plenty.

Slow starter but grows quickly after the first season: It might sometimes feel as if no progress is made, but be encouraged, because after a slow start there is abundant growth!

Loves full sun: The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL: Afr SOL) will be the sun on overcast days.

For best results plant it in composted soil and feed with a balanced organic garden fertiliser occasionally in summer: The Auxin–project aims to create these ideal circumstances for optimal growth with the Auxin-growth opportunities.​​​​



  • Auxins take place once a month during lunch time (12:45 – 13:45).
  • Venue: MSTeams, online.
    • You don't have to book or RSVP to attend.​ Just click on the MSTeams links to join us. MS Teams links will be circulated when sessions are advertised, alternatively contact Liezl Williams for the links.

  • Enquiries: 
  • Want to be sure not to miss an Auxin? Ask us to send you an invitation:
  •  williamsl@sun.ac.za
  •   021 808 3717

More about Auxin