Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs)(1)

A CLC represents a Collaborative Learning Community which was previously known as a SIG (Special Interest Group). A CLC is suggestive of more representation, collaboration and active engagement and participation across all the CLCs within the HELTASA platform.

There are currently 6 CLCs and they fall within three main focus areas.

Student Learning

Professional Learning

Programme Development

Possibility for Curriculum CLC
The intended aim is to bring teaching and learning stakeholders into dialogue, discussion, reflection and transformative moments of disruption to foster possibilities to reimagine and recreate, as a collective, a purposeful African Higher Education teaching and learning landscape.

While a member of the Exec will lead the collective CLCs, the convenorship is currently left to a convenor and a co-convenor. The intention, however, is to get a team of convenors from the various regions and to determine a working team that would be made up of university representatives. It is always important to consider representation from beyond the South African borders as well. It would be important for all to be formal members of HELTASA responsible for annual subscriptions. Membership and each member’s areas of interest for each CLC is important to be recorded and captured on the HELTASA database, as this can serve as an important registry and contact list for all to use (under certain organizational conditions). While members may be registered within a CLC of their interest, they are welcome to collaborate across the spectrum of available CLCs.

The HELTASA platform offers a CLC a teaching and learning space within the broader community of the entirety of its national and international networks, an opportunity for collaborative work on teaching and learning matters related to more than one CLC, the funding opportunity, research and advocacy opportunity and the opportunity to engage a wider audience in teaching and learning matters.

Special Interest Groups (CLCs) 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 six special interest groups that represent the dynamic areas of teaching and learning within Higher Education in southern Africa. The aim of the CLCs is to share information, engage in discussion and develop a wider knowledge base within the field of interest.

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

HELTASA CLCs 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 CLCs 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, CLCs 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 CLCs:

  1. To continue creating an enabling environment for Academic Development practitioners to engage with and advance the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL)
  2. Having a 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 CLCs. Please refer to the HELTASA website for information on the various CLCs.

For further information or to add to the conversation, please reach out to Nomfundo at