A member of the lecturing staff at the Stellenbosch University Military Science Faculty Lieutenant Colonel Andre Pretorius was honoured with a teaching excellence award by the Western Cape higher education institution.
He shared some thoughts on why teaching is important to him with faculty student Rozanne Engel, responsible for communication.
Pretorius said he has been “in some form of teaching” since 1990 when he started as a junior instructor in the military and progressed in the subsequent 20 plus years to senior educator and e-learning designer in the military.
“It has really been a calling and passion for me to discover new ways to teach and learn. This experience served me well to be become a lecturer at the Faculty of Military Science.
“Having a keen interest in the field helped. My main motivation is to find solutions to everyday user problems and particularly how to assist students in their online learning experience. A fortunate consequence of this is I have a wealth of data available to improve my courses, almost in real-time. Also, the fine granularity of the activities that generate active user data for analysis means one can predict and remedy learning challenges.”
Pretorius said teaching soldiers “since a young age” laid a foundation for him to progress to advanced teaching technologies at a time when such technologies were still in their infancy.
“This led to my appointment as project officer for the first e-learning platform to be used in the SA National Defence Force and was an honour for me. In turn, this laid the foundation for me to implement the first fully online course successfully used by distance education and residential students at the Faculty of Military Science,” he is reported as saying.
He sees thee teaching excellence award as a symbol of his continued efforts to improve teaching even further.
“I am determined to distinguish myself further in the field of teaching through research and scholarship as it provides opportunities to improve the lives of others.”