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- Volume 16, Issue 3, 2002
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 16, Issue 3, 2002
Volumes & issues
Volume 16, Issue 3, 2002
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 5 –12 (2002)More Less
There is a major drive in South Africa to reshape the higher educational landscape, but traditional higher education at public contact institutions is certainly not geared to make an optimal contribution to this development in its present form. The question can be asked whether South Africa's higher education institutions (HEIs) should not take cognisance of international tendencies in higher education (HE) when addressing these local issues. HEIs worldwide tend to move towards multi-modal offerings, that is, offerings that apply different modes of delivery, and in doing so enhance the offerings by using integrated technologies. The process of covering the whole spectrum of delivery modes in South Africa may be strained if only contact and distance education are recognised for funding purposes. Should the goal in South Africa not be to meet the educational challenges through the use of available information and communication technologies (ICTs)? The aim of this paper is to contribute to this debate on the enhancement of HE through technology. This will be done by exploring some of the relevant aspects from a learner-centred as well as a managerial perspective.
Author A.M. DawetiSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 13 –20 (2002)More Less
This article proceeds from the perspective that education is situated in broader cultural systems of interpreting and knowing reality, and that education is an integral part of the socialisation process. The article highlights the inadequacy of many present academic practices in meeting the learning needs of diverse groups of learners. In the light of changing social circumstances, and the new purposes that higher education should meet, we need to rethink and redefine conventional educational boundaries. Dialectic thinking is advocated as a way of transcending discrepancies between theoretical perspectives and actual educational practice, and among different kinds of knowledge that teachers, learners and academic disciplines bring to the learning scene.
Developing a theoretical evaluative framework for information literacy interventions : a South African initiative : perspectives on higher educationAuthor N. HaberleSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 21 –30 (2002)More Less
The importance of information literacy as a fundamental element in the process of social and economic development and lifelong learning in the 21<sup>st</sup> century has been widely acknowledged. Most information literacy programmes, however, lack a robust theoretical framework on which the intervention is based. The reported study was aimed at the development and validation of a model of information literacy that could form the basis for an evaluative framework that could be applied to information literacy interventions. The framework that was adopted used a holistic behavioural taxonomic approach incorporating affective, cognitive, and physical domains. Within each domain there are three levels that may be attained - orientation, interaction, and internalisation. <br>The application of existing taxonomies to two information literacy interventions demonstrated that each had distinct limitations. A new taxonomy was therefore proposed which sought to overcome these limitations and address the specific needs of learners in a South African context.
Implementing inclusive educational practices through partnerships : perspectives on higher educationAuthor R. HallSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 31 –37 (2002)More Less
This study reports on work in progress of a partnership between the University of Stellenbosch and three rural schools in a disadvantaged community, focused on the development of inclusive educational practices such as teaching, assessment and support in inclusive education. Recognizing the changing needs of the teaching profession and consequently the changing needs of pre-service educators, this project was conceived as providing a structured arrangement to facilitate learning in a field based setting. Keeping within the University's mission of teaching, research and service learning, this partnership of critical engagement has been seen as an opportunity for students to engage in service learning that enhance student learning, advance community development and respond to social issues and concerns. The study reveals the need to acknowledge barriers which have implications for the planning, expectations and effectiveness of implementing inclusive education in this specific context.
The programme for Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and higher educational discourse in South Africa : a critical reflection : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 38 –49 (2002)More Less
In this article we reflect critically on the call for the establishment of a programme for Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in South Africa, especially in relation to current educational discourse in higher education. In order to do this, we firstly examine the nature of the proposed programme for Indigenous Knowledge Systems in South Africa. Secondly, we attempt to identify the philosophical tenets underlying the programme for IKS as manifested in various official workshops and subsequent documents, as well as in the literature referring to indigenous knowledge in general. Thirdly, we indicate how the programme for IKS might impact on educational discourse in higher education in South Africa.
Postgraduate research supervision in a socially distributed knowledge system : some thoughts : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 50 –57 (2002)More Less
Postgraduate supervision is a higher education practice with a long history. Through the conventional "apprenticeship" model postgraduate supervision has served as an important vehicle of intellectual inheritance between generations. However, this model of supervision has come under scrutiny as a consequence of the massification of higher education as well as shifts in the way knowledge is produced and disseminated in contemporary society. In this article we discuss different models of postgraduate supervision and suggest that a new model of supervision might be emerging as we move towards a more socially distributed knowledge system. In such a model, those involved in the supervision process would include partners other than university lecturers and student-peers.
Author H. LockyearSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 58 –64 (2002)More Less
This article reflects on a project, which addresses the dual provision of three specific academic skills and language skills. The project describes the process of integration of students from previously disadvantaged schools into tertiary education through the Communication in English course. The researcher will ask whether the findings from this project demonstrate firstly, how the dual provision is possible and secondly that the most effective strategy for doing this is through overt academic skills and simultaneous covert linguistic skills.
Writing a thesis in article format : a way to promote a publishing culture? : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 65 –72 (2002)More Less
In this article an optional way of creating a culture of publishing in which theses could be submitted in the form of a publishable article or articles is proposed. Several advantages connected to the article option are presented, eg it is practice- and outcome-oriented, it offers publication advantages, it alleviates the time-consuming evaluation of voluminous theses, a large part of which only consists of a compilation of existing literature, and it could attract more students. In order to test the views of academics, students and non-academics in this regard, more than 1 000 questionnaires were dispatched. The response rate was 41%. The findings and implications for implementation are discussed.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 73 –81 (2002)More Less
This article reports on a small-scale action research project conducted in the Academic Development Centre (ADC) across both campuses of Rhodes University in 2000. In line with the growing movement to extend the professionalism of teachers and to meet the needs of assuring quality, Rhodes University has recently adopted a developmental model of Quality Assurance, which places the responsibility for personal development with individual lecturers themselves. To be critically reflective, practitioners need to gather feedback about their performance so that they can reflect on it and develop themselves in those areas in which weaknesses are recognised. The Academic Development Centre staff agreed to participate in a departmental Performance Appraisal process in order to initiate the appraisal of our own individual performances; better understand the quality assurance demands on academic staff; and gauge the usefulness of Performance Appraisal as a tool for becoming critically reflective. Each ADC staff member was assigned the roles of appraisee and appraiser. Findings suggest that the success of the Performance Appraisal process was dependent firstly on the perceived purpose of the appraisal, and secondly on the capacity (both real and perceived) of individual members of the department, to benefit from and work within the appraisal relationships.
Neither ivory towers nor corporate universities : moving public universities beyond the "mode 2" logic : perspectives on higher educationAuthor N. RavjeeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 82 –88 (2002)More Less
This article investigates the tensions in the "mode 2" thesis, which suggests the emergence of new, global trends in the production and dissemination of knowledge. I explain its influence in recent South African higher education policy debates and research practices by referring to competing readings of "mode 2", which have allowed it to feed simultaneously into both liberal and critical discourses on higher education transformation in South Africa. Clear tensions emerge from the limitations of "mode 2" in speaking to existing inequalities and in informing non-corporate models of institutional transformation.
Medical ethics education : thoughts on a South African medical bioethics curriculum : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 89 –94 (2002)More Less
Medical ethics is becoming an increasingly integral part of undergraduate medical curricula world-wide. The recent social, educational and political changes in South Africa have emphasised the place of bioethics within the emerging integrated medical curricula in Southern Africa. The bioethics programmes that are designed are often reliant on "developed" European / western paradigms for their source material and use a number of pedagogic styles to teach the subject within the formal medical curriculum. There has been little development of African syllabi in bioethics that reflect the plasticity of African thought, as well as developing the skills of ethical awareness, moral reasoning and ethical practice that are appropriate for the African context. In this article a possible starting point for such a syllabus is proposed in order to pave the way for open debate among those who are or who wish to be involved with the teaching of bioethics to learners in Africa.
A perspective on methodological issues in research on adult student attrition rates in distance learning : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 95 –102 (2002)More Less
The important role of analytical thinking is demonstrated in this article by means of examples of research on student attrition rates. The article shows how various points of departure regarding the aims of a study influence (sometimes unqualified) assumptions of causation. Researchers should distinguish between necessary and sufficient causes because only the confirmation of a sufficient cause will rule out dangers to the internal validity of a scientific study. An example of survey research is used to show that unfounded assumptions (such as causality whilst using a survey design) could lead to incorrect conclusions, particularly if the analytical thinking of the researcher is not correct. Similarly, the choice of an adequate methodology in alignment with the aim of a study must be addressed. For a methodology to be adequate, it needs to be compatible with a model or theory. The use of proper models or theoretical frameworks, such as Kember's model, in the study of the student attrition phenomenon is recommended.
Advertising effectiveness of South African newspapers in the higher business education market : research in higher educationAuthor C.A. BisschoffSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 103 –108 (2002)More Less
The article reports on the advertising effectiveness of the press media in the RSA with regard to the Telematic MBA degree offered by the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. The MBA degree is offered to students countrywide (even internationally) via telematic learning with study centres all over the RSA. Students apply for acceptance during November each year and successful candidates commence their MBA studies at the beginning of the next year. The advertising campaign runs from August to October, and includes a variety of media. The press plays a significant role in this campaign. The article reports on the effectiveness of the different press media, namely, daily newspapers and Sunday newspapers. In addition, the effects of the physical advertisement positioning in the papers (section of the newspaper as well as page the layout), are examined and quantified into money terms per enquiry per advertisement. Direct response evaluation is used to determine the effectiveness of an advertisement and its medium. Analysis revealed that the Sunday Times are the most cost-effective option with regard to Sunday newspapers, while in daily newspapers the Sowetan, Business Day and Beeld are also favourable options. This results correlate favourably with the CPM ratings on readership. This value of this article is therefore that it supplies a frame of reference that could be applied to future marketing campaigns in educational programmes. It also serves as a reference frame that could be used to estimate market response from advertisements in a specific newspaper.
Matching computer competencies with education competencies in preservice teacher training : research in higher educationAuthor S. BlignautSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 109 –126 (2002)More Less
After a new democracy was established in South Africa in 1994, new study programmes were designed and developed throughout the education and training system as part of a democratisation process. These changes necessitated a new approach to training preservice teachers in an outcomes-based education system. The philosophy and practices of the preceding era were no longer applicable to the newly defined purposes and envisaged outcomes of the new education model. The basic idea for the construction of an integrated training approach to computer literacy and education competencies is to address computer competencies and contextual competencies simultaneously in developing the critical outcomes required for occupation-related marketable skills. This article aims to describe an explorative impact evaluation of a new format for training preservice teachers. The perceptions and experiences of the learners were considered to establish how their diverse educational needs could be accommodated in an integrated model for teaching computer and education competencies.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 127 –138 (2002)More Less
This analysis of the transformation of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Port Elizabeth examines the reasons for the transformation, what was done, how it was achieved, the immediate results and the current challenges. The article includes a theoretical framework for analyzing transformation, which addresses both restructuring and curriculum development. The emphasis is that the need for transformation was multi dimensional, driven by economic, democratic, epistemological, curriculum, social, national and global developments that the Faculty could not ignore and was eager to address. The value of a fundamental re-conceptualization of the Faculty in relation to all such developments was suggested by the need to develop more permeable, flexible structures that were able to admit more diverse students, and that had the capacity to adapt Programmes to the requirements of stake holders, a modularized format and Faculty expertise. The re-conceptualization began with a market analysis, which demonstrated that there was indeed a demand for the kinds of knowledge, skills and attitudes that Arts degrees aim to develop. Encouraged by this information, the Faculty moved quickly towards creating viable new Programmes presented by multi disciplinary teams using innovative modes of delivery. The new strategy met with immediate success in some respects, less so in others. The article traces the ways in which the Faculty has continued to transform in response to new circumstances, and its prospects for survival.
Die prestasievooruitsigte in verskillende universitêre vakrigtings : 'n internasionaal vergelykende ondersoek : research in higher educationAuthor G.K. HuysamenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 139 –147 (2002)More Less
Verskeie statisties beduidende korrelasies wat in grootte wissel van matig tot hoog is gevind tussen 'n indeks van die prestasievooruitsigte in 14 vakrigtings aan 'n Suid-Afrikaanse universiteit en die ooreenstemmende indekse wat dekades vroeër aan twee universiteite in die VSA verkry is. Hierdie indeks het matig tot hoë, statisties beduidende, negatiewe korrelasies getoon met elk van die volgende eienskappe van hierdie vakrigtings : die gemiddelde matriekprestasies van studente daarin, die aanwesigheid van voorvereistes, en die getal geakkrediteerde vaktydskrifte daarin. Die verkreë bevindings ondersteun die algemeenheid van die verskynsel dat vakrigtings ten opsigte van prestasievooruitsigte van mekaar verskil en suggereer dat hierdie verskynsel nie uitsluitlik aan die nasienoptrede van dosente toegeskryf kan word nie, maar dat die aard van die vakrigtings ook daarmee verband hou.
Previous research unequivocally suggests that even the same group of students tends to obtain different marks in different academic disciplines. Authors such as Goldman and Widawski (1976), Elliott and Strenta (1988) and Young (1993) attribute such between-course mark noncomparability to differential grading standards, by which they mean that if the same group of students obtains a higher mean in one course than in another, the marking standards are more lenient in the former than in the latter course. In this article it is proposed that the present phenomenon could more appropriately be referred to as the varying achievement prospects in these disciplines, because the differences observed cannot be attributed solely to the marking actions of lecturers. <br>To determine an index of the leniency or strictness of the grading standards of an academic department, Goldman and Widawski (1976) identified the groups of students that took courses in both that department and any other department, and computed for each such group the difference between their means in the two departments. They used the mean of these pairwise differences (each difference being obtained between the department in question and another department) as the index for that department. Elliott and Strenta (1988) extended this procedure to obtain such adjustment indices for grading standards between courses within departments by determining the mean of the students in a course minus the mean of the means that these students obtained in their respective sets of remaining courses in the same department. Several studies demonstrated increases in the correlations between predictors (eg, high school performance and aptitude-test scores) and university performance after the latter has been adjusted in terms of the present indices. <br>In this study, achievement prospect indices were derived on the first-year marks of three intakes of students at a South African university. This was done by applying the Elliott-Strenta approach for 14 disciplines for whom Goldman and Widawski (1976) and Elliott and Strenta (1988) developed indices at different universities in the United States of America several decades ago. Furthermore, reasons for the present phenomenon proposed by Goldman and Hewitt (1975) were investigated by correlating objective indices of these potentially explanatory variables with the locally determined achievement prospect indices. Their suggestion that more objective facts had accumulated in the natural sciences than in the social sciences and the humanities, was investigated by correlating these indices with the number of journals in these disciplines that were accredited by the National Department of Education. Their notion that the contents of the natural sciences were hierarchically structured and hence more complex than those of the social sciences and the humanities was investigated by correlating the present indices with the presence / absence of prerequisites for the disciplines involved. The idea that students gravitated towards the disciplines that were best suited to their abilities was examined by correlating the present indices with the mean matriculation symbol point totals of students in these disciplines. <br>Correlations of medium to large sizes (Cohen 1992) were obtained. Moreover, despite the small samples (of disciplines) involved, the majority of the results for two of the three intakes of first-year students were statistically significant, some even at the one percent level. These results support the comparability of the indices of achievement prospects obtained locally and those determined earlier in the United States and suggest that the present phenomenon cannot be explained satisfactorily in terms of the grading practices of lecturers only, but that the nature (structure, complexity, extensiveness) of the disciplines involved also needs to be taken into consideration. The present findings call for a reinterpretation and renaming of the well established finding that disciplines differ in terms of the ease with which students earn marks in them. For the present, a more neutral term, such as achievement prospects, rather than grading standards, seems to be appropriate.
How wide is the gap between high school and first-year chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand? : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 148 –156 (2002)More Less
The aim of the study was to identify the nature and extent of the gap between high school and first-year chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand. The investigation was done at the macro and micro levels. At the macro level high school physical science and first-year chemistry syllabuses were compared. The testing in the chemistry examinations written at both stages was also compared. At the micro level the focus was on the teaching styles employed by the teachers and the lecturers, the content knowledge of the students at the point of entry, and lecturers' expectations regarding the content knowledge of the students. The study found no gap between the two syllabuses matched, and between students' content knowledge and lec- turers' expectations. However, there was a gap between the testing in the chemistry examinations, and between the teaching styles employed by the teachers and lecturers. These findings and their implications are discussed.
Identification of entrepreneurial success factors to determine the content of entrepreneurship subjects : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 157 –166 (2002)More Less
The aim of this research was to determine what the content of entrepreneurship subjects, programmes and curricula should be. The study involved empirical research to identify the factors that contribute to the success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The information was analysed by frequency analysis, the analysis of relations and a factor analysis. Important deductions were made and used as guideline for an extensive literature study. The results of the literature study and a focus group were used to provide a framework for focus areas and the content of subjects and programmes in entrepreneurship. <br>Currently there is limited consensus in the field of entrepreneurship on the contents of training courses and curricula. This article suggests that post-secondary education and training of entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs should follow a multidisciplinary, holistic and outcomes-based approach that focuses on the development of those skills and abilities identified as success factors of entrepreneurs. The problem investigated in this study is the identification of the primary factors that contribute to the success of SMEs. The findings can then be used in the identification of subject and curricula content in order to develop a framework for entrepreneurship training courses and qualifications.
Students' perceptions and expectations of a first-year psychology course at the University of the North : research in higher educationAuthor S.D. SedumediSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 167 –176 (2002)More Less
The purpose of this study was to explore students' expectations and perceptions of a first-year Psychology course (Psyc 100) at the University of the North. The idea of obtaining information about the students' opinions (especially from those in their first year of study) was spurred by the realisation that students can usefully contribute to developing and influencing the university curriculum. It was also part of efforts to identify the causes of an increasingly alarming failure rate observed over the recent years. A questionnaire with mixed items (closed-ended and open-ended) was administered to a convenience sample of 366 participants (ie the entire Psyc 100 class of 1997) and a group interview was subsequently conducted with six volunteer students. The data was analysed by using both qualitative (themes) and quantitative (descriptive statistics) strategies. The initial findings from the study suggest that the students' schooling and home background and the prevailing conditions at the university largely influence their expectations and perceptions of the course and impact on their academic performance. Students draw on a range of sources that influence their expectations and perceptions such as : professionals, friends, relatives, and the university itself. Students identified both lecturers' and peers' attitudes and the lack of resources as key determinants of their expectations and perceptions.
Using actor-network theory to study an educational situation: an example from information systems at a technikon : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 177 –184 (2002)More Less
Actor-network theory allows a researcher to analyse a complex social setting involving both human and non-human actors. An actor network can be used to model a dynamic and complex set of relationships between these actors. This article describes actor-network theory and shows how it was applied to study and model a situation at a higher education institution. The article shows how the actor-network theory can be used to gain a clearer picture of what is happening in an educational context.