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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
The training needs of supervisors of postgraduate students in the social sciences and humanities : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 185 –195 (2002)More Less
The two main functions of the university, namely teaching and research culminate in PhD-training. The literature places a primacy on the role of the PhD-supervisor on the quality of the PhD in terms of completion rates and completion times. Formal training of the supervisor is very seldom mentioned in the literature and no overview exists on formal training for supervisors. It is the aim of this article to give a coherent, integrative and structured overview of the existing literature. The skills and knowledge a supervisor needs and in which he / she should be trained are divided into four categories. Firstly, general perspectives on postgraduate study and supervision were identified. These include aspects, such as the aims of doctoral research and study, and the characteristics of the student, the supervisory process and the supervisor. Secondly, it is obvious that the supervisor should possess the necessary skills and knowledge to do research. The skills can be subdivided into skills relating to the different phases of research, namely the introductory, design, creative and presentation stages. Thirdly, the supervisor should know how to teach the student the different phases mentioned above, for example, how to teach the student to present his/her research results. Fourthly, some general or generic competencies cut through all the phases of research, such as management outcomes, relationship outcomes, and conceptual and professional outcomes. Some skills and knowledge are very important but are not susceptive to training, such as the personality traits of students and supervisors. Other aspects should rather be included in a code of conduct.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 196 –206 (2002)More Less
This article considers the relationship between poorly-developed reading skills and academic performance in mathematics. It discusses some aspects that underpin all successful reading and considers these in relation to the reading difficulties experienced by a group of foundation phase mathematics students. The project investigating these difficulties was divided into a testing phase and an intervention phase. This article reports on the testing phase.
Meeting adult learning needs during Web-supported Web-skills training : the practice of higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 207 –217 (2002)More Less
This article reports on a six-week course in Web Content Development presented by the University of Pretoria's Department of Information Science. The course was presented in a hybrid model consisting of six Saturday morning workshops, supported by an electronic mailing list and a website. Adult learning needs are discussed together with the way the course was designed to accommodate them. The positive and negative reflective comments made by learners at the conclusion of the course are considered. The relationship between the comments and adult learning needs is discussed. The article concludes with a list of lessons learnt. An important lesson is that value is the single adult learning need that generates most positive and negative comments.
Techniques for anchoring concepts in mechanics at the FET / HET interface : the practice of higher educationAuthor M. MathewsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 218 –224 (2002)More Less
The Science Foundation Year Programme (SFYP) at the University of Transkei (UNITRA) is an action plan to deal with the "articulation gap'' between the FET / HET interface in the South African education system. This case study evaluates the effectiveness of the Foundation Physics course in aiding true understanding of the ideas, concepts and laws in this field. The particular area of study was Newtonian Mechanics. The sample consisted of an intact group of 130 SFYP students registered at UNITRA, 58 in 2000 and 72 in 2001. The standardized assessment test given prior to selection was used as an indicator of entry level competence. The intervention consisted of visualization, multi- faceted view, situational application and mathematical analysis in the teaching-learning processes of modules FPHY 103 (Kinematics) and FPHY 104 (Dynamics). The post-test evaluated the anchoring of these concepts. The t-test for dependent correlated samples showed a marked increase in the level of understanding of the students and in the anchoring of the concepts. Separate analyses of pre- and post- test results of the sample, categorized into two levels of motivation indicated that the effect of the intervention was more pronounced for the group with the higher motivational level.
Author K.B. SmutsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 225 –231 (2002)More Less
Senior university students who tutor more junior students accumulate a wealth of experience and expertise. These insights are indispensable in evaluating peer tutoring programmes. This case study reports the responses of seven final-year law students to an open-ended questionnaire, providing narrative feedback on the experiences, insights and challenges of working as leaders in the Supplemental Instruction (SI) programme in the Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. Qualitative analysis of their comments supported both Role Model and Gestalt theories of peer tutoring. The leaders reported increased understanding of, and interest in, teaching and learning and reflected thoughtfully on the processes, successes and shortcomings of the programme, making valuable suggestions for its improvement. SI leaders also reported personal growth in confidence and self-fulfilment.