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- Volume 17, Issue 3, 2003
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 17, Issue 3, 2003
Volumes & issues
Volume 17, Issue 3, 2003
Author H.J. FransmanSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 178 –183 (2003)More Less
The focus of the study has been on students' conceptions of learning in three South African Technikons amidst the changing circumstances of teaching and learning from subject-based to outcomes-based education. First-year students face a particular measure of unpreparedness as they graduate from a conventional high school teaching methodology to an OBE methodology in the Technikon. It is for this reason that this study concentrated more on the advanced students as it has been assumed that they had greater interaction with the OBE format of teaching and learning. This article will describe the results obtained in a survey that used the ASSIST instrument. The Approaches to Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) has been developed as a simplification but a strengthening of the Approaches to Study Inventory (ASI) as developed by Tait, Entwistle and McCune (1998). The ASSIST was administered to 377 Technikon students (N=377) at three different Technikons in South Africa. The purpose of the study was to determine to which extent students pursue deep, strategic or surface apathetic learning approaches within a changing teaching and learning environment with the aim of establishing best practice. The findings seem to suggest that methods of assessment, direction given by lecturers and relevance of learning material are key factors in enhancing deep approaches to learning.
Author H.R. HaySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 184 –191 (2003)More Less
Particularly after 1994 higher education in South Africa has been called to renew its commitment towards socio-economic realities. In moving away from an elitist system to a more accessible and representative system, the reconfigured system will increasingly have to respond to the challenges that confront South African communities. Service-learning, if applied correctly, could be a powerful means through which higher education institutions can meet the expected goals for student learning and societal development while making contributions to addressing unmet community, national and global needs.
A developmental focus to admissions testing : admissions and placement standards development : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 192 –208 (2003)More Less
With the introduction of the Admissions and Placement Assessment Programme (APAP) at the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) in 1998, it was felt that many learners entering higher education needed some form of academic development. It was also felt that testing at admission should provide information about the level of learners' proficiency on core academic competencies, to assist with decision-making about academic development. This article describes how the research team went about defining performance standards on the battery of measures used at UPE using a multidimensional cluster analysis approach. K-means cluster analysis was used as a method to classify 380 examinees in the Faculties of Science, and Economic and Building Sciences into groups similar in levels of proficiency on the Admissions and Placement Battery (APAB). The top and bottom borderline clusters of the final cluster solution were used to set cut scores on the measures. The clusters and cut scores were validated on a hold-out sample of 725 learners. The cut scores successfully identified learners who were not yet proficient enough to be successful without support, but who would benefit from development, as opposed to those learners who probably would not benefit, or were not in need of development. The importance of using performance standards in a multidimensional manner was emphasised.
International competitiveness and community development with specific reference to research on international collaboration through co-operative academic programmes : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 209 –216 (2003)More Less
The tension between internationalisation and community development (regional responsiveness) is illustrated by explaining research on interinstitutional collaboration in co-operative programmes in South Africa. A multimethod approach, in which an extensive literature review was complemented by both quantitative and qualitative methods, was employed. The theoretical analysis was deemed imperative to provide a point of reference for those institutions with a tendency to venture into international collaborations that are not regionally and locally responsive. The article addresses this issue by exploring various notions of the phenomenon; preconditions for engaging in collaborative programmes; and forces compelling collaboration internationally. The subject is brought closer to home by highlighting important milestones in the development of national policy regarding co-operative academic collaboration in the regional context. In the empirical investigation a brief overview of very important issues related to co-operative academic programmes, as well as challenges around forging collaborations are extrapolated.
Hundred per cent successful throughput rates of Master's and doctoral research students : research in higher educationAuthor K. RochfordSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 217 –225 (2003)More Less
This article describes how 25 Master's and doctoral students commenced their dissertations, with the writer as their supervisor, and how all subsequently succeeded in graduating, many within a time period of one to three years. These students also efficiently produced 18 articles in refereed journals, ten refereed published international conference papers, ten papers published in national conference proceedings, ten published seminar papers and several books as an integral part of the work for their dissertations. Most of these publications were written, under guidance, by students who either originated in historically disadvantaged backgrounds, or were handicapped by speaking English as a second language, or both. The article presents and discusses the teaching strategies, interventions and time management techniques adopted to ensure research student success even under adverse conditions, resulting in zero dropouts and a zero throughput failure rate under supervision from the early 1980s through to 2002.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 226 –234 (2003)More Less
Writing has been described as the generation of <I>consensual symbols</I> containing agreed-upon conventions. In Higher Education (HE), these conventions are affected by <I>personal symbols</I> such as cultural and institutional factors that may impact negatively on postgraduate learners. Although the primary function of a postgraduate promoter is to support candidates' content knowledge, seldom is attention given to discourse knowledge and to novice researchers' writing ability. A programme of mentored academic writing, where junior promoters are trained to support novice researchers, could provide the scaffolding needed to support novice researchers' social and cultural contexts of writing. Such a training programme could coax writers' prior knowledge thereby encouraging intra-personal dialogue resulting in powerful and measurable capacity building. Continuous reflection could lead to novice learners becoming mentors themselves. This article examines possibilities of such mentorship against the backdrop of HE learners who are non-native speakers of English, often in a non-supportive learning environment.
The shaping of an institutional programme self-evaluation process : reflections from inside a quality unit : the practice of higher educationAuthor A. WilkinsonSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 239 –247 (2003)More Less
At the University of the Free State (UFS) the Unit for Quality Assurance and Management (UQAM) learned that developing and implementing a meaningful quality assurance process is not as easy as it sounds. This article reflects on a series of influences and actions which have shaped the envisaged programme self-evaluation process to be implemented at the institution over the next two years. It covers the development of the proposed framework to be used; the findings resulting from two projects the Unit were involved in; global perspectives gained by the author during participation in an international seminar on quality in higher education; as well as other insights gained. Valuable lessons were learned along the way, but the message is that all the efforts are a waste of time if they do not have a positive impact on student learning.