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- Volume 21, Issue 1, 2007
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 21, Issue 1, 2007
Volumes & issues
Volume 21, Issue 1, 2007
Voices from the margins : towards conservation of local knowledge in psychology during incorporationAuthor T.M. BakkerSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 7 –22 (2007)More Less
The Department of Psychology of what was previously Vista University has recently been incorporated into a number of different institutions as part of the transformation of higher education in South Africa. During the 21 years of its existence, this department had developed particular local expertise in response to the unique opportunities offered by the predominantly black student population they had served and the geographical location of the campuses in townships. However, this kind of expertise is threatened with extinction in the face of the incorporation. Criteria such as local relevance, respect for indigenous knowledge and knowledge application in local township contexts, tend to be silenced in this process. This article describes a response to this situation in the form of a research project aimed at conserving and documenting the local knowledge developed in this department. It explores marginalisation and voice in power / knowledge fields peculiar to the incorporation process and argues for a reconceptualisation of university knowledge towards social responsiveness and an epistemology of uncertainty and inclusiveness.
Author E.M. BitzerSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 23 –37 (2007)More Less
This article concerns the efforts in a faculty of Education at a fairly large, research-oriented university to explore and develop a workload model for academic staff. Through a process of action research a set of criteria and sub-criteria was generated and tested in a departmental setting. Both literature and staff members' participation in the development of instrumentation were analysed for crucial issues and factors raised and their implications considered for redefining and weighing elements of academic work. Findings correspond to previous research in the area of academic workload distribution and point in the direction of facilitating a more fair and equitable workload distribution as well as satisfaction in general among academic staff.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 38 –49 (2007)More Less
A quantitative study was undertaken during 2005 to ascertain the extent to which performance in mathematics and English in the final school year as well as an independent test for the measurement of the extent to which basic mathematical skills had been attained prior to entering the tertiary institution, serve as predictors of whether a student, admitted to a bridging programme in science, engineering and technology, is successful or not during the first semester. The link between having received home language tuition during three stages of schooling and being successful or not in the first semester was also explored. It was shown that the basic mathematical skills test, measuring three theoretical dimensions, namely mathematics language proficiency, problem solving skills as well as computational skills in combination with performance in mathematics at school level significantly contribute towards the prediction of success. No support was found that having received home language tuition contributes towards success.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 50 –67 (2007)More Less
It is critical for higher education institutions to examine their performance measures (such as throughput and research output rates) to improve their competitive advantage. The article proposes that creativity is the key to obtaining that competitive advantage. However, there may be certain barriers to creativity within the organisational climate which might inhibit this. The article documents findings regarding the empirically derived barriers to creativity within selected higher education institutions in South Africa. These were correlated with the institutional performance measures to ascertain whether there were any significant observable relationships between the barriers to creativity and performance output measures of the institutions. The findings indicate that there is a positive correlation between a high prevalence of barriers and lower performance outputs. Finally, the article outlines a model that could be implemented within higher education institutions to eliminate the barriers to creativity identified by the research.
Dealing with sexual harassment at institutions of higher learning : policy implementation at a South African universitySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 68 –84 (2007)More Less
In the past two decades universities in South Africa have started to develop and implement sexual harassment policies to protect their staff and students against this type of harassment. The article first looks at the negative impact of sexual harassment on students from a health, psychological and academic perspective.The focus then shifts to policy implementation. While policy development has been relatively successful it is unclear if the implementation of sexual harassment policies is succeeding. It is also unclear what successful policy implementation around sexual harassment looks like. A gap often exists between policy-making and policy implementation. This is a multi-dimensional problem varying from the way the policy was formulated to issues of perceptions of the policy and a lack of institutional support.
The article explores notions of what policy impact may mean and then report on the findings of a case study of policy implementation at a tertiary institution in South Africa, as one of three case studies done on the implementation of sexual harassment in tertiary education institutions. The study uses quantitative and qualitative methodology such as a small survey as well as focus groups. The findings show that policy implementation is problematic with the biggest problem being a lack of co-ordination between the major stakeholders where cases can be reported. One of the consequences of this lack of co-ordination is that the university's management has no clear understanding of the nature and extent of sexual harassment on the campus, leading them to think that sexual harassment does not occur, while those whom the policy is supposed to protect lose faith in the policy and grievance procedure. To conclude recommendations are made to deal with some of the existing problems.
The e-word in academic leadership : an investigation into the emotional intelligence of managers in a higher education institutionAuthor H.H. HerbstSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 85 –101 (2007)More Less
Higher education (HE) in South Africa - as elsewhere in the world - faces an unprecedented period of accelerating change and transformation. To respond effectively, higher education institutions will need academic leaders who can engage the institution and its staff in change and transformation processes. Given the increased recognition of the importance of emotional intelligence in the leadership literature, especially transformational leadership, the question arises whether managers in higher education have the emotional and social intelligence needed for their universities to survive in an increasingly competitive environment. To explore this question, the emotional intelligence profile of 140 managers in a higher education institution was studied. The results show an alarming gap between the current level of emotional intelligence and that which is required for effective leadership. The results accentuate the need for tailor-made development programmes that may help to improve the social and emotional intelligence of managers in higher education, thereby improving their effectiveness as leaders.
Author E. KochSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 102 –111 (2007)More Less
The purpose of the article is to ask essentially two questions about the test which will serve as a uniform entrance test, across higher education (HE) institutions, for selection and placement. The questions are: what exactly is the purpose of the test and how will it be used, and why is the test only in English? I will argue that it is not at all clear that the original purpose of testing in HE, namely to open up access, is the purpose of this testing. Statements on the purpose of the test vary from benchmarking the National Senior Certificate (NSC) to placement to selection. If the testing is to be used for selection, and given the fact that the test will only be in English, will that then not mean that this test would be institutionalising exclusion from HE based on language? Could this be seen to be fair given the fact that options with regards to language-in-education continue to disadvantage most learners in the SA context? In addition to this, I will examine the effect that this test will have on the implementation of the language-in-education policy of South Africa, which supports additive bi-or multilingual education. I will argue that this and other sociolinguistic implications of the test should be examined and debated now, that this debate forms part of the validation of the test and that the debate is therefore crucial, and that these aspects cannot be addressed merely by piloting the test.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 112 –128 (2007)More Less
The use of a teaching and learning strategy has been cited both internationally and in South Africa as a valuable lever to effect transformation with regard to teaching and learning. Stellenbosch University has had a teaching and learning strategy since 2002. This article reports on an evaluative study conducted on the basis of the implementation of this strategy. The study was designed to provide an insight into the success factors that influence the implementation of a teaching and learning strategy, and to consider whether this is an appropriate vehicle to encourage change at the institution. Data sources included interviews with key role players and reports and minutes of relevant meetings. Key factors affecting the strategy are shown to include: comprehensiveness of the strategy, extent and nature of devolution to faculty and departmental level; resourcing; perceptions of purpose of a strategy; coherence with institutional policies and with the South African policy environment; 'ecological fit'; leadership and support of key role players.
Author J.H. MartinsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 129 –146 (2007)More Less
Distance tertiary education institutions struggle with the problem of student failures and low throughput rates even more than residential tertiary education institutions. The objective of the study was to conduct a survey amongst failed students to determine, in their opinion, what their reasons are for failing examinations for the module(s) or subject(s) for which they were interviewed. Data were subjected to several forms of analysis to test the stability of the data and to determine whether there are significant differences between the contribution of the factors to the failure of students. Factors such as previous academic performance and language proficiency of the sampled students were not taken into account. The results show that there is a significant correlation between enrolling for too many modules or subjects and work-related reasons for failure. This correlation is reinforced where personal reasons are of such a nature that they may also influence studies negatively.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 147 –162 (2007)More Less
The objectives of this study were firstly to investigate the construct validity, construct equivalence and reliability of adapted versions of the Maslach Burnout Inventory- Student Survey (MBI-SS) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale-Student (UWESS), secondly to determine the relationship between burnout and engagement, and thirdly to determine whether differences in burnout and engagement exist for different demographical groups. A cross-sectional survey design was used with an availability sample of Afrikaans- and Setswana-speaking students at a tertiary institution (n = 353). The MBI-SS and UWES-S as well as a biographical questionnaire were administered. Structural equation modelling confirmed a two- factor structure (as opposed to a one-factor structure) for each instrument. The two-factor structure for burnout and engagement was also largely equivalent for the two language groups. All four scales were found to be reliable. The burnout and engagement scales were moderately negatively related to each other, with stronger relationships between exhaustion and vigour and between cynicism and dedication. Demographic variables that appear to be predictive of differences in student burnout include home language, while engagement was related to home language and academic year of study.
An exploration of pupil enrolment projections within KwaZulu- Natal : implications for teacher demand analysisSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 163 –180 (2007)More Less
As South Africa recovers from the effect of teacher oversupply, issues of teacher demand are explored and stock is taken of the low teacher graduate output of higher education institutions. Up until now, however, many projections on teacher demand have been understood within the context of HIV / AIDS and teacher attrition. This article makes a case for a more fine-grained analysis of teacher demand, and demonstrates the complexity that underlies such a fine-grained analysis. Learner enrolment taken from the Education Management Information System (EMIS) database is quantitatively subjected to mortality and birth rates. The article urges for further research on teacher supply and demand with a qualitative strand underpinning it.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 181 –191 (2007)More Less
Three challenges are posed to the architects of South African Universities of Technology in terms of the definitions of technology, the view that technology is in itself a positive value, and the usage of the term in relation to definitions of human beings or the human condition. There is a need to broaden and deepen the understanding and conceptualisation of these definitions as they pertain to the institution type. The definition of a university of technology as an institution type cannot logically be determined outside of attempts to define technology per se. Moreover, these issues are in a constant state of flux and to ignore this may lead to the establishment of a monolithic institution that is neither geared towards reflective practice nor able to accommodate the kind of critical discourse that is required to mediate the effects of technology in a fast-changing world.
Editorial for the SAJHE Special Edition commemorating NADEOSA's 10th Anniversary Conference, August 2006 : 'exploring the role of ICTs in addressing educational needs : identifying the myths and miracles' : editorialAuthor Rachel C. PrinslooSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 621 –631 (2007)More Less
For close to a decade, NADEOSA has been consciously involved with actively facilitating a deeper and shared understanding of a core organisational aim, that of providing a forum for constructive engagement of all South African organisations and individuals who are committed to increasing access to an affordable, cost-effective and quality learning environment in open and distance learning, through which learners are empowered to become self-sufficient members of society.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 632 –642 (2007)More Less
Persistent myths have lessened the impact of ICTs on education. Happily they are balanced by miracles of theory and practice that are gradually gaining the upper hand. We counter the myth that innovation in the application of ICTs is the preserve of industrialised countries by listing examples of innovations from southern Africa that have set global trends. Developing countries have the advantage over industrialised countries in taking advantage of the fundamental miracle of educational technology, namely its ability to provide higher quality learning to increasing numbers at lower costs. The power of this miracle increases with every new generation of technology. The current trends to social software and open educational resources will benefit more and more South Africans as connectivity steadily improves. However, things are not always what they seem. In the most difficult (and important) section of the paper we explode the myth that all open content is truly open and show how to restore the miracle of a global intellectual commons that cannot suffer the tragedy of the commons. The secret is to use 'share-alike' rather than 'non-commercial' licenses under the provisions of Creative Commons.
Author M.J. SesemaneSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 643 –654 (2007)More Less
Policy formulation and implementation is a highly contested domain within the South African Higher Education landscape. This contestation can be attributed to the lack of wide stakeholder involvement and the architecture of the policy-making process. The contestation is also born of an absence of a systemic monitoring and evaluation mechanism to ensure adherence to policy.
In this paper, I present a document analysis of the e-learning policies of three higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa, with specific reference to how e-policy has shaped: access to information, e-learning as an alternate system of teaching and learning, quality assurance in e-learning, intellectual property rights (IPR) and e-communication.
I also draw upon the similarities and differences that emerge from the three policies under scrutiny. In so doing, I provide a basis for discourse about current international trends influencing e-policy in higher education. In conclusion an analysis of the government's (South Africa) e-policy and its impact on the e-policy of higher education is also provided.
Author A. AmorySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 655 –671 (2007)More Less
While it is often argued that technology could act as a change agent and transform educational practices, individuals, communities, government and society holding their own ideological beliefs limit such a liberalisation of the educational system. To show that the use of educational technology is part of a dialectical struggle this article explores the: current use of technology in the classroom; development of standards and approaches to learning technology; and the use of computer and video games. The design, development, integration and use of technology in the classroom is driven by individual and institutional ideologies that support current hegemonic constructions maintained through observation and control systems. The development of standards for learning management systems (for example the Sharable Content Object Reference Model and the associated Learning Object Metadata Standard) underpin the concept of Reusable Learning Objects (RLO). The conceptualization, development, deployment and use of RLOs is ideologically driven and has little to do with contemporary ideas of learning and everything to do with fundamental and totalitarian ideologies of instruction. The blended approach to learning, where technology is introduced into existing courses where appropriate, sees technological objects (such as digital information, discussion boards, and chat sessions) as an additional component to existing courses. The use of technology in such a way does not allow for the re-conceptualisation of existing ideological practices and therefore limits educational transformation. Computer game technology could be used as a powerful tool to support learning. However, many supporters of the use of games in education argue for the use of simulations that are either ideologically suspect (for example the use of game software used to train military personal as a useful educational device) or based on model-using rather that model-building. An analysis of successful computer games shows that players are presented with either realistic environments that include complex multifaceted characters involved in richly textured narratives or are designed to support male fantasies (both erotic and authoritarian), inculcate self-discipline (especially through reflex), include control-and-monitoring (preparing workers for a global economy) and are gender exclusive. This article argues that technology can only be used within specific idiosyncratic, homological and inclusive ideologies that in most cases reproduce the past into the future, which is making real a neo-liberal dream.
If we build it, they will come! Exploring the role of ICTs in curriculum design and development : the myths, miracles and affordancesAuthor Som NaiduSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 672 –683 (2007)More Less
Author A.E. TshibaloSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 684 –693 (2007)More Less
Distance learning generally separates students from educators, and demands that interventions be put in place to counter the constraints that this distance poses to learners and educators. Further more 'Increased number of students in Higher Education and the corresponding increase in time spent by staff on assessment has encouraged interest into how technology can assist in this area' (Mogey and Watt 1999, 1). As student assessment is an important challenge faced by Higher Education institutions, this paper investigates the role that Computer Aided Assessment (CAA) can play for both face-to-face and distance learning institutions. The discussions include the definition of CAA, its rationale, potential benefits, limitations, impacts on student learning and strategies for developing effective computer-based or online assessment. Research has indicated that when students are actively engaged by giving them more tests, assignments or examinations, the pass rate increases. CAA is one of the methods that can be used to engage students actively in their learning. It allows marking; immediate feedback, the recording of student scores and the analysis of student performance to be processed by computer and thus alleviate the burden on educators. Computer Aided Assessment is described as any instance in which some aspect of computer technology is deployed as part of the assessment process (Atkinson and Davies 2000). These may include:
- Interactive exercises and tests completed on a computer
- Onscreen marking of students' word-processed writing
- Use of revision software
- Using of spreadsheet or database to keep a record of student marks
- Use of e-mail to send coursework and to receive marks and feedback etc.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 694 –704 (2007)More Less
There seems to be a belief world wide, that by going online and including learning technologies in learning packages learner success and economies of scale will be ensured in open and distance learning (ODL). Recent literature suggests that ODL and online delivery are regarded as synonymous. While the introduction of technology in the delivery of ODL materials can be extremely useful, in most developing countries access to these technologies is either very expensive or non-existent. For this reason it seems as if the vision of distance education as a means to provide education to those who have been denied it is being undermined by the overriding enthusiasm with technology. The perception seems to be that if a student is computer literate he or she will be able access the world of information that the Internet and other electronic media can deliver and thus become educated. From an institutional point of view, there seems to be a perception that the high cost of distance education delivery will be drastically minimised once courses are delivered online. Unfortunately the costs of online delivery and the use of various media is often underestimated. Examples of this are the many failed e-earning initiatives that can be found on the Internet,
Essential to any ODL course, is for the designers and writers to find more innovative but authentic ways of implementing ODL instructional design good practice, no matter what method of is delivery chosen. The focus must be on providing students with the best learning experiences that the chosen medium and the relevant learning environments can offer.