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- Volume 21, Issue 7, 2007
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 21, Issue 7, 2007
Volumes & issues
Volume 21, Issue 7, 2007
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 807 –811 (2007)More Less
This volume contains a selection of papers read at the Higher Education learning and teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) 2006 conference. The theme of the conference was : Learning and teaching innovation in higher education : Expanding the frontiers. It was a bold decision to add innovation to the conference theme since there are a number of questions one can pose about innovation in learning and teaching. With definitions of the concept 'innovation' available in literature, the differentiations and associations of the concept, there are now established trends that have been set on how to support innovation in learning and teaching internationally. This should usher in an era in South African Higher Education where national funding is made available to support innovation in learning and teaching in more direct manner.
This volume contains a selection of papers read at the Higher Education learning and teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) 2006 conference. The theme of the conference was : Learning and teaching innovation in higher education : Expanding the frontiers. The conference, which attracted 211 delegates from South African higher education as well as Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom, had 129 presentations. The latter part of the theme was meant to highlight the fact that though HELTASA as an association was recently launched, it has benefited from a history associated with the South African Association for Academic Development (SAAAD) and the South African Academic Development Association (SAADA). The new association is not necessarily about setting new frontiers but about expanding existing ones established by the work of the predecessors. What is perhaps new is the more inclusive focus on learning and teaching in higher education; a shift from academic development. (HELTASA 2007).
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 812 –825 (2007)More Less
Despite desegregation, and educational policies calling for increased inclusivity in higher education, students in South Africa generally continue to have homogenous social and learning experiences. This article reports on a collaborative student learning community across three disciplines at two universities. The e-learning project aimed to provide students an opportunity for collaborative learning across differences. Feedback and comments from the students revealed that students had the opportunity to learn about socio-economic difference in South African communities, but that there was some avoidance in engaging with issues of race and apartheid. What students most benefited from was learning about the different disciplines.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 826 –841 (2007)More Less
Professional socialisation refers to the acquisition of values, attitudes, skills and knowledge pertaining to a profession. This article reviews the definition and conceptualisation of professional socialisation through anticipatory and formal professional socialisation processes. It describes the core elements of professional socialisation such as knowledge acquisition, investment and involvement. The article concludes with models and frameworks of professional socialisation with reference to higher education.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 842 –857 (2007)More Less
An invitational teaching ecosystem comprises an environment of 5 Ps : people, places, policies, programmes and processes. Invitational education is promoted amongst students and educators. This article reports on an empirical study conducted at a higher education institution that is offering programmes at multiple sites of delivery to determine the impact of mergers on an invitational ecosystem. Results indicate that access to learning resources that support teaching, as well as other social and personal factors in the learning environment, also influence the quality of a student's learning. Enthusiasm, motivation and sensitivity of educators are noted by students as necessary to create an invitational ecosystem. Key priority areas on which higher education institutions should focus are highlighted in the findings.
A qualitative approach was followed to understand and represent the opinions of the students at the different sites of delivery. This article attempts to represent the views of students on the balance between people, places, policies, programmes and processes within the educational transaction movements.
'Good ideas with no ideas on how to implement them are wasted ideas' (Fullan 2003).
Personal transformation and leadership : student responses to the Life-skills module at the University of Limpopo, 2003 - 2006Author H. Efthimiadis-KeithSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 858 –869 (2007)More Less
This article focuses on student leadership and transformation because of the belief that a) students have a tremendous influence on the academic leadership of an institution, and b) students themselves form part of this academic leadership - whether they are formally recognized for it or not - and can transform it in significant ways. The article briefly describes the history of the current Life-skills module since the inception of the Alternative Access Foundation Programme (AAFP) in 2002, as well as the learning and teaching philosophy behind it. It focuses on the interventions on offer through this module, for example Dependable Strengths Articulation, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, curriculum co-construction, and Cognitive Apprenticeship, describing what occurs through these in terms of content, student learning, leadership and transformation. The article then evaluates the module based on the analysis of student responses to questionnaires, and maps out possible future scenarios in terms of the module offering and evaluation.
Mainstreaming academic literacy teaching : implications for how academic development understands its work in higher educationAuthor C. JacobsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 870 –881 (2007)More Less
This article draws on research into the role of academic literacies within a range of disciplines and its implications for academic literacy teaching in Higher Education. The study explored ways of transforming current academic literacy teaching practices with a view to developing better synergy between the academic literacies that are taught and the disciplinary knowledge that students are accessing. The study examined how academic literacy practitioners and subject lecturers at a university of technology constructed their understandings of an integrated approach to the teaching of academic literacies. With a focus on the changing role of lecturers and academic literacy practitioners, the article briefly contextualises the study by sketching some of the background and outlining the methodology. The nature of disciplinary discourses is then theorised in relation to the findings from the study. Finally the article presents a theoretical model for the teaching of disciplinary discourses, and considers the implications of the theoretical model for academic development work generally, and for higher education broadly.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 882 –892 (2007)More Less
This article reports on how computer software (NVIVO) was used to analyse data for a research project on design issues in e-learning. The aim of the project was to study how South African higher education has incorporated new e-learning in the delivery of programmes. The study began by exploring the emerging patterns of the use of e-learning in South African higher education. A further step was to investigate pedagogical design considerations that are necessary for successful teaching and learning when new learning technologies are employed. The insights gathered were used to develop a framework that can be used as a tool to think and work with when courses to be delivered through these technologies are delivered. The data being analyzed is composed of website data that was used in a preliminary study to the bigger project, as well as the interviews that were collected as the project progressed.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 893 –906 (2007)More Less
The authors report on their experiences as participants in the Community, Self and Identity Project; a collaborative teaching and research project between the University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University. The project aimed to provide fourth year social work and psychology students the opportunity to become part of a shared 'community of practice', where students could work and learn together, and become co-creators of knowledge. It provided the participating students with the opportunity to engage in critical interactions with one another, across racial and class differences. One of the researchers and facilitator for the project, together with four of the participating students, describe their overall impressions of the project; the challenges faced in talking about differences; the effects of facilitation; and some of the group polarization that emerged. The authors conclude that the contact provided by the CSI project, may not have reduced prejudices, however an awareness was created of the importance of acknowledging silenced issues and reflection on one's own assumptions. The article highlights the necessity for higher education institutions to create opportunities for students to engage in dialogue across differences.
Author I.J. RoySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 907 –918 (2007)More Less
The rapid education transformation in South African education over the past decade (1994 - current), forced Institutions of Higher Learning to critically examine their own practices. The transformation of the post apartheid South African education system is largely driven and determined by a social and economic agenda. At institutions of higher learning, the absence of an enabling culture of teaching and learning has been identified as the focal point for immediate engagement. In an attempt to address this gap, Teaching and Learning Centres have been established at all institutions of higher learning in South Africa. These centers developed out of the academic development movement established in the 1980's at predominantly white institutions to assist 'under-prepared' black students. This article provides an overview of the activities of Teaching Development units within these centers at the four universities in the Eastern Cape.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 919 –939 (2007)More Less
Various reasons may be advanced for conducting proficiency tests in academic literacy at higher education institutions. The Standardised Assessment Test for Access and Placement (SATAP) aims at determining the academic literacy skills that entry-level students should demonstrate as a predictor of their preparedness and success in tertiary education. At the CPUT the test was written by first year students in the Business Faculty as a means of identifying students who might need academic intervention in order to cope with their studies.
The present study investigated whether the SATAP test is a reasonable predictor of academic literacy abilities. The quantitative methodology of data collection, that is, the Swedish ratings of the matriculation examination results were compared with the scores obtained in the SATAP test and their first semester results. A correlations analysis and other statistical techniques were computed using the SPSS package. This study was limited to five groups of students in the Business Faculty.
The findings indicate that the SATAP test is actually adequate for assessing and predicting future academic performance of first year students at tertiary institutions, albeit with certain qualifications.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 940 –953 (2007)More Less
Technology improvements in education created new methods, opportunities and challenges for teaching and learning. Globally Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) integrate the Internet and technology into teaching and learning. This is a challenge for lecturers not trained for this mode of course delivery. However, HEIs should improve and supplement traditional classroom-based courses by taking advantage of the Internet and technology, and empowering lecturers to utilise and integrate technology into their teaching and learning practices. Many HEIs offer professional development programmes to ensure the effective use of technology in courses delivery. Partners@Work is a well-planned professional development programme, supported by management and academic staff, designed to promote the optimal use of technology in teaching and learning at the Tshwane University of Technology. This article reports on the strategies and approaches to prepare lecturers to use technology in their classes.
Crossing discourse boundaries - students' diverse realities when negotiating entry into knowledge communitiesAuthor S.C. Van SchalkwykSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 954 –968 (2007)More Less
Approximately one in every three students entering higher education in South Africa will have dropped out by the end of their first year of study. Under-preparedness has repeatedly been cited as one of the most common causes, with academics suggesting that many students lack the reading and writing skills they need to be successful at university. However, the widening of access to higher education worldwide has created a shift from the homogeneity typical of an elite structure, to a complex, multi-layered diversity. In response, institutions have implemented support mechanisms, such as mentoring, tutoring and extended degree programmes, for 'at-risk' students. Recent research confronts several of the assumptions on which the establishment of such academic support interventions are typically based. This article seeks to explore these issues as part of an ongoing doctoral study. Some of the issues articulated by students as they seek to cross discourse boundaries will be discussed against some of the theoretical considerations that underpin current academic development thinking.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 969 –983 (2007)More Less
The use of effective knowledge management is becoming an essential part of technical development projects in order to enable developers to handle the growing complexity of these projects. In this article we discuss an innovative approach to address this concern from the perspective of an undergraduate engineering curriculum. Instead of adding knowledge management in the form of explicit study material, we integrated implicit knowledge management strategies into laboratory practice and projects. Using this method we exposed students to practical knowledge management techniques that will equip them with effective skills to handle the knowledge they produce and use in future projects. This article focuses on a pilot study in which we investigated how to design and focus a knowledge management system for inclusion into the practical component of an engineering course. We conclude this article by reflecting on how this approach is likely to influence engineering education in general.
Author O. Zuber-SkerrittSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 21, pp 984 –1005 (2007)More Less
An extensive literature on leadership theories and models concerns large organizations in industry and has been developed mostly by outside researchers with expertise in conducting large surveys on and interviews with 'subjects' in leadership positions. Recently, such theories have been adopted or adapted to higher education in South Africa. These theories and their derived guidelines for practice in higher education present some interesting ideas but have rarely been of practical, transformational value and benefit to academic leadership development (ALD).
This article aims to take an alternative approach to ALD that can be developed actively from 'inside out' by the participants themselves through reflection on their own character and values (the heart of the matter), rather than through application of theory 'from the outside in'. Thus, the research and development discussed in this article are for and with people as 'participants' in the research, rather than on people as 'subjects' in the research. In this way, the article contributes to a new paradigm and model of self-developed leadership in higher education in the light of Covey's (1992) 'principle-centred leadership' and Maxwell's (1999, 2000) 'indispensable qualities of a leader' and the action learning concept of 'failing forward', that is, turning mistakes into stepping stones for success.