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- Volume 3, Issue 1, 2008
The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning - Volume 3, Issue 1, 2008
Volume 3, Issue 1, 2008
Author Dolina DowlingSource: The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning 3, pp 2 –3 (2008)More Less
Fourteen years into South Africa's new democracy, higher education is still to meet the transformational imperatives of the new dispensation, namely, to meet the learning needs of its citizenry as well as the reconstruction and development needs of the economy and society at large. While much progress has been made towards achieving this goal, a number of challenges remain; for example, continuing to widen access to higher education and to increase the quality and number of graduate outputs.
Source: The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning 3, pp 4 –14 (2008)More Less
The University of KwaZulu-Natal offers year long, Faculty-based Access programmes to students who didnot initially meet the Faculties' entrance requirements. One of the Access modules offered in the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences (HDSS) is Academic Literacy (hereafter referred to as AL) which teaches reading and writing in the first semester. It is hoped that Access students will transfer the practices and knowledge they have learned from this module to degree modules. However, studies on transfer indicate that decontextualised practices are not transferable (Perkins & Salomon, 1988). The authors, therefore, conducted a study which investigated the HDSS Access students to discover if transfer of practices does take place, and if so to what extent this occurs. Data collection consisted of analysing asample of students' essays at various stages: pre-intervention, intervention and post-intervention. Findings indicate that transfer did happen to a certain extent, especially in the modules that use similar writingpractices to those taught in AL. This suggests that AL should be taught as a discipline specific module.
Author Chrissie BougheySource: The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning 3, pp 15 –22 (2008)More Less
Many academics spend an inordinate amount of time responding to written work submitted by students. Rewards accruing from this work are often meagre in terms of the overall development of students' ability to write. This article argues that much of the work related to writing is based on 'commonsense' understandings of what it means to write. It then goes on to provide an alternative understanding of thereasons for poor writing based on contemporary linguistic and social theory. The article concludes with an approach to responding to written work based on this understanding.
Author Liz HarrisonSource: The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning 3, pp 23 –30 (2008)More Less
Student evaluation of teaching is the most widely used mechanism internationally for assessing quality of teaching. The results of student evaluations contribute to performance evaluations and thus academic career prospects as part of a managerial 360° performance appraisal. Moreover, in the context of the global Quality Assurance drive in Higher Education, the practice is carrying increasing weight. Yet the apparent simplicity of asking students to evaluate educators belies the raft of complications around the practice. This literature review questions the fairness of Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET), when educators have no say in the items used to rate their teaching performance. It further challenges the value of students' opinions of an educator's performance, when students have had no opportunity to identifythe features of teaching practice that they hold as making valuable contributions to their learning. The argument suggests that the only legally fair and valid form of SET must be derived through the intersection of teacher-selected performances with those identified by students as valuable.
Source: The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning 3, pp 31 –40 (2008)More Less
The African Development Game is a simulation developed from the World Trade Game. It introduces first year undergraduates to the Millennium Development Goals through role playing. Learners are allocated different resources, debt levels and human capacity depending on which of six African countries they represent. They have to produce artifacts such as houses, clothes and food whilst interacting with each other and the World Bank. The World Bank represents the world's economic system, provides resources and administers debt repayments. The game has been played in two different countries, South Africa and Sweden. Student reflections and participant observation have revealed that the game highlights the problems of African countries attempting to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The two groups of students revealed differences in their types of learning and the ways in which they played the game. They all commented, however, on the effectiveness of the role play as a learning tool.
The 'written self' : writing and storytellingas a teaching and learning tool for creative and personal developmentAuthor Naretha PretoriusSource: The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning 3, pp 41 –48 (2008)More Less
This paper explores the purpose of telling our stories within an academic framework, as educators, as students and as 'creatives'. By referring to the creative arts, this paper considers the value of storytelling as a teaching and learning tool. Telling stories through writing, aids the students in finding and developing their voice and 'written self' that allows for reflection and contextualisation of the self. It unpacks how our personal narratives bring a nuanced and more relevant understanding of our own, and our studentsâ??social and historical context. It enables us to articulate, document, contextualise and reflect on our creative process, creative practice as well as our creative and personal development.
Exploring the use of WebCT6 to provide Online HIV/AIDS related voluntary counselling and care at the Durban University of TechnologyAuthor Gita MistriSource: The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning 3, pp 49 –62 (2008)More Less
This paper explores the viability of offering an entry level HIV/AIDS related online counselling service in terms of design, utility and technological resources at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It examines the possibility of adapting learning management software viz. Blackboard/WebCT6 to facilitate online counselling that assures confidentiality and anonymity to staff and students at DUT. As a feasibility study, the findings have added credibility to the idea that providing a private discussion space with a qualified online counsellor, could contribute towards transformation and behaviour change with regard to sexual behaviour patterns amongst the staff and students at DUT. The need for privacy and convenience in requesting assistance on HIV/AIDS related concerns that are difficult to share in public for fear of rejection and stigma has been reiterated. An online counselling service that would address this need seems worth the investment in human and technological resources particularly when confronted by the enormity of the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on higher education institutions.