Browsing by Department "Dean's Office: CHED"
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- ItemOpen AccessAccess to Africa's knowledge: publishing development research and measuring value( University of the Witwatersrand, 2010) Gray, EveThis paper reviews, critically, the discourse of research publication policy and the directives of the regional and global organisations that advise African countries with respect to their relevance to African scholarly communication. What emerges is a readiness to use the concepts and language of the public good, making claims for the power of technology to resolve issues of African development. However, when it comes to implementing scholarly publication policies, this vision of technological power and development-focused scientific output is undermined by a reversion to a conservative research culture that relies on competitive systems for valuing and accrediting scholarship, predicated upon the systems and values managed by powerful global commercial publishing consortia. The result is that the policies put in place to advance African research effectively act as an impediment to ambitions for a revival of a form of scholarship that could drive continental growth. While open access publishing models offer solutions to the marginalisation of African research, the paper argues that what is also needed is a re-evaluation of the values that underpin the of scholarly publishing, to better align with the continent's articulated research goals.
- ItemOpen AccessAssessment and the quality of educational programmes: what constitutes evidence?(University of the Free State, 2005) Shay, Suellen; Jawitz, JeffreyIn a climate of growing accountability for Higher Education, there is an increased demand on assessment to play an evaluative role. National, professional and institutional quality assurance systems expect that the assessment of student performance can be used to evaluate the quality of teachers, learners, programmes and even institutions for the purposes of programme review, programme accreditation and institutional audits. While affirming the role of assessment as a catalyst for the improvement of teaching and learning, this paper problematises the use of assessment for evaluative purposes. Drawing on an Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) accreditation exercise, we illustrate the limitations of particular forms of assessment data as evidence of quality. The paper argues for assessment as a socially situated interpretive act and for validation as the on-going process of strengthening the alignment between our assessment tasks, procedures and outcomes, and the educational, political and social purposes which our assessment systems claim to serve. The central argument of the paper is that key source of assessment evidence for quality assurance purposes is to be found in the strength and effectiveness of programme validation systems.
- ItemOpen AccessCritical questions? Some responses to issues raised in relation to the national benchmark tests project(Unisa Press, 2007) Yeld, NanThe project represents an attempt to provide both schooling and higher education with important information on the competencies of their exiting (in the case of schools) and entering (in the case of universities) students: information that does not duplicate the essential information delivered by the school-leaving examination, but that provides an important extra dimension.
- ItemOpen AccessCurriculum reform in South Africa: more time for what?(2016) Shay, Suellen; Wolff, Karin; Clarence-Fincham, JenniferIn 2013 the Council on Higher Education (CHE) released a proposal for the reform of South Africa’s undergraduate degree arguing that all current 3-year degrees and diplomas, as well as 4-year Bachelor’s degrees be extended by one year with an additional 120 credits. This paper argues that the structure proposed provides the conditions for a different kind of curriculum that enables epistemic access and development. The paper firstly offers a set of theoretical tools for conceptualising this enabling curriculum structure. Secondly, drawing on the CHE exemplars, the paper makes explicit the general curriculum reform principles that underpin the enabling structure. Finally, the paper describes how these reform principles translate into qualification-specific curriculum models which enable epistemic access and development. This research is an important contribution to the next phase of curriculum reform in South Africa, what we refer to as a ‘new generation’ of extended curricula.
- ItemOpen AccessDegrees of openness: the emergence of open educational resources at the University of Cape Town(University of the West Indies, 2009) Hodgkinson-Williams, Cheryl; Gray, EveInformation and communication technologies (ICTs) provide a range of opportunities to share educational materials and processes in ways that are not yet fully understood. In an extraordinary development, increasing numbers of traditional and distance universities are using ICTs to make a selection of their teaching resources freely available as 'open education resources' (OER). The University of Cape Town recently signed the Cape Town Open Education Declaration signalling some senior level support for the notion of OER. In anticipation of an institution-wide roll-out, lecturers and educational technologists at UCT are grappling with the issues that need to be addressed to meet this intent. This paper suggests that careful analysis of existing educational materials and processes is necessary to provide an indication of what can be done to make them more openly available beyond the confines of an individual teaching and learning space. However, the deceptively simple term “open” hides a reef of complexity. This paper endeavours to unravel the degrees of openness with respect to key attributes of OER, namely social, technical, legal and financial openness in an attempt to make the task of identifying where changes could be made to existing teaching materials or processes a little easier for the lecturer and the educational technologist alike. While acknowledging the potential value of content, we contend, however, that it is the opening up of educational processes, which we are calling Open Pedagogy (OP) enabled by the Web 2.0 technologies that are set to play the more transformational role in the collaboration between students and lecturers.
- ItemOpen AccessDeveloping a strategic approach to social responsiveness at the University of Cape Town South Africa(University of Georgia, 2012) Favish, Judith; McMillan, Jenice; Ngcelwane, Sonwabo VCollaborative community-engaged scholarship has roots in many parts of the world, and engaged practitioners and researchers are increasingly finding each other and sharing resources globally. This article focuses on a "social responsiveness" initiative at the University of Cape Town. Its story, told here by three University of Cape Town colleagues, illustrates the possibilities and complexities of this work in southern Africa. While strongly contextualized there, it also illustrates how the University of Cape Town has both benefited from and contributed to the broader international discussions taking place through TRUCEN (The Research University Civic Engagement Network), the Talloires Network, and other means.
- ItemOpen AccessDiagnostic assessment for mathematics in a distance learning context(Unisa Press, 2008) Bohlmann, Carol A; Fletcher, LizelleThe idea of a diagnostic process to identify students likely to benefit from additional support originated from two separate investigations relating to the performance of entry-level mathematics students at the University of South Africa (UNISA). One project explored the relationship between reading skill and mathematical performance. This resulted in a reading intervention programme for students of mathematics. The other project considered an alternative method of assessment. This article explains why and how diagnostic assessment was developed for students who enrolled for the UNISA Mathematics Access Module. The article gives some initial the results, and an analysis of examination performance related to the risk categories identified by the diagnostic assessment.
- ItemOpen Accesse/merging across Africa: five papers on the use of educational technology in African Higher Education(Kennesaw State University, 2013) Carr, TonyThis guest editorial comments on the rapidly changing environment for the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in African Higher Education Institutions (HEI), introduces the e/merge online conferences and gives a brief introduction to the papers in the special issue.
- ItemOpen AccessEducational investment towards the ideal future: South Africa’s strategic choices(2017) Shay, SuellenAlthough there has been rapid expansion of higher education around the globe, such expansion has not resulted in a more equitable system. Drawing on the work of Nancy Fraser, equity in higher education is conceptualised as ‘parity of participation’ and includes both equity of access and outcomes. The tensions between expansion and equity are illustrated by comparing South Africa’s equity challenges with those of Brazil and the USA. Focusing on South Africa’s critical choices, four scenarios or possible futures are provided to illustrate some of the trade-offs and strategic choices. The main argument is that if South Africa’s higher education system continues to expand without a concomitant investment in the effectiveness of teaching and learning, it will not achieve the policy goals of equity of access and outcomes. Furthermore the investment needs to be strategically targeted to interventions that can serve as systemic levers of change for reducing drop-out rates and improving graduation rates. To this end, over the next decade the state needs to prioritise an investment in an undergraduate curriculum more ‘fit for purpose’. The investment needs to be in curriculum reform that normalises different levels of foundational provision, identifies and removes curriculum obstacles that delay or impede graduation, and provides opportunities for ‘breadth’ for all students, not only those who come from privileged backgrounds.
- ItemOpen AccessHow do we play the genre game in preparing students at the advanced undergraduate level for research writing?(Taylor & Francis, 2011) Paxton, MoraghThe study described in this article sets out to understand the barriers and affordances to successful completion of the short research thesis required in many advanced undergraduate courses or Honours programmes. In the study, the genre features of students' research projects and the criteria used to assess them were analysed and both students and supervisors were interviewed. The article focuses on one particular student from the case study and the findings provide in-depth insights into the complexities of genre acquisition in one particular department at a South African university, where writing and knowledge of the genre are often not taught, but must be acquired through a form of apprenticeship. The article concludes by raising some questions about how research genres can best be mediated in developmental contexts, where the teaching of writing may not be valued.
- ItemOpen AccessI found it on the internet preparing for the e-patient in Oman(Sultan Qaboos University, 2010) Masters, Ken; Ng'ambi, Dick; Todd, GailIn the Information Age, the communication patterns between doctor and patient are changing. Using Everett Rogers' theory of Diffusion of Innovations, this paper begins by examining the diffusion of the Internet in the world and in Oman. It then considers the emergence of e-patients. The characteristics of e-patients are described in some detail. The paper ends by describing steps that should be taken when teaching medical students in Oman so that they can be prepared for e-patients.
- ItemOpen AccessLanguage and academic achievement: perspectives on the potential role of indigenous African languages as a lingua academica(Stellenbosch University, 2012) Madiba, MbulungeniAlthough research literature abounds with studies that show the importance of language for academic achievement, the potential role of indigenous African languages in the educational sector in South Africa has not been adequately appraised or appreciated. Accordingly, ambivalence is still rife among parents, teachers, learners and government about the use of these languages for academic purposes. This ambivalence is evident from the existing national language education policies, school language policies, language curricula and language practices in schools. Thus, the purpose of this article is to discuss the perspectives on the potential role of indigenous African languages for academic purposes in South Africa. The focus is mainly on the use of these languages to provide a scaffold for academic language proficiency which is critical to academic success. To this end, a complementary language-use framework or model for using indigenous African languages to support the development of academic language in multilingual schools and universities is proposed.
- ItemOpen AccessMaking gazes explicit: facilitating epistemic access in the humanities(Springer, 2014) Luckett, Kathy; Hunma, AditiThis paper addresses the problem of curriculum design in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and more specifically the challenge of designing foundation courses for first-generation or 'disadvantaged' learners. Located in the social realist school of the sociology of education studies that builds on the legacy of Basil Bernstein, we emphasise the importance of knowledge and understanding the principles that generate 'what counts' in particular courses and disciplines. In order to operationalise this, we used Maton's Legitimation Code Theory to uncover the knowledge/knower structures in eight first year courses in four of the most popular majors in a Faculty of Humanities. Our data sources were curriculum documents and exam papers in particular. The findings are presented and the 'codes', 'gazes, and 'lenses' for each set of courses delineated. The findings are being used to inform the design of a set of curriculum and pedagogic interventions that aim to offer powerful ways of knowing to novices in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- ItemOpen AccessMeasuring the impact of educational interventions on the academic performance of academic development students in second-year microeconomics(Wiley, 2012) Smith, Leonard C; Ranchhod, VimalThis paper analyses the impact of educational interventions made in the first- and second-year microeconomics courses on academic development students' final mark in the second-year course. It also addresses issues of methodology, specification, and statistical analysis with respect to other studies in the field. The results suggest that the educational interventions in the first year had a positive impact on the academic performance of the academic development cohort, relative to the mainstream cohort for the first period (2000-2002). The results also suggest that the educational interventions introduced in the second period (2003-2005), in the form of voluntary workshops, improved the academic performance of the academic development and mainstream cohorts.
- ItemOpen AccessNew academics negotiating communities of practice: learning to swim with the big fish(Taylor & Francis, 2007) Jawitz, JeffThis paper explores the use of situated cognition theory to investigate how new academics learn to judge complex student performance in an academic department at a South African university. The analysis revealed the existence of two largely separate communities of practice within the department, one centred on the provision of undergraduate teaching and the other on the production of research. Newcomers follow a range of trajectories in the course of their identity construction as academics and their learning is strongly shaped by their histories and individual experiences of negotiating their way into and across these key communities of practice. Learning to assess student performance in an Honours research paper was found to be integrally linked to the process of gaining entry into the research community of practice with limited opportunity for legitimate peripheral participation given the high stakes context within which assessment decisions are made.
- ItemOpen AccessPedagogic strategies to support learning design thinking in a masters course(Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, 2013) Hodgkinson-Williams, Cheryl; Deacon, AndrewThe demand for further skills and qualifications in the educational technology field remains strong as the range of technologies increases and their potential use in educational contexts becomes more compelling. Students registering for the University of Cape Town (UCT) Masters level courses are employed in schools, government agencies, universities, non-governmental organisations, or in the corporate sector, where their role in designing educational technology interventions represents part of their responsibilities. Because they have varying levels of experience in designing educational materials and/or using educational technologies, they need to develop learning design thinking and gain practice with a broad range of pedagogic strategies, theories, and technology tools to be productive in the workplace. Over the past four years we have developed and adopted a course for the needs of people who are keen to apply these skills in their work contexts. We describe here, the pedagogic strategies we explicitly adopted to model and support learning design thinking in one of four modules, Online Learning Design. The module adopts a learning design framework developed by Dabbagh and Bannan- Ritland (2005) to introduce students to design processes, and uses the same framework as a loose structure for the module and assignments. We apply Dabbagh and Bannan- Ritland's classification of pedagogic strategies to model and analyse approaches to cultivating learning design thinking amongst the students. As an analytic advice, we draw on Engeström's (2001) Activity Theory to describe the evolving learning context and our changing pedagogic strategies over four years. We focus on key tensions that emerged from the adoption of a range of pedagogic strategies to cultivate the students' learning design thinking when developing learning activities to communicate complex design issues. The key social change highlighted in this paper is that educational technology educators aiming to cultivate students' learning design thinking, need to apply their design thinking to their own practice.
- ItemOpen AccessPerceptions about copyright of digital content and its effects on scholarship: a South African perspective(De Gruyter, 2007) Masango, Charles AThis paper examines the different layers of protection that exist in digital content and how users and corporate rights holders of information interpret the different protections. From a South African perspective, this paper analyses librarians', managers' of consortia, informed users' and corporate rights holders' perceptions and misconceptions on the interpretation of copyright protection with regard to digital content. It discusses the effects on the advancement of scholarship implied by the interpretations on copyright accorded by librarians, users and corporate rights holders to digital content. It concludes that in order to better access digital content to promote scholarship, the education of what copyright protects and knowledge of the terms and conditions of licensing agreements is necessary.
- ItemOpen AccessRace and assessment practice in South Africa: understanding black academic experience(Taylor & Francis, 2012) Jawitz, JeffreyDespite efforts to transform the racialised system of higher education in South Africa inherited from apartheid, there has been little research published that interrogates the relationship between race and the experience of academic staff within the South African higher education environment. Drawing on critical discourse analysis and critical race theory, this article traces the experience of two black male academics in relation to the assessment practices of their colleagues at a historically white university in South Africa. The interviewees, both graduates from the departments in which they teach, reflected on their experience of their departmental assessment practices both as black students and black academics. The analysis concludes that despite their differing perceptions and experiences they both regard the assessment practices of some of their white colleagues as undermining of their black students' efforts to succeed.
- ItemOpen AccessRecognition of prior learning: exploring the 'knowledge question'(Taylor & Francis, 2013) Cooper, Linda; Harris, JudyThis article addresses the 'knowledge question' in the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in relation to postgraduate programmes. In contrast to many traditional theorisations of RPL which draw largely on adult and experiential learning theory, the article starts from a position of knowledge differentiation and explores whether the nature of the discipline or knowledge domain offers affordances or barriers to RPL. In an interview survey, academics in a South African higher education institution were asked their views on the feasibility of RPL in relation to postgraduate study in their discipline. Data analysis draws primarily on concepts from Bernstein to identify different forms of knowledge and the ways in which that knowledge might be transformed and formulated as curricula. Findings suggest that the disciplinary context or knowledge domain into which an RPL candidate is seeking access does play a role in determining the feasibility of RPL. However, distinct organisational environments offer affordances and barriers to the implementation of RPL and there is also significant room for the exercise of pedagogic agency. It follows that RPL cannot be reducible to 'one size fits all', but needs to assume different forms in diverse institutional and disciplinary settings. RPL for access to postgraduate study in a university will vary according to the purpose and design of the programme to which the candidate is seeking access. This supports a position that RPL should be seen as a specialised pedagogical practice that provides tools for navigating access to new learning opportunities across diverse contexts.
- ItemOpen AccessThe Research Commons: a new creature in the library?(Emerald, 2010) Darch, Colin; de Jager, Karin; Daniels, WilliamPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the use made of the Research Commons during its first year of operation in an attempt to establish whether it actually provides a genuinely new and different service from the point of view of the end‐users, and whether a facility such as this could indeed be presumed to support research and enhance research output at the university. Design/methodology/approach – Using Lippincott's assessment grid, an attempt was made to assess activities in the Research Commons according to the dimensions of extensiveness, efficiency, effectiveness, service quality and usefulness. Methodology was mixed, with quantitative and qualitative components that logged the extent and nature of the use of the various facilities in the Research Commons and sought to establish from stakeholder perceptions whether the services on offer are regarded as substantially different from those in the undergraduate Knowledge Commons and whether they are indeed seen to be supporting research activities. Findings – It was found that a combination of numerical and qualitative measurements has yielded sufficient evidence for the drawing of preliminary conclusions. The evidence gathered demonstrates that the Research Commons, designed primarily as a site for the creation of new knowledge in the form of original writing by researchers at postgraduate and academic level, is indeed an advance on the well‐established "library commons" concept, and that its creation represents an instance of "parallel invention" – the "new creature" that the title refers to. Originality/value – This paper provides a multifaceted perspective on the activities taking place in a new library facility and should provide librarians and researchers with evidence‐based insight into how meaningful research support may be provided to young researchers from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds as part of an academic library service in a middle income country.