OpenUCT is the open access institutional repository of the University of Cape Town (UCT). It preserves and makes UCT scholarly outputs digitally and freely available, including theses and dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, technical and research reports, as well as open educational resources.

 

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Open Access
Exploring the impact of (im)materiality on the literacy and meaning-making practices of first year students at a South African distance education institution: implications for support
(2023) Isaacs, Lynne; Bangeni, Abongwe
Open distance e-learning has been implemented at South African distance education institutions as a way to redress the inequalities of the country's apartheid past by way of enabling access to higher education for everyone, irrespective of location. Teaching and learning are delivered through modern electronic technologies, based on the assumption that students have access to and can use these technologies. The affordances of the objects that distance education students utilise as they engage in key literacy practices, as well as the spaces within which these practices take place, has not been given much empirical attention as a constituent aspect of distance education. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic foregrounded the significance of this focus when access to public spaces such as libraries or regional learning hubs became unavailable. This qualitative case study draws on the theory of (im)materiality (Burnett, 2015), Fenwick's (2015) notion of sociomateriality and its relevance to educational research, and Thomas Moore's theory of transactional distance (1997, 1989, 2018) to examine the ways in which distance education students' academic literacy and meaning-making practices are distributed across various personal and public sites and domains. In so doing it foregrounds the performativity of the distance education discourse through the material objects students use and the spaces which become materialised for learning. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 16 first-year distance education students to understand their use and perceptions of these objects and their negotiation of the spaces within which they are used. Drawing on Fairclough's (1992) model of Discourse, a critical discourse analysis of a key material object – the tutorial letter which is used for the mediation of the students' learning – was conducted to explore the ways in which students are positioned and its implications for power and access. The interview findings illustrate how technology functions to influence the participants' engagement with literacy practices, with significant implications for those whose access to technological objects is compromised. In doing so, the inequality of the spatial resources that students have access to and how it affects their meaning-making and learning is foregrounded. The less space that distance-education students have access to, the more their enactment of their distance-education identity is restricted, which heightens all four types of transactional distance they experience. ii The critical discourse analysis of the tutorial letters yielded two salient themes. The first relates to the implications of the use of intertextuality in the form of hyperlinks in the production and consumption of the tutorial letters and the potential for this to affect students' meaning-making practices. The second finding points to contrasting views of literacy in the tutorial letters where the autonomous and ideological approaches to literacy are utilised simultaneously, as reflected in the use of discourse at the level of text via pronouns and vocabulary. These findings raise important questions about students' access to material objects and the implications of their production and consumption for students' engagement. The study draws on the above findings to propose an expansion of the theory of transactional distance by suggesting that another type of distance be considered: that of the distance between the student and the physical learning space. The study also takes into account one of the critiques of the theory of sociomateriality, which states that the role of social structures is largely not considered in research on this subject. This study illustrates how the social structures in which the sociomaterial intra-actions occur are central to students' meaning making practices. In so doing, it contributes to the field of higher education through the insights it offers into the ways of being of distance-education students and the significance of access to a conducive learning space and material objects. The study concludes by providing recommendations that contribute to raising awareness of the impact of these on the literacy experiences of distance-education students.
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Open Access
Correlates of sedentary behaviour among individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus in a low resource setting
(2023) Africa, Chad; Madlala, Hlengiwe
Background: There is evidence regarding the adverse effects of prolonged sedentary behaviour (SB) on health outcomes, including the association with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as type 2 diabetesmellitus (T2DM). However, there is a scarcity of information regarding the correlates of SB among individuals at risk of developing T2DM in low-income settings such as in South Africa (SA). Therefore, we aimed to identify the prevalence and correlates of SB among adults at riskof developing T2DM in low-income communities in Cape Town, South Africa. Methods: This was secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from the South African Diabetes Prevention Programme (SADPP). The study population consisted of 698 participants from 16 lower socio-economic communities in Cape Town, recruited between August 2017 and March 2018. Participants classified at high-risk completed questionnaires on socio-demographic, behavioural and psychological factors, neighbourhood living conditions and medical history. Self-reported SB was measured using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) and a separate questionnaire that recorded minutesof screen time (ST) during a typical working and non- working day. Blood samples were collected forthe determination of fasting glucose, glycated haemoglobin, and lipids. A Kruskal-Wallis or one-way ANOVA was conducted depending on the distribution of the numerical variable. A chi-squared or Fisher's exact test was conducted depending on the expected frequencies of the cells. Robust regression was used to investigate the association between the exposure and outcome variable. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Results: Among the 698 participants, the median time (minutes/day) spent in SB and ST was 180.0 and 137.1 minutes/day, respectively. When grouped by SB or ST, most of the participants (66.0% and 77.9%) were classified as having low levels (<4h/day) of SB and ST, respectively. After adjusting for age and gender, SB was associated with type of housing, lower safety, and walking infrastructure scores, excellent self-reported sleep quality and having at least one barrier to physical activity (PA). Conclusion: SB was correlated to factors related to socioeconomic status (SES), as well as barriers to PA and self-reported sleep quality. As such interventions to decrease SB should focus on environmental factors.
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Open Access
Barriers to healthcare access by undocumented migrants in low-and middle-income countries: A qualitative systematic review
(2023) Adnan, Salman Amirah; Olivier, Jill
Undocumented migrants experience many barriers to accessing health systems around the globe. Although these barriers are well documented in the context of migration from low- and middle- to high-income countries, less attention has been paid to irregular migration within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study reviewed and synthesized the available literature on barriers to accessing health systems among undocumented migrants in LMICs. Thirty-one studies published either on English, Portuguese or Spanish and published between 2013 and 2022 were included. As a growing body of evidence demonstrates, undocumented migrants are among the most vulnerable populations with access to health care services impacted by high costs, legal barriers, document requirements and unclear policy messages. By applying a health policy and systems research lens, this review found that these barriers are interrelated and further complicated by individual and institutional discrimination, xenophobia, and perceptions that undocumented migrants are less deserving and compete for local resources, among others. Delayed care and limited primary healthcare access with critical health consequences were described in all such cases. The review suggests that barriers to healthcare access require intersectoral action that needs to be guided by embedded, comprehensive evaluations to generate the knowledge that is necessary to inform effective policy-responses and implementation.
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Open Access
A Success Case Method Evaluation of An Executive Coach Training Intervention
(2007) Beets, Karolyne Elizabeth; Goodman, Suki
This evaluation examines the extent to which 2005 and 2006 Associate Coaching Course participants have successfully applied the proximal outcomes from the executive coach training. Following the Success Case Method, a survey determined that the majority of participants rated their application of the learnings very successfully. A qualitative data analysis of eight interviews conducted with six high success cases (three professional coaches and three within-job coaches) and two low success cases, explored their application of the proximal outcomes in detail. The results report on various themes that describe how the coaches have applied the training, what results they have achieved and what value has come from the training. Further themes address factors that helped or hindered application and suggestions for training improvement. It can be concluded that the Associate Coaching Course was successful for this group of participants in that they report successful on-the-job application of the proximal outcomes and provide examples of positive results achieved due to this application. Furthermore, this evaluation contributes to a relatively scant literature concerning the application of the Success Case Method of evaluation.
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Open Access
Distortion Correction in LODOX StatScan X-Ray Images
(2007) Beets, Matthew Paul
This thesis presents a background and description of a method of distortion correction in x-ray images produced by the LODOX StatScan machine. The distortion correction of an object's x-ray image is of particular interest in the medical field, particularly for prosthetics, implants, and orthopedic work. It is useful to be able to take accurate measurements directly from x-ray images and that these images should be obtained with a minimum of patient discomfort and exposure to radiation. Current x-ray images contain a non-linear distortion that must be corrected for by hand. This distortion is a result of the imaging process: X-rays from a point source spread out before being captured by a detection device such as a photographic plate or an electronic CCD sensor. Because of this, objects closer to the center of the detector suffer less distortion than those at the edges and makes the correction process a non-trivial task traditionally requiring multiple scans to be taken and stitched together manually to minimize the distortion. The method of distortion correction presented here is a novel approach to the problem using the LODOX StatScan machine. It uses multiple scans from the StatScan Machine to create a single completely distortion free image entirely automatically. This is a software based correction method. It takes multiple fan beam x-ray projections and uses them to create a single virtual parallel beam x-ray image suitable for making accurate measurements with.