Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Publications (2014)

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Bokana, K,G. & Tewari, D.
The Anthropologist
17 1
Title Determinants of Student Success at a South African University: AN Econometric Analysis
Abstract South Africa needs more higher education graduates with the capability to adapt to and function in a knowledge-driven and knowledge-dependent economy and society. High dropout and failure rates, as well as the slow progression of students, have revealed themselves as complex, persistent challenges and seemingly intractable crises at South African universities. To identify determinants of management studies student success, this study fits the student records data in two different educational production functions applying two econometric approaches, namely, Ordinary Least Squares and Logistic Regression models. Results of Ordinary Least Squares and Logistic Regression analyses confirmed that key determinants of student success are total matriculation points, matriculation Maths and English I scores, and having English as home first language. Other personal and student demographic variables play some role in determining university success. Exogenous factors such as the institutional environment, intellectual leadership, a proper learning infrastructure and environment at the university, socio-economic characteristics, and psychological attitudes also play an important role in predicting student success. The contention is, these determinants of student success are not straightforward measures of student quality as they are the sum of complex and multifaceted factors, making the prediction of student success a far more complex and multifaceted process demanding further investigation. These implications should be explored and integrated into the educational policy-making process and strategic planning to reverse the trends of high dropout and failure rates at South African Universities

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Flack, P.S.
South African Joutnal of Higher Education
28 4
Title Secondary school factors relating to academic success in first year Health Science students
Abstract Universities in South Africa, experience challenges related to throughput rates, especially in the first year of study. Student dropout in the School of Health Sciences (SHS) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) negatively affects the enrolment targets with the concomitant loss of student subsidy and fees. It also reduces the number of prospective healthcare professionals who are required to address the shortage of skilled healthcare workers in the country. Thus, this emphasises the need to determine secondary school factors that relate to success and throughput in the first year of study, namely: area and type of schooling; matriculation point scores (also referred to as admission point scores [APS}); and matriculation subject choices. A retrospective design with a quantitative approach was used to collect data from a total of 713 student records over the period 2009-2011. The quantitative data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics while Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rho) and the Mann-Whitney U test were used to determine differences between variables related to academic success. A p-value of ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The data was analysed and presented as annual composite results as well as stratified by disciplines. Overall the area of secondary schooling did not correlate statistically significantly with academic success. In contrast, the type of secondary schooling (p = .012), matriculation points (p = .000) and all matriculation subjects investigated (p < .005) were statistically significant variables that correlated with academic success. At discipline-level, Physiotherapy was shown to have the most consistent correlations among variables, with a moderate correlation with matriculation subjects as well as the APS. The results of this study yielded evidence-based admissions criteria for students into the SHS at UKZN. 

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Govender, S.
Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems
13 1
Title Access, Academic success: Ubuntu Narrative analysis Tinto's integration model in  Higher education
Abstract This article assesses whether access programmes are a productive method of identifying potentially successful students in the Higher Education sector in South Africa. It presents the voices of successful students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who did not go directly into the mainstream programme but had to commence university education through an access programme. The interest of this investigation lies in the area of the broader academic and social discourses that they, as successful access students, inhabit and through which they produce and perform their success in undergraduate studies. The philosophy of Ubuntu and its relationship to epistemological access, the role of agency and self-regulation and student-institution reciprocity are examined using an adaptation of Tinto's student integration model as a starting point. 

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Hahn,K. & Teferra, D.
Tuning Journal for Higher Education2 2 11
Title Tuning as Instrument of Systematic Higher Education Reform and Quality Enhancement reform and Quality Enhancement: The African Experience
Abstract This article explores the state of higher education in Africa as it relates to the experience and lessons learned in the Tuning African higher education project. It analyses the specific African dimension of the methodology, its contribution to the reform efforts in teaching and learning, and the critical issues vital for quality enhancement and harmonization of higher education in Africa.
Keywords: tuning; harmonization; curriculum development; reform; quality; higher education; Africa; regional intergration

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Khoza, S.
TLHEC 2014: preconference proceedings
Title A lecturer’s reflective experience on becoming a published scholar: Curriculum in context.
Abstract This article presents a critical life history of a lecturer’s reflective experiences on becoming a published scholar. The lecturer’s interests have included numerous teaching/learning resources that put different curricula (Mathematics, Information Technology, Technical Education, Educational Technology, Curriculum Studies and Dance-Sport) into action. By interacting with different curricula while using teaching/learning resources, the lecturer transformed from being research immigrant (RI) to published scholar (PS). As the PS, the lecturer has been able to use scientific knowledge to identify relevant resources that have been required by the different curricula in order to achieve teaching/learning objectives/outcomes. As the RI, the lecturer was using general knowledge to identify teaching/learning resources to be used in the curricula. The study used lecturer’s published article analysis, Learning Management System analysis, semi-structured interview and the lecturer’s reflections for data generation. Purposive sampling was used in selecting the lecturer who was given a task of reflecting from his experiences of becoming a published scholar by his line manager at a research workshop. Guided analysis was used and generated five themes for data analysis. This article consequently recommends the promotion of PS as one of the main outcomes of an individual lecturer.
Keywords: awareness, knowledge, published scholar, research immigrant, teaching/learning resources.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Lefoka, P., Slabbert, J. & Clarke, A.
TLHEC 2014: preconference proceedings
Title A quest for professionalism amongst teacher educators in the National University of Lesotho.
Abstract The professional preparation of teacher educators provided through formal training gives them an opportunity to acquire professional knowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes that are unlikely to be acquired through experiential learning alone. The majority of the Lesotho teacher educators have not been trained for teaching teachers. This implies that their sources of professional knowledge could be situated in the university classrooms, and in the context in which they perform their task. There was therefore need to establish what constitutes professional knowledge in the context of the Lesotho teacher educators. The paper draws its content from a study that looked into the sources of professional knowledge of teacher educators. Data collection was carried out in three departments of the National University of Lesotho’s Faculty of Education: Language and Social Education (LASED), Mathematics and Science Education (SCED) and Educational Foundations (EDF). Purposive sampling was chosen and the lecturers had to be from different disciplines. The criteria included teaching experience and gender. A total of eight teacher educators participated. Data was collected through observations of and narratives by the eight teacher educators. Practice-based information was collected from observing them live in their lecture rooms. The study revealed that the major sources of their professional knowledge were propositional and practice-based. The research participants who learned from own experiences to become teacher educators submitted to the pressures of a compliance culture instead of facilitating meta-learning for their own student teachers. Higher education institutions need to make explicit what informs the teacher educators’ knowledge base so that they can appreciate and understand the magnitude of the task entrusted upon them. Investment in educating teacher educators could yield considerable institutional returns, and is therefore critical for preparing them for the complex task of educating prospective teachers.
Keywords: contemporary discourse, episteme, Phronesis, professional knowledge, transmissive and interactive methods.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Mashiyi, F.N. & Kizito, R.N.
TLHEC 2014: preconference proceedings
Title Appraisal of the de-centralised professional development model adopted by a South African Higher Education Institution.
Abstract South African universities have put in place structural arrangements aimed at improving teaching excellence and enhancing student learning. These include the creation of directorates for teaching and learning, featuring teaching and learning as a strategic goal in the university Institutional Operating Plans, the development of Strategic Plans for Teaching and Learning and the adoption of various models of professional development. This study examines how the de-centralised model of professional development is being implemented and received at a South African university in the Science and Economic Management and Science faculties. From a document analysis of Senate Teaching-Learning Reports (2012-2014) conducted to determine the professional development practices taking place in the two faculties, there is evidence of professional development uptake in the two faculties and the use of innovative pedagogical practices in some departments. However, it is difficult to obtain accurate measures of how these trainings translate into observable change in classroom practice .The study concludes that it is essential to get support from Heads of departments and buy-in from the discipline experts on the importance of adjusting their pedagogical practices to suit student needs if any lasting change is to be effected.
Keywords: buy-in, de-centralised model, professional development

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Naicker, I., Morojele, P., Pithouse-Morgan, K., Pillay, D., & Chikoko, V.
Journal of African Studies
In Press
Title Towards curriculum intellectualising: A reflexive account of making meaning of postgraduate students’ conceptions of African Scholarship. 
Abstract This article provides a reflexive narrative account of a collaborative process of moving towards curriculum intellectualising in the context of diverse understandings of African scholarship in a South African university. We reflect on the journey we took in trying to make collective sense of postgraduate students' conceptions of African scholarship. The article illustrates how we came to see that our own implicit notions of African scholarship constrained our meaning-making. The article contributes to re-imagining of curriculum as a complex conversation that elicits uncomfortable questions, interrogates our own taken-for-granted ideas, and encourages divergence and dissidence (rather than conformity) in ways that offer valuable opportunities for discovery and growth. We draw attention to the centrality of polyvocality, reflexivity, provision of space and time, and the creation of comfortable, yet discomforting relationships as conducive conditions for curriculum intellectualising.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Oosthuizen, F.
TLHEC 2014: preconference proceedings
Title Bachelor of Pharmacy students’ opinions of active learning using clickers.
Abstract Academics are faced with providing ‘learning that lasts’ despite ever-increasing student numbers. Active learning is an efficient way to engage larger classes, and improve the quality of students’ learning. While clickers have been increasingly used as a tool to promote active learning, also in health sciences, little is known about the students’ perception towards this. The objective of this study was thus to investigate the opinions of level 2 Bachelor of Pharmacy students towards active learning with clickers. A questionnaire was used to measure students’ opinions towards active learning and the use of clickers in particular. Students were also asked to provide examples of the use of clickers that they found most beneficial, in addition to describing what they liked most about the use of clickers. Feedback from eighty-two students with regards to the use of clickers indicates that the students found small group discussion and the involvement with other students very positive. There was also a positive indication that this method of teaching improved students’ understanding of the course content–students indicated that they had a better understanding of the lectures and enjoyed using clickers. Active learning was incorporated into an undergraduate Bachelor of Pharmacy module to improve student learning in a larger group. According to student feedback this strategy was effective in that students interacted more with one another, learned from their peers, and had a better understanding of concepts covered. It is thus evident that active learning achieved its goal.
Keywords: Active learning, clickers, pharmacy

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2014 Van Laren, L.
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa
10 1
Title Listening with our eyes’:  Collaboration and HIV and AIDS curriculum integration South African higher education
Abstract Integrating HIV and AIDS into the academic curriculum is not engaged with vigorously enough in South African higher education institutions, for several reasons, ranging from lack of interest to complaints of belabouring the issue of HIV and AIDS, especially from the biomedical perspective. Through such integration the academic curriculum could be a key space and engine for persuading change and abating the effects of HIV and AIDS in higher education as well as in the communities served by the universities. We reflect on our three-year research project engagement and explore how collaboration facilitated integration of HIV and AIDS issues in our academic curriculum. Working from a critical paradigm and using a collaborative self-study approach, we utilised drawings and responses from questions which we compiled for ourselves. Textual and visual data generated were thematically analysed. The findings revealed that collaboration counteracts isolation; enables capacity development in integration for the collaborating researchers; and permits engaging with participatory visual methodologies to encourage integration. We conclude that collaboration is key in facilitating integration of HIV and AIDS in the higher education curriculum, and that collaboration using participatory visual methodologies enhances entry-points in engaging with HIV and AIDS in South Africa and beyond. This work has implications for integrating HIV and AIDS issues into the higher education curriculum.

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