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- ItemBuildig knowledge and knowers in writing retreats : towards developing the field of higher education teaching and learning(HESA, 2017) Winberg, C.; Jacobs, C.; Wolff, K.Writing for publication is essential for disseminating research findings, sharing initiatives and innovations with others, and developing the knowledge base of intellectual fields. This study explores the role of writing retreats in building knowledge and knowers in the field of Higher Education Studies, specifically within the area of higher education pedagogy. We conceptually frame our research with Legitimation Code Theory (Maton 2014) in order to analyse the different ways in which participants in writing retreats orientate themselves to the social practice of writing for publication and the knowledge base of higher education pedagogy. The data comprise participants’ feedback on writing retreats, collected from surveys and focus group interviews at two universities (a teaching-intensive university and a research-intensive university), and supplementary institutional data on retreat participants and their writing achievements. By examining the organising principles of the writing retreats in terms of how they build knowledge and knowers, we make explicit the knowledge-building practices that underpin successful writing retreats and the orientations towards these practices that are productive for potential authors.
- ItemCollaborative research in contexts of inequality : the role of social reflexivity(Springer Verlag, 2017) Brenda, Leibowitz; Bozalek, Vivienne; Farmer, Jean; Garraway, James; Herman, Nicoline; Jawitz, Jeff; McMillan, Wendy; Mistri, Gita; Ndebele, Clever; Nkonki, Vuyisile; Quinn, Lynn; Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Vorster, Jo-Anne; Winberg, ChrisThis article reports on the role and value of social reflexivity in collaborative research in contexts of extreme inequality. Social reflexivity mediates the enablements and constraints generated by the internal and external contextual conditions impinging on the research collaboration. It fosters the ability of participants in a collaborative project to align their interests and collectively extend their agency towards a common purpose. It influences the productivity and quality of learning outcomes of the research collaboration. The article is written by 14 members of a larger research team, which comprised 18 individuals working within the academic development environment in eight South African universities. The overarching research project investigated the participation of academics in professional development activities, and how contextual, ie. structural and cultural, and agential conditions influence this participation. For this sub-study on the experience of the collaboration by 14 of the researchers, we wrote reflective pieces on our own experience of participating in the project towards the end of the third year of its duration. We discuss the structural and cultural conditions external to and internal to the project, and how the social reflexivity of the participants mediated these conditions. We conclude with the observation that policy injunctions and support from funding agencies for collaborative research, as well as support from participants’ home institutions, are necessary for the flourishing of collaborative research, but that the commitment by individual participants to participate, learn and share, is also necessary.
- ItemCounting and countering the opportunity cost of professional learning: a ‘care-full’ approach(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2016) Herman, NicoleneIntroduction: Professional learning of lecturers for their teaching is a field in which Eli Bitzer did important work, specifically during the earlier years of his career in higher education. The hard work to establish the discipline of higher education studies and the related fields of teaching in higher education and professional learning for teaching is described by Eli himself in an autobiographical chapter dedicated to his mentor, Professor Kalie Strydom of the University of the Free State (Bitzer 2009). The focus of this contribution is on the opportunity cost involved in professional learning for teaching and the creation of ‘care-full’ (Milligan and Wiles 2010) environments to counter these costs. In writing this chapter, I mainly draw from my PhD, for which Professor Bitzer was the main supervisor.
- ItemCritical interdisciplinary dialogues : towards a pedagogy of well-being in STEM disciplines and fields(HESA, 2018) Winberg, C.; Bozalek, V. G.; Conana, H.; Wright, J.; Wolff, K. E.; Pallitt, N.; Adendorff, H.Students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) globally and in South Africa are generally not in a state of well-being. International and South African research studies show that undergraduate STEM programmes pose significant challenges to students and that many STEM programmes are marked by high attrition rates and poor student success. There is growing recognition that STEM educators need to teach the “whole student” instead of focussing only on STEM knowledge and skills. In order to teach in a holistic way, university educators themselves need to understand and achieve their own well-being. The paper argues that pedagogy of well-being and its associated concepts of competence, self-efficacy, community and inter-relatedness are key to academic staff and student well-being in the STEM disciplines. The focus of this paper is an inter-institution study on enhancing STEM educators’ capacity towards a pedagogy of well-being through teaching portfolio development in diverse institutional contexts. The research question guiding is the study is: How might academic development practitioners and STEM university educators’ successfully collaborate for the benefit of student well-being and success? Data for this study was obtained from “critical dialogues” between academic development practitioners and STEM university teachers, as well as an external evaluation of the project. The data comprise video-recordings of the critical dialogues and survey responses. The findings of the study indicate that there are barriers as well as productive spaces for interdisciplinary work towards well-being in STEM teaching and learning. The findings have implications for how STEM academics might engage in professional learning towards pedagogical competence, and offer suggestions for the ways in which academic developers might respectfully “transgress” into STEM disciplinary domains in support of a pedagogy of well-being in the STEM disciplines and fields.
- ItemCurriculum inquiry in South African Higher Education: some scholarly affirmations and challenges(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2011) Bitzer, Eli; Botha, NonnieBOOK BLURB: In looking at the construction of curriculum from a trans- and multidisciplinary perspective at the higher education level, this book initiates and supports the issues of curriculum design and purposes, escpecially in fields outside the discipline of educational studies.
- ItemDiscerning God’s justice in church, society and academy: Festschrift for Jaap Durand(SUN PReSS, 2009) Conradie, Ernst; Lombard, ChristoProfessor Jaap Durand, former professor of Systematic Theology and Vice-Rector of the University of the Western Cape, celebrated his 75th birthday on 5 June 2009. For this occasion we wish to honour him with this Festschrift. We do need to say a word about the limited scope of this Festschrift. For the sake of coherence we opted to honour Jaap Durand’s legacy from the perspective of Christian theology only, even though his own work extends much wider than that.
- ItemExperiential Education Conference at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, 10–11 November 2020(African Minds, 2020) Schreiber, BirgitExperiential Education as Pedagogy for Social Justice, Praxis and Practice for Shaping 21stâ€‘Century Global Citizen LeadersStellenbosch Universityâ€™s Division Student Affairs, Centre for Student Leadership, Experiential Education end Citizenshipâ€™s Co-curriculum Office, presented the Stellenbosch University Experiential Education Conference (SUEEC) from 10 to 11 November 2020.Â This was Stellenbosch Universityâ€™s first online conference and a first in South Africa and Africa focusing on experiential education and social justice. This two-day virtual highereducation conference was designed with experiential educators in civil society, university student affairs practitioners, and academics from across the world.The conference theme of â€˜Experiential education as pedagogy for social justice: praxis and practice for shaping 21st century global citizen leadersâ€™ emerged even more pertinent at a time of mass global upheaval, uncertainty and humanitarian crises. The intention of the SUEEC was to spotlight emerging trends and transitions in the higher education experiential learning domain and the intersections thereof with social justice and the formation of the global citizen leader. To accomplish the above entailed inviting world renown keynote speakers and subject matter experts, and to call for abstracts, master classesand exemplars (examples of best practice in experiential education).
- ItemExploring student engagegment practises at a South African university : student engagement as reliable predictor of academic performance(HESA, 2016) Schreiber, B.; Yu, D.Student engagement is one avenue to explore how the experiences within and beyond the classroom impact student persistence behaviours. This article contributes to the sparse research in South Africa on the correlates of student engagement with academic performance at a Historically Disadvantaged University. The results suggest that engagement practices at this university are different across race and gender and that given the South African history we are able to generalise onto the South African higher education systems. Influences on persistence are complex and require a comprehensive approach which embraces the entire context into which student persistence behaviours are embedded. Engagement and academic performance trends across race and gender suggest that the ideals of the higher education framework of social justice, equity of opportunity and participatory parity remain elusive.
- ItemFactors influencing the learning process in first-year chemistry(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2009) Adendorff, Hanelie; Lutz, MarietjieIntroduction: [First-year chemistry students] think that by being in class the information is magically absorbed and stored in their brains. This sentiment, as expressed by a first-year chemistry student at Stellenbosch University, might not come as a surprise to most academics. Convincing students to actively engage with the process of learning is not an easy task and often defeats our best efforts and purest intentions. Teaching and learning experts suggest that we can change this by changing our assessment strategies (Gibbs, 1999; Gibbs & Simpson, 2004).
- ItemFocus on first-year success: Perspectives emerging from South Africa and beyond(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2009) Leibowitz, Brenda; Van der Merwe, Antoinette; Van Schalkwyk, SusanBOOK BLURB: The importance of the first-year experience is now well recognised. This collection of papers makes a fascinating and important contribution to our understanding of students’ transition to higher education. This is a scholarly, engaging and illuminating text, that is relevant not only in the context of South Africa, but for anyone interested in student learning in the first year of university education.
- ItemHigher education as a field of study and research(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2009) Bitzer, Eli; Wilkinson, AnnetteIn this chapter we address four issues concerning HE as a field of study and research. We start off by discussing the typical characteristics of a field of study as opposed to a discipline, then we trace a number of moments in the development of HE studies and research internationally and locally. Next we try to suggest a way to ‘map’ the field in South Africa against the background of international mappings and finally we suggest a number of issues to consider for possible future research to extend and promote HE as a field of study and research – particularly in South Africa.
- ItemHigher Education for the Public Good: Views from the South(Trentham Books, 2012) Leibowitz, BrendaBOOK BLURB: Higher education contributes to the public good in many ways. This book argues for transformational and reflexive approach that takes full account of the nature of the university, its practices and programmes. The authors of this inspiring collection discuss philosophical approaches and present empirical and practical ideas for teaching and learning at university for the public good. Four major aspects of transforming universities are explored: the purpose and ethos of the university; its conception of graduate attributes; the way prgrammes and teaching are delivered; and the institution's approach to academics and their professional development. This book will be indispensable to all universities who are evaluating their own principles and practices.
- ItemHigher education in South Africa : a scholarly look behind the scenes(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2009) Bitzer, EliBOOK BLURB: A most stimulating collection of articles on the current state of South African higher education and of scholarly inquiry into key issues of higher education in South Africa, as well as in other parts of the world. There is a considerable richness of ideas, findings, reflections and analyses which should make the book very relevant to informing and inspiring much of the current debate about higher education in South Africa and about priorities in further research on higher education. The coverage of pertinent issues is broad and encompassing, if understandably not altogether complete; it ranges from questions of policy and epistemology to matters of curriculum, governance and professional development, and to frontiers and agendas for further research; one would have wished for more attention to issues of financing and of the relationship between universities and the state, especially as regards university autonomy. While the analyses are competently cognisant of the literature and scholarly debates in higher education internationally, they remain focused on the particular problems of South African higher education and its further development.
- ItemAn imagined discussion about tackling doctoral supervision(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2016) Trafford, VernonA discussion about tackling doctoral supervision.
- ItemInstitutional governance in SA higher education: For the common good or political power-play(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2009) Fourie, MagdaThis chapter explores the role of institutional governance against the background of the nature of the university as an organisation, and the changing context in which universities currently operate. Three ‘conventional’ models of institutional governance are discussed, and more recent developments in this regard are investigated. She concludes with some guiding principles for effective institutional governance in a contested and changing university context.
- ItemIntroduction: Perspectives on the first-year experience(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2009) Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Leibowitz, Brenda; Van der Merwe, AntoinetteThe international focus on the first-year experience (FYE) represents a strong and well-established movement in higher education. A focus on what happens in the first year at university, and how this influences student success, has become a fixture on the higher education landscape. In 2009, the annual International Conference on the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition was held for the 29th time. Through the years, its main sponsoring partner, the National Resource Center at the University of South Carolina, has been instrumental in establishing the movement world-wide.
- ItemA lesson in listening : is the student voice heard in the rush to incorporate technology into health professions education?(Health and Medical Publishing Group, 2015-05) Keiller, L.; Inglis-Jassiem, G.Background. Early indications are that blended learning in health professions education has a positive influence on student satisfaction and learning. This is encouraging, as the call to incorporate technology in teaching and learning in higher education is increasing. The student voice in the planning and implementation of blended learning strategies is, however, not adequately addressed in many of the studies to date. Objective. To utilise videos and blogging in a problem-based learning physiotherapy module to enhance student engagement with content of problembased cases. Methods. Students completed a needs-analysis and engagement questionnaire. Videos made by students were uploaded to the learning management system and subsequent use of these videos was recorded. Two focus group discussions were held to evaluate students’ perceptions of the blended learning strategies. Results. Students perceived the level of engagement during case presentation periods to be satisfactory, but unsatisfactory outside of such periods. Focus group discussions identified the technology used in this study as being inappropriate for this population. Students had specific expectations of the roles of staff and students. There was a perceived lack of skill with regard to the use of the technology chosen. Conclusion. There is a need for the student voice to be heard with regard to both the rationale for implementation and the type of technology used in blended learning strategy innovations. This study recommends that student-generated videos of clinical skills could be implemented successfully with adequate support from staff.
- ItemModelling the pre-assessment learning effects of assessment : evidence in the validity chain(Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2012-10) Cilliers, Francois J.; Schuwirth, Lambert W. T.; Van der Vleuten, Cees P. M.OBJECTIVES We previously developed a model of the pre-assessment learning effects of consequential assessment and started to validate it. The model comprises assessment factors, mechanism factors and learning effects. The purpose of this study was to continue the validation process. For stringency, we focused on a subset of assessment factor–learning effect associations that featured least commonly in a baseline qualitative study. Our aims were to determine whether these uncommon associations were operational in a broader but similar population to that in which the model was initially derived. METHODS A cross-sectional survey of 361 senior medical students at one medical school was undertaken using a purpose-made questionnaire based on a grounded theory and comprising pairs of written situational tests. In each pair, the manifestation of an assessment factor was varied. The frequencies at which learning effects were selected were compared for each item pair, using an adjusted alpha to assign significance. The frequencies at which mechanism factors were selected were calculated. RESULTS There were significant differences in the learning effect selected between the two scenarios of an item pair for 13 of this subset of 21 uncommon associations, even when a p-value of < 0.00625 was considered to indicate significance. Three mechanism factors were operational in most scenarios: agency; response efficacy, and response value. CONCLUSIONS For a subset of uncommon associations in the model, the role of most assessment factor–learning effect associations and the mechanism factors involved were supported in a broader but similar population to that in which the model was derived. Although model validation is an ongoing process, these results move the model one step closer to the stage of usefully informing interventions. Results illustrate how factors not typically included in studies of the learning effects of assessment could confound the results of interventions aimed at using assessment to influence learning.
- ItemPostgraduate research supervision : more at stake than research training(SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein, 2010) Bitzer, EliIs research training of students the key responsibility of postgraduate supervisors? While many academics would agree, supervisory roles might involve more than training postgraduate students. This article argues for the importance of research training as well as development interventions for supervisors. Drawing on relevant conceptions and a proposed supervisor development scheme, twenty-one supervisors reported how their supervisory roles have changed after interventions in five developmental areas. Similarly, supervisors who participated in a four-day supervision conference reported important developmental gains. The article proposes that supervisors seem to assess their supervisory roles and responsibilities more holistically and critically after and as a result of development interventions.
- ItemProfessional learning for teaching at a research-intensive university : the need for a ‘care-full’ environment(HESA, 2018) Herman, N.; Bitzer, E.; Leibowitz, B.The participation of academics in professional learning opportunities for teaching plays an important role in promoting the desired outcomes of higher education teaching and learning. If university teachers pursuing a career in academia however perceive the environment as non-appreciative and non-supportive, in other words, ‘care-less’ to such endeavours, they could become demoralised as a result of human and emotional responses. The purpose of the reported research was to explore the influence of their environment on the decision-making of academics to participate in professional learning opportunities at one research-intensive university. It shows what impact the care-less treatment of teachers may have on their decisions to learn to teach. Findings indicate that academics do not perceive the existing institutional environment as “care-full” (Milligan and Wiles 2010) towards teaching or university teachers. Carving out a teaching career in a care-less environment appears to have a negative influence on academics’ decision-making for professional learning. One implication of these findings is that university management should realise that a care-full environment to enhance professional learning for teaching, certainly at research-intensive institutions, is essential for such professional learning, for individual academics and subsequently for students and society, to prosper.