الثلاثاء، 26 مارس، 2013

abstracts

No. 1 of 2012
A selection of journal analytics recently added to the Saide catalogue.
Higher Education
A Survey of Students’ Views of Supervision at Unisa by S. Schulze. In: SA Journal of Higher Education vol. 25 no. 4 2011 pp784-802.
This study is framed by self-efficacy theory (SET).  It aimed to determine successful research students’ views of supervisory practices they had experienced.  The research design was an embedded design.  A questionnaire determined the view of 52 students in one college at Unisa on the support they received for successful experiences; the influence of role modeling; and the encouragement and emotional support they received.  Some items determined the role of peers and institutional support.  Four open ended questions were also included.  The study identified factors that enhanced students’ self-efficacy.  It also identified the main issue that supervisors and institutions need to address.  Supervisors need to be trained in supervision according to SET.  The institution also needs to be more efficient with regard to some services and more innovative in providing research workshops and contact with other research students.
Faculty Views of HIV and AIDS Education in the Curriculum at Tertiary Level by L Wood. In: SA Journal of Higher Education vol. 25 no. 4, 2011 pp819-837.
Although much has been written on the need to integrate HIV into tertiary education programmes, very little research has been done in terms of how it should be done.  This article will report on the first phase of a larger action research project designed to research, develop and evaluate best practices for the transformation of the curricula of higher education programmes to make them more relevant and responsive to the realities of living and working in the age of AIDS.  Using a phenomenological design, academics from three faculties were interviewed to generate baseline data around their feelings, perceptions, attitudes and practices regarding HIV education in their in their fields of study.  The findings reveal that, while academics recognize the importance of HIV integration in principle, in practice several barriers exist.  On the whole, a narrow conceptualisation of HIV and AIDS precludes them from recognizing the many possibilities that exist for meaningful integration of HIV education.  Implications are drawn from these findings to inform the intervention phase of the project.  
Higher Education Quality in Kenya: A Critical Reflection of Key Challenges by George O Odhiambo. In: Quality in Higher Education vol. 17 no. 3, November 2011 pp 299-315.
This article examines the unique challenges facing Kenya’s public higher education institutions.  It explores the struggle to develop quality and quality assurance mechanisms against a background of rapidly diminishing income, brain drain, political interference and the negative aspects of globalisation.  The challenges have consequently led to a decline on the quality of education and left higher education hanging on a thread.  The article argues that the higher education sector requires clear policies of rewarding and retaining talented staff and ways of dealing with the politically instigated expansion.  It provides an opportunity for reflection on policies and practices in Kenya’s higher education sector and suggests an urgent need for reforms.  Quality assurance could play a key role in initiating these reforms.
How Can We Retain Them? An Investigation Into the Early Cancellation of Courses in a Distance Learning Institution by WA van Schoor and D Potgieter. In: SA Journal of Higher Education vol. 25 no. 3, 2011 pp598-611.
Throughput and retention are important issues in higher education in South Africa mainly due to the stronger emphasis on accountability from funding agencies like the Department of Education.  This study, which is set in a distance education institution, was aimed at understanding why students cancel courses early on in the academic year. 
A telephone survey was conducted with a sample of 333 subjects.  The data indicate that 19 per cent of the sample attributed the reasons for cancellation to changes in their work or living conditions.  Personal and financial problems were responsible for 17 per cent of the variation while 11 per cent gave reasons that were directly attributable to institutional processes.  Incorrect course selection contributed 13 per cent of the cancellations while 23 per cent of the students could not cope with the academic demands.  The data are discussed against the framework of a Managed Open Admission Project designed to deal with the identified issues. 
Writing for Publication: An Intervention to Overcome Barriers to Scholarly Writing by CA Kapp, RM Albertyn, BL Frick. In: SA Journal of Higher Education vol.25 no. 4 pp 741-759.
Academics are actively encouraged to disseminate new knowledge to the scientific community by publishing in scholarly journals.  External and internal barriers to writing, however, prevent many authors from writing for publication.  This article gives an account of an intervention to provide hands-on coaching to inexperienced academic authors.  Seventy four five-day workshops have been presented over 1000 participants from different disciplines in Southern Africa since 2005.  External barriers to being published were identified through a survey of academic journal editors’ experiences of common errors made by authors.  Internal barriers were identified through literature as well as from reflection on practice during the course of the interventions.  Two follow-up web based surveys, after two and four years respectively, investigated the experiences of workshop participants.  Survey findings reveal authors’ experiences of writing and identify perceived benefits of skills learned during the workshop.  A framework is proposed which could guide planning and implementation of similar interventions.  The research suggests that facilitating development of skills through a workshop of this nature helps to overcome barriers to writing for publication, thus improving scholarship in higher education.
Open Educational Resources
CORRE: A Framework for Evaluating and Transforming Teaching Materials Into Open Educational Resources by Samuel K Nikoi, Tania Rowlett, Alejandro Armellini and Gabi Witthaus. In: Open Learning vol. 26 no.3, November 2011 pp191-207.
Open Education resources (OER) are taking centre-stage in many higher educational institutions globally, driven by the need to raise institutional profiles, improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning and achieve universal access to education.  Many academics attracted to the idea of turning teaching materials into OER have, however, found the experience challenging and daunting.  This article puts forward a workflow framework that provides guidance for evaluation existing teaching materials and turning them into OER using indicative questions against which they can be assessed on quality, ease of access, adaptability and potential usefulness.  Recommendations are also made for moving the OER agenda forward, including changing institutional cultures, designing for openness, quality assurance and sustainability.
There is No Business Model for Open Educational Resources: A Business Model Approach by Frank de Langen. In: Open Learning vol. 26 no. 3, 2011 pp 209-222.
The economic proverb ‘There is no such thing such as a free lunch’ applies also to open education resources (OER).  In recent years, several authors have used revenue models and business models to analyse the different sources of possible funding for OER.  In this article the business models of Osterwalder and Chesbrough are combined with research on the motives of the participants of OER to analyse possible funding models.  If the motives of governments (knowledge economy), educational institutions (efficiency, marketing), individual producers (reputation, academic interests) and users (intermediary) educational products, learning) are combined, it is shown that the only long-term sustainable independent business model is based on subsidies.  However, this conclusion depends both on the definition of openness (in the sense of at no cost) and on motives.  More research on both aspects could alter these conclusions.
Teacher  Development & Training
Links Between  Content Knowledge and Practice in a Mathematics Teacher Education Course: A Case Study by D Brijlall and V Isaac. In: SA Journal of Higher Education vol.25 no. 4 pp 660-679.
This qualitative study examined the link between content knowledge and classroom practice from the perceptions of two university lecturers.  The study was contextualized at a higher education institution in South Africa where the two university lecturers were lecturing to a second year undergraduate teacher trainee class (n = 78).  The research was conceptualised in terms of Vygotsky’s educational theory and the process of scaffolding.  Questionnaires in which these lecturers expressed their views on content knowledge in general were administered to them.  Video recorded lessons on rates of change in Calculus were observed to triangulate actual lesson instruction and their views on content knowledge and classroom practice.  Data yielded by these research instruments confirmed certain assumptions and literature claims.  The study revealed that the two university lecturers portrayed a strong link between a lecturers’ content knowledge and his/her classroom practice.
Students’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Their In-Service Training for the Advanced Certificate in Education Programme by MC Ndlovu. In: SA Journal of Higher Education vol. 25 no. 3, 2011 pp523-541.
The purpose of this study was to determine in-service students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) programme offered by Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in preparing them to be confident teachers of Mathematical Literacy, Life Sciences of physical sciences in the Further Education and Training (FET) phase.  An open-ended questionnaire was administered at the end of the first year of the two-year mixed-mode part-time study.  The university’s standard student feedback questionnaire was administered during contact sessions.  A Likert-type 5-point scale version of the initial open-ended questionnaire was designed and administered to the cohort after graduation.  Findings were that there were process, content, contextual and outcomes aspects of the programme which were consistently positive and needed to be maintained.  There were aspects that were initially perceived negatively or positively but sentiment changed after graduation.  There were also aspects that were consistently perceived negatively and needed improvement.
Technology Enhanced Learning
Designing Social Media into University Learning: Technology of Collaboration or Collaboration for Technology? By Elaine Tay and Matthew Allen. In: Educational Medial International vol. 48 no.3, 2011 pp 151-163.
Using the example of an undergraduate unit of study that is taught both on campus and externally, but uses Internet-based learning in both cases, we explore how social media might be used effectively in higher education.  We place into question the assumption that such technologies necessarily engage students in constructivist learning; we argue that the affordances of social media must be complemented by social affordances, designed into the learning experience, which thereby generate the necessary connection between students’ motivations to study and their motivations to exploit social media.  We demonstrate, via the example given, how assessment structures and strategies are the most effective focus when attempting to create the pedagogical affordances that might lead to collaborative learning.
Exploring Differences in Online Professional Development Seminars with the Community of Enquiry Framework by Judi Fusco, Sarah Haavind, Julie Remold and Patricia Schank. In: Educational Media International vol. 48 no.3, 2011 pp139-149.
Four sessions of two professional development seminars were offered to members of an organization.  The seminars were voluntary, free of charge, and participants did not receive credit for their attendance.  Participation rates and exit survey rating for the four sessions varied.  After the seminars, an analysis using the community of inquiry framework was conducted to better understand what occurred in the dialogue of the seminars to understand whether patterns of facilitator actions related to the amount of participation and exit survey ratings.  The design of the seminars, the activities in the seminars, and the importance of the facilitator to plan and then help foster interaction in voluntary professional development seminars are discussed relative to the community of inquiry model.
Exploring Presentation Styles in Higher Education Teaching and Research Situations: Distance and Face-to-Face by Kerry Shephard and Karen Knightbridge. In: Open Learning vol. 26 no. 3, 2011 pp223-236.
Universities are increasingly using advanced video-conferencing environments to interact for teaching and research purposes at a distance and in situations that combine distant participants with those face-to-face. Those who use these technologies expect professional development support to do so but we do not yet have a comprehensive research platform on which to base this support.  The research described here sought to explore research protocols that could enrich our understanding of this domain, based on exploratory quantitative analyses of presenters’ behaviours and participants’ perceptions of presentations.  It identified a number of presenter-behaviours that may predict overall participant perceptions and that may discriminate between categories of perceived presentation quality. We conclude that this research approach may be capable of producing realistic guidelines for presenters who operate in distance settings but that these do need address the particular circumstances in which presenters find themselves.
Teaching Using a Blended Approach - What Does the Literature Tell Us? By Philippa Gerbic. In: Educational Media International vol. 48 no.3, 2011 pp221-234.
Teaching using a blended approach is a complex undertaking, where teachers have to address varied discipline and professional learning outcomes, different student capabilities and institutional conditions as well as creating and effective pedagogy by using the strengths of face-to-face and online settings in an integrated fashion.  There is now a sizeable literature on student accounts of learning in blended environments; however, much less is known about teacher perspectives on blended teaching and that is the focus of this review.  A critical analysis of the literature indicated two areas of development: (1) teacher conceptions and beliefs about blended teaching and (2) changing teacher roles, especially around course design and pedagogy.

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