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Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT)

Learning, Teaching & Assessment

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Ms Kholeka Shangase
Secretary
031-373 2904
kholekas@dut.ac.za

Unit Members: (Academic Development Officers)

This unit is primarily responsible for facilitating and promoting the development of innovative, transformative and effective Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) strategies at the DUT. The projects in the unit include:

Academic Induction and Mentoring Programme

Dr Grant Talmage (above) and Mr Peter Kamala (below)present their integrated projects during the 2009 Academic Induction 
Sharing Afternoon

The Academic Staff Induction Programme is part of a suite of Induction Programmes for newly appointed staff at the DUT. Phase 1 (Institutional Orientation) and Phase 2 (Orientation to Higher Education) of the Induction Programme are coordinated by the Human Resource Department. These programmes are for all newly appointed academic and non-academic staff. CELT coordinates Phase 3 (Induction to Higher Education Practices) of the programme for academic staff. This Academic Staff Induction programme serves to introduce academic staff to key aspects of learning, teaching and assessment policies, approaches and practices in higher education, in general and more specifically to DUT.

The academic induction programme is premised on the following principles:

  • Providing a safe space for staff to share their experiences and reflect on their practice. Carolyn Ellis says that “perhaps telling our stories may encourage others to speak their silences as well” (Ellis, 1997). The programme provides opportunities for staff to develop their own creative energies.
  • “How do I improve my practice” (Whitehead, 2009). The key theme that is embedded within this programme is the critical reflection on practice and asking questions of the kind “how do I improve what I do?”
  • “Best Practice: refusal to be satisfied with what I did last semester” (Unknown), which is linked to 2 above.

The programme comprises of a 5 day block workshop held preferably during the student registration period in January of semester one. This is followed by weekly/fortnightly workshops. Further support can be provided via the online Induction space. The programme is repeated in semester two.

The dynamic nature of the higher education landscape places huge demands on academic staff to be experts in learning, teaching and assessment, research and external engagement. Needless to say, the demands of the rapidly changing higher education environment pose major challenges for new academics. Academic staff enrolled for the Induction Programme are advised to seek a mentor, someone who can guide and support them in acclimatising to their workplace as well as assist with their professional development plan. Support for mentors and mentees is also provided by CELT.

Contact: Nalini Chitanand
031373 2277
nalinic@dut.ac.za

Representation of CELT in Faculties

Faculty Academic Development Officers will be based in faculties and report to Executive Deans but will also be answerable to the Director (CELT) for purposes of institutional monitoring and co-ordination. Faculty Academic Development Officers will fulfil the following roles within Faculties:

  • Liaise with Faculty Management Structures and attend Faculty Board meetings.
  • Identify AD needs in Faculties and Departments.
  • Communicate AD needs to the LTA Unit Co-ordinator.
  • Facilitate the provision of AD interventions where appropriate.
  • Facilitate collaboration between the central units of CELT and faculty management.

Contact: Nalini Chitanand
031-373 2277
nalinic@dut.ac.za

Staff Development Workshops

The LTA unit offers a series of Learning, Teaching and Assessment workshops that are aimed at engaging staff in conversations around their classroom learning, teaching and assessment practices with a view to enhancing and/or transforming these practices. There are two kinds of workshops depending on the amount of further support that is required by staff. The shorter workshops consist of one 2 hour session on a relevant LTA topic, for example, roles of the lecturer, exploring different teaching methods and their underpinning philosophy, designing assessment rubrics, researching your practice etc. Other workshops consist of a series of two hour sessions that are aimed at responding to the specific needs of lecturers in a particular faculty or department. CELT also hosts Staff Seminars on topics related to the scholarship of teaching and learning in post secondary education.

Contact: Thengani Ngwenya & Nalini Chitanand
031 373 2277
nalinic@dut.ac.za

Transformative Education/al Studies (TES)

Project Leader: Liz Harrison
Project Co-Investigators: Professor Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Walter Sisulu University / Dr Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan, University of KwaZuluNatal.
Project Collaborators: Durban University of Technology: Professor Sibu Moyo, Dr Liz Harrison and Ms Delysia Timm / University of KwaZulu-Natal: Professor Lebo Moletsane and Dr Daisy Pillay / Walter Sisulu University: Professor Thelmah Maluleke and Dr John Senior.
DUT Project team: Mesdames Shubnam Rambharos, Nalini Chitanand, and Sibongile Madi

Project Aims and Objectives

This National Research Foundation of South African funded project aims at initiating, supporting and disseminating critical reflective self-study research that explores diverse educational problems with the aim of promoting transformative educational practice in HEIs, with the threefold effect of …
Self-study for transformative personal and professional educational development is intrinsically multidisciplinary and sometimes even holistic and leads to a proper understanding of and the application of learning and learner-centred education through integration at many levels of educational practice. Such an education prepares learners most effectively for the working world which is why such a project is ideally suited to a University of Technology.The SeStuTHE project aims at developing critical reflective personal and professional practice at DUT through scholarly self study. It is intended that this engagement will have the three fold effect of:

  • raising the quality of learning, teaching and assessment in higher education by transforming educational practice, and thus impacting positively on the undergraduate and postgraduate level throughput.
  • locating curricula culturally so that learners can learn more easily and effectively and so that they are responsive to social and individual needs, which will also have a positive effect on the undergraduate and postgraduate level throughput.
  • and simultaneously increasing the number of masters and doctoral qualifications and peer-reviewed and accredited publications among HEI educators to meet the minimum requirements for educator qualifications and academic performance within Higher Education in a uniquely Southern African 'voice'.
  • while making an original and significant contribution to the research area of the scholarship of learning and teaching by researching and publishing on the process and results of the Transformative Education/al Studies project.

Project Description

In this project, educators/postgraduate students in Higher Education will reflect critically on their learning, teaching, assessment, curriculum and/or educational professional practice in a variety of ways with the multiple benefits of improving the quality of their practice, earning the award of a senior degree and earning research outputs in the form of publications. This will simultaneously impact positively on the quality and rate of under- and post-graduate throughput and research outputs. This project will bring together a multi-institutional, multidisciplinary group of experienced and novice Higher Education educators interested in researching and making a significant contribution to transformation of education/al practice in Higher Education Institutions in South(ern) Africa. Transformation will occur at the site of practice in real time with applied interventions.

TES@DUT meeting times:
Mondays: 13.00-15.00
Thursdays: 13.00-15.00
Fridays: 12.00-16.00
Venue:
CELT, Mariam Bee, ML Sultan Campus

Contact:
031 373 2478

Ms Diane Hill (5th from
right, Mohawk scholar - and author of the notion of ‘Ethnostress’ - from
Ontario, Canada) with CELT & DUT staff during a workshop facilitated by
Ms Hill on “Learning as Transformation: An Indigenous Knowledge
Perspective on Learning and Teaching”.
Professor Peter Taylor
(Professor of Transformative Education, Curtin University of Technology,
Perth, Australia) delivers the College Lecture on “Socially Responsible
Teaching in Higher Education: New Paradigms and Possibilities”.

Unit Members

Academic Development Officers

Ms Nalini Chitanand : Academic Induction & Mentoring Programme
Staff Development Workshops & Seminars
CELT Faculty Representative
Dr Rosaline Govender Faculty-based Academic Development Practitioner: Accounting & Informatics
Mr Revelation Molokwane Faculty-based Academic Development Practitioner: Management Sciences