Watch this video to find out how the Quality Enhancement Office is transforming the internal programme evaluation process to be more relevant and accessible in an online environment.
For more information, send an email to Mariette.
While higher education is expanding and diversifying, society is becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of academic programmes. The NWU is responding accordingly.
Johan Erasmus says we should critically think about how we plan, design and conduct teaching and learning experiences for students. In the end, they should become accountable citizens who contribute towards our country’s economic growth.
let’s put on our reflexive hats
Dr Mariëtte Fourie, quality manager for academic programmes at the NWU’s Quality Enhancement Office, says higher education institutions must be accountable to their stakeholders especially when it comes to quality.
“More and more, higher education institutions are becoming major drivers of economic competitiveness in an increasingly knowledge-driven global economy. The quality of teaching and learning, and consequently the quality of qualifications at any higher education institution, is an integral part of its core business.”
She explains that overall quality in higher education is essential to equip students with the knowledge, skills and competencies they need to be successful after graduation. This is why it is important to rethink the quality of teaching and learning, particularly remote teaching and learning.
Put on your reflexive practitioner’s hat
“Reflexivity implies looking systematically at how you produce and structure knowledge. It is about understanding, questioning and investigating your own practices, and taking these seriously.
“In particular, we must think about quality teaching in the context of the main discussions and changes taking place in the higher education environment.”
The Quality Enhancement Office will be hosting a three-day virtual writing retreat between 25 and 29 October to enable academic and professional staff to adopt a reflexive approach when they participate in the various evaluations at the university.
This approach applies to all the NWU’s evaluations, including internal and external programme evaluations, self-evaluations, soft reviews and peer evaluations, the Covid-19 assessment review and the Council on Higher Education’s institutional audit.
More about the retreat
The retreat is titled “Towards a scholarship of quality enhancement: becoming a reflexive practitioner”, and will follow the NWU’s Scholarship of Quality Enhancement approach for both academics and support departments.
Various professionals in the field of quality in higher education, experts in teaching and learning and reflective practitioners will conduct presentations and work sessions. Topics will include how to effectively reflect on practices, how to write reflective narratives and how to enhance reflexive writing skills.
This professional development opportunity is being funded by the University Capacity Development Grant.
What is the Scholarship of Quality Enhancement approach?
Dr Mariëtte Fourie says the Scholarship of Quality Enhancement (SQE) approach seeks to find an appropriate balance between quality development and accountability.
“It requires NWU staff to reflect critically on and account for what we as a university do to enhance the likelihood of student success and on our ability to provide our students with excellent learning experiences.”
She adds that this approach is about more than compliance and minimum standards – it is about improving the performance of students and ultimately ensuring quality teaching and learning in a changing environment.
According to Johan Erasmus, quality project coordinator in the Quality Enhancement Office, we should critically think about how we plan, design and conduct teaching and learning experiences for students.
“We must do this to encourage students to be more motivated and engaged in their studies. In the end, they should not only achieve academic success, but also become engaged, accountable citizens who will enhance workplace practices and contribute towards economic growth within South Africa.”
Dr Mariëtte Fourie invites academic and professional staff to attend a virtual writing retreat from 25-29 October. This will enable them to adopt a reflexive approach when they participate in the various evaluations at the university.