Vaal University of Technology evaluation
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Vaal University of Technology evaluation

Students busy with the evaluation

Wendy Ntshakala

The Centre for Academic Development (CAD) at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) conducted students’ evaluation of teaching pilot surveys from 19 April to 30 June. The pilot focussed on the Faculties of Management Sciences and the Applied and Computer Sciences.

The purpose of the evaluation is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning at VUT. Annually, questions are sent to students about their experiences related to teaching during lectures. In this way, VUT is able to identify strengths and weakness of teaching and assessment practices, and find ways to improve teaching and learning in VUT, says Mr Bruce Matee, who is the manager of the Evaluation Unit in the CAD.  The feedback received from students is then used to promote academic staff development practices that enhance Lecturers’ teaching performance, which also facilitates student success within VUT.

The evaluation was open to students registered for the 2019 academic year exclusively. Students had to respond to questions that relate to teaching in the Lecturer halls, as well as assessment practices used in the modules. Students were given a chance to comment about their lecturer’s teaching performance. Students accessed evaluation questionnaires through VUTELA (Blackboard).

VUT Department of Health Sciences held a research seminar for students who are part of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programme
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Research should disrupt existing knowledge

Pictured from left front row: Mrs Christa van Wyk (Health Sciences), Dr Christa Grobler (HOD: Health Sciences), Professor Kuzvinetsa Dvzimbo (DVC: Academic and Research)

From left back:  Dr Abdul Egal (Moderator), Dr Michael Hewetson (moderator)

VUT Department of Health Sciences held a research seminar for students who are part of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programme and those who are doing their BTech degree.  The seminar took place at the Vanderbijlpark Campus on 10 December.

Students presented posters as part of their research work in front of a panel of academic evaluators and peers. Students won cash prizes for their best poster presentations.  Winners of the best posters in different categories are listed as follows:

WORK INTEGRATED LEARNING (WIL) Best Poster Award Winners
1st Place – Molete M.T.M
2nd Place – Motsienyana N.E.
3rd Place – Masilela M.B.

BTECH Award Winners
Best Oral Presentation – Mafalo K.P
Best Poster – Setjeo I.R
Welcoming the delegates to the seminar, HOD Department of Health Sciences, Dr Christa Grobler said that it was a very special day for the Health Sciences Department. “For the first time ever VUT received HPCSA accreditation to offer a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Point seminar. Staff, students and industry partners will be able to obtain five credit points at the end of this seminar,”  She thanked Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic and Research, Professor Kuzvinetsa Dzvimbo and the moderator Dr Michael Hewetson as well as other evaluators for their continued support.

Advising students on the purpose and importance of doing postgraduate degree, Prof Dzvimbo said that it needed commitment and it meant one was entering a world of academia to become a scholar. “Doing a postgraduate degree means you are beginning to focus on a very narrow field in your area.  You go deeper into that subject,” he said.

He told students that this is “an opportunity to innovate and go deeper into your passion”.  He further urged students to be passionate in all they do, because without passion one cannot succeed. “Make sure you excel in what you do.”

He said postgraduate studies provide an opportunity to dream about the impossible and find solutions to the problems. Stating that it takes hard work to be a good researcher.  It means spending most of your time in the laboratory and library.  Professor Dzvimbo expressed his envy for the students of today, because they have easy access to advanced technology which makes it possible for them to connect and interact with peers across the globe.   He told students to attend conferences, share knowledge and harvest expertise from peers around the world.  He assured the students that nothing can stop them from tuning their poster into a research paper and later to have it published as a chapter in a book.  “We need people who are thirsty for new knowledge.  You must be able to disrupt existing knowledge with your work, development of new knowledge is only possible through postgraduate studies. Invent new things that change and impact people’s lives,” he said.

Senior lecturer and researcher at the University of Pretoria, Dr Michael Hewetson presented his model research study on stomach ulcers in horses, entitled: ‘Sucrose was my passport’. In his study he developed a cheaper way to test stomach ulcers in horses compared to the existing gastro camera which is costly.

Dr Hewetson is a veterinary physician and approved VUT moderator in Health Sciences.  He said research enables one to spread your wings globally and meet wonderful people, adding that it provides a possibility of opportunities.

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