Three interns from the University Teaching and Learning Office (UTLO) recently won the Best Presentation Award at the 4th Academic Monitoring and Support (AMS) Research Colloquium hosted by the College of Humanities and UTLO.
Mr Abdulbaqi Badru, Mrs Barbara Mutula-Kabange and Ms Laurien Freeman’s paper was entitled “Early Career Academics: Developmental Lecturers’ Perspectives of Moodle at the University of KwaZulu-Natal”.
Their study formed part of an ongoing research project on Early Career Academics by UTLO. The rationale behind the study stemmed from the mandatory phasing in of Moodle from 2016 to 2018. The study sought to explore the factors that influences emerging academics decision to use Moodle in their teaching. The Research Interns used a mixed methods research approach, and a purposive sampling method to select potential respondents across all Colleges, using electronic surveys.
The findings showed that Moodle is an effective tool in supporting teaching and learning initiatives; however, there is a need for adequate provision and even distribution of training support across all campuses.
The interns expressed excitement about winning the Best Presentation Award, an accolade which is usually bestowed on academics. They were grateful for the feedback received as well as the votes, which were important to them, as it has encouraged them to continue to explore technology enhanced learning solutions.
The interns said that their internship at UTLO assisted them in their research through the support received from the Teaching and Learning Director, Rubby Dhunpath who initiated the Internship Programme in 2010. They were also grateful for the support received from UTLO Researcher Ms Reshma Subbaye, Ms Christinah Mulaudzi and other staff members.
‘The internship has been very insightful in that it has helped me grow as a researcher and has exposed me to various opportunities within the teaching and learning space,’ said Freeman.
With this accolade, the trio will continue with their studies in their respective fields. Following their internships, Mutula-Kabange will pursue a PhD in Higher Education, Freeman intends pursuing a teaching career while Badru will be focusing on a profession in Information Technology.