College of Economic & Management Sciences

Unisa pilots proctoring tools for 2nd online exam

With an anticipated 1,7 million exams to be submitted and marked online, Unisa will be piloting some proctoring tools to authenticate and invigilate certain of the exit modules, Prof Veronica McKay, Acting Vice-Principal of Teaching, Learning, Community Engagement and Student Support (TLCESS), announced at the opening of the Teaching and Learning Festival 2020.

The tools include a cellphone application. Today is also the first day of Unisa’s October/November examinations. It is the second time the examinations will be offered online.

The VP commended the academics for their role in rescuing teaching and learning and said it had required enormous flexibility to save the 2020 academic year. Emerging a little battered and bruised, the university still managed to mark some 1,3 million examinations during its first online examinations in May/June.

"In my many decades at Unisa, I have never seen academics rise to the occasion as you all responded to teaching and learning during the pandemic," she affirmed.

McKay reminded attendees that 5 October is also World Teachers’ Day which is celebrated across the world as a part of UNESCO’s programme, with the 2020 theme highlighting Teachers, leading during crisis, reimagining the future. "World Teachers’ Day celebrates the teaching profession, including us as university teachers, and draws attention to all who strive to attain the global education target of 'leaving no one behind'," she concluded.

It’s kick-off time for Unisa’s first online T&L festival

The launch of a T&L Hall of Fame and an opportunity for students to air their views on online learning are some of the new introductions to the 10th Teaching and Learning (T&L) Festival that began this morning. It is the first online version since the festival was started on 1 September 2011 by Prof Mandla Makhanya, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Unisa.

The theme, "Digitally Yours", is very topical in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and much more so as the world has needed to adjust to the constraints and demands made by Covid-19, McKay said during her welcome address.

This year the festival is hosted by the Colleges of Accounting Science, Economics and Management Sciences, and the School of Business Leadership.

According to McKay, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on education systems throughout the world. As education institutions around the world shut down, close on 2 billion school-going children and an estimated 200 million university students were directly affected. The virus resulted in extensive losses to teaching and learning time. "In the South African context, this exacerbated the already existing disparities in education in our inequitable society," she said.

* By Ilze Crous, Communication and Marketing Specialist, College of Economic and Management Sciences

Publish date: 2020/10/05

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