College of Education

Research

The Office of Graduate Studies and Research (OGS&R) is the nodal point for research and postgraduate studies at the College level. Our success lies in our collective efforts to support research and invest in people and innovative ideas. These include attracting top researchers through our collaborative approach; taking a focused approach to human capital development; driving a transformation agenda that focuses on transforming the cohort of researchers who are research active. The Office is mandated to coordinate, monitor and provide an enabling environment to the researchers in the College, ensure sustainable development of researchers, promote cutting edge innovative, impact-oriented research and centres of excellence to meet the changing needs of society, foster and manage graduate training, provide interventions and actions to improve M&D throughput and the capacity for quality postgraduate supervision.

Testimony to the strength and quality of research, the College prides itself with 15 NRF rated researchers who hold B and C rating. It is the home to three Research Chairs (UNESCO chair on Open Distance Learning, UNESCO co-Chair on Early Childhood Development and Commonwealth of Learning Chair on OEP/OER) as well as three Research Professors.  To ratify internationalization, the College houses more than 10 Postdoctoral Fellows per year and currently has more than 40 Academic Associates sourced to enhance high quality research output, to sustain a supportive research culture that encourages critical discourse and scholarly debate and to strengthen research capacity. Over and above these top researchers, the College is the custodian of several flagship projects investigating critical issues in school and teacher education. Some of these projects are solution-oriented as they focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and COVID-19 pandemic. With Open Distance Learning (ODL) advocacy, its footprints are visible through research. The ODL is driven through Institute for Open and Distance Learning, researchers who are located in 10 departments as well as postgraduate offerings. The hard work of our researchers is recognised and rewarded through several awards, prizes and membership to notable research academies.

About us

The staff members below are responsible for driving the agenda of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research:

Prof VG Gasa
Head: Office of Graduate Studies and Research
Dr LM Luvalo
M&D Coordinator (Acting)
Prof AT Motlhabane
Chairperson: CEDU Research Ethics Committee
 
Mrs Pauline Maapola
Research Coordinator
Ms Liketso Nthekenyane
Secretary
 

NRF Rated Researchers

The NRF rating system is a key driver in the NRF’s aim to build a globally competitive science system in South Africa. It is a valuable tool for benchmarking the quality of our researchers against the best in the world.  NRF ratings are allocated based on a researcher’s recent research outputs and impact as perceived by international peer reviewers. The rating system encourages researchers to publish high quality outputs in high impact journals/outlets. Rated researchers as supervisors will impart cutting-edge skills to the next generation of researchers.

Name Department Rating period
1. Prof Norma Romm (B2) ABET, Youth & Development 2021-2026
2. Prof Hasina Ebrahim (C1) Early Childhood Education 2020-2025
3. Prof Gerda Ferreira (C3) Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2017-2022
4. Prof Mpine Makoe (C3) Institute for Open and Distance Learning 2019-2024
5. Prof Mishack Gumbo (C1) Science & Technology 2021-2026
6. Prof Johannes Seroto (C2) Educational Foundations 2021-2026
7. Prof Noor Davids (C2) Educational Foundations 2021-2026
8. Prof Vuyisile Msila (C2) Ed. Leadership & Management 2021-2026
9. Prof Phillip Higgs (C2) Educational Foundations 2016-2021
10. Prof Annah Hugo (C3) Language Education Arts & Culture 2016-2021
11. Prof Janet McIntyre C1 ABET, Youth & Development 2021-2026
12 Prof Samuel Oyoo (C3) Science & Technology 2017-2022
13. Prof Eleanor Lemmer (C3) Educational Foundations 2016-2021
14. Prof Trudy Steyn (C2) Ed. Leadership & Management 2016-2021

Research Chairs

Research Chairs are world-class academics whose positions are supported by targeted funding from a funding agency. Research Chair positions are used to attract and retain the best research talent from around the world.

Name Chair Contact
Prof Moeketsi Letseka UNESCO chair on Open Distance Learning Letsem@unisa.ac.za
Prof Hasina Ebrahim UNESCO co-Chair on Early Childhood Development ebrahhb@unisa.ac.za
Prof Mpine Makoe Commonwealth of Learning Chair on OEP/OER Qakisme@unisa.ac.za

Research Professors

The appointment of Research Professors (RPs) is to enhance UNISA’s academic profile and prestige and to support and strengthen emerging areas of research excellence at UNISA, thus enabling the institution to respond to South Africa’s development needs.

Name Department Contact
Prof Norma Romm ABET, Youth & Development rommnra@unisa.ac.za
Prof Hasina Ebrahim Early Childhood Education ebrahhb@unisa.ac.za
Prof Mpine Makoe Institute for Open and Distance Learning Qakisme@unisa.ac.za

Academic Associates

Academic Associates (Professor Extraordinarius, Research Fellow and Honorary Professor) are recruited to volunteer their experience, expertise and knowledge for the benefit of the university. They contribute to the sustained growth of academic scholarship among employees and students at UNISA and enhance UNISA’s academic profile and prestige.

Name Department Country
1. Prof Phillip Higgs Educational Foundations South Africa
2. Prof Catherine Odora-Hoppers Educational Foundations Uganda
3. Prof Salome Schulze Psychology of Education South Africa
4. Prof Norma Nel Psychology of Education South Africa
5. Prof Marike de Witt Psychology of Education South Africa
6. Prof Ansie Lessing Psychology of Education South Africa
7. Prof Linda Liebenberg Psychology of Education Canada
8. Prof Garfield Bester Psychology of Education South Africa
9. Prof Gert van der Westhuizen Curriculum & Instructional Studies South Africa
10. Prof Ansie Minnaar Curriculum & Instructional Studies South Africa
11. Prof Marija Jakovljevic Curriculum & Instructional Studies Russia/SA
12. Prof Samuel Oyoo Science & Technology Education Nigeria
13. Prof Hannah Gerber Language Education Arts & Culture UiSA
14. Prof Anthony Onwuegbuzie Language Education Arts & Culture United Kingdom
15. Prof Annah Hugo Language Education Arts & Culture South Africa
16. Prof Cheryl Poth Language Education Arts & Culture Canada
17. Prof Charles C Mann Language Education Arts & Culture United Kingdom
18. Prof Janet McIntyre ABET & Youth Development Australia
19. Prof Veronica McKay ABET & Youth Development South Africa
20. Prof N Grootboom Ed. Leadership & Management South Africa
21. Prof Christopher Knaus Ed. Leadership & Management USA
22. Prof Bekisizwe Ndimande Inclusive Education USA
23. Prof Delores Mullings Inclusive Education Canada
24. Prof Michael Thomas Curriculum & Instructional Studies United Kingdom
25. Prof Bernadette Geduld Curriculum & Instructional Studies South Africa
26. Prof Bella Ezumah Curriculum & Instructional Studies USA
27. Prof Norman Rudhumbu Curriculum & Instructional Studies Zimbabwe
28. Prof Peter Neema-Abooki Educational Foundations Uganda
29. Prof Kathleen Heugh Language Education Arts & Culture Australia
30. Prof Atsumbe Numgwo Science & Technology Education Nigeria
31. Prof Antoinette James Science & Technology Education South Africa
32. Prof Siva Sivasubramaniam Language Education Arts & Culture South Africa
33. Dr Oliver Mutanga Institute for Open and Distance Learning United Kingdom
34. Prof Lindelani Mnguni Science & Technology Education South Africa
35. Dr Gatsha Godson Institute for Open and Distance Learning Botswana
36. Dr Francis A Akena ABET & Youth Development Uganda
37. Dr. Marovah Tendayi Institute for Open and Distance Learning Zimbabwe
38. Dr Shotte Robertha Ed. Leadership & Management United Kingdom
39. Prof Monaheng Sefotho Psychology of Education South Africa
40. Prof Eldridge van Niekerk Ed. Leadership & Management South Africa
41. Prof Trudy Steyn Ed. Leadership & Management  
42. Prof Eleanor Lemmer Educational Foundations  

Postdoctoral Fellows

A Postdoctoral Fellow is a person professionally conducting research after the completion of his/her Doctoral degree. Postdoctoral Fellows are supported in preparation for an academic career at a university or a Research Institute.

Name Department Contact
1. Dr AG Dosunmu ABET & Youth Development akinolageorge@gmail.com
2. Dr CT Olugbara Educational Foundations (UNESCO Chair on ODL) kemiolugbara@gmail.com
3. Dr C Makamure Science & Technology Ed makamburec@gmail.com
4. Dr J Hungwe Educational Foundations josephhungwe@gmail.com
5. Dr TR Mkhize Educational Foundations mkhizet@hotmail.com
6. Dr S Akabor Inclusive Education shakira.akabor@gmail.com
7. Dr MJ Mabalane Science & Technology Ed onalennalebone@webmail.co.za
8. Dr MO Akintolu Educational Foundations (UNESCO Chair on ODL) alik.ilunga@gmail.com
9. Dr MK Seeletso Educational Foundations (UNESCO Chair on ODL) mmaba.see@gmail.com
10. Dr B Manyonga Institute for Open and Distance Learning manyongab@gmail.com
11. Dr F Simui Institute for Open and Distance Learning
(C/w Chair on OER)
simuifrancis@gmail.com
12. Dr V Uwizeyimana Institute for Open and Distance Learning
(C/w Chair on OER)
vuwizeyimana@outlook.com
13. Dr GT Cheva Mathematics Education gtcheva@gmail.com
14. Dr MV Rabapane ABET & Youth Development rabapanemv@gmail.com
15. Dr CN Manase Institute for Open and Distance Learning chikonzo.ndakaitei@gmail.com

Expert Consultants

Expert consultants offer support to Unisa researchers through mentorship, peer review and the assessment of research endeavours and research capacity building.  The use of expert consultants, who are not only recognized as established researchers, but who are also experienced in the review, peer review and assessment of research, contributes positively to the implementation of the Research & Innovation Strategy.

Name Contact
Prof Anbanithi Muthukrishna MUTHUKRI@ukzn.ac.za
Prof Felix Maringe Felix.Maringe@wits.ac.za
Prof Gert van der Westhuizen gertvdw@uj.ac.za

Achievements

Research awards and prizes make an important contribution towards recognizing excellence in research and providing an enabling environment at Unisa.

  • Women in Research Awards

The Women’s Prize for Excellence in Research is an annual prize that is given to active and deserving UNISA women researchers. The prize is aimed at increasing and strengthening the participation of women in research at UNISA thereby responding to the Research and Innovation Strategic goal. The categories are Leadership Prize for Excellence in Research, Emerging Researcher Prize for Excellence in Research and Resilience in Research Award.

  • Women in Research: Leadership Prize for Excellence in Research

The Leadership in Research Award is awarded to researchers who, in the last five years, have demonstrated their outstanding leadership in research by publishing widely, contributing to the advancement of research within their field, participating in the development of scholars through mentorship, providing supervision to a substantial number of postgraduate students, receiving recognition and awards in their field as achievers and participating in community and/or industry engagement.

Name Department Year
Prof Hasina Ebrahim Early Childhood Education 2020
Prof Hasina Ebrahim Early Childhood Education 2017
Prof Brigitte Smit Educational Leadership and Management 2015
Prof Vivian Manyike Language Education, Arts and Culture 2015
Prof S Schoeman Curriculum and Instructional Studies 2014
Prof Susan Coetzee Educational Leadership and Management 2013
Prof Corinne Meier Early Childhood Education 2012
Prof Trudie Steyn Educational Leadership and Management 2012
Prof Eleanor Lemmer Educational Foundations 2011
  • Women in Research: Emerging Researcher Prize for Excellence in Research

    The Emerging Researcher Award is aimed at encouraging new or aspiring PhD candidates to become established researchers. To be considered for this award, a candidate who is permanently employed by Unisa must show a promising track record in research.
Name Department Year
Dr Shila Mphahlele Early Childhood Education 2020
Dr Itumeleng Setlhodi ABET and Youth Development 2019
Dr Dikeledi Mahlo Inclusive Education 2015
Dr Mpho Dichaba ABET and Youth Development 2013
Dr Matshidiso Taole Curriculum and Instructional Studies 2013
Dr Tintswalo Manyike Language Education, Arts and Culture 2012
Dr Elizabeth du Plessis Curriculum and Instructional Studies 2012
Dr Velisiwe Gasa Educational Foundations 2012
  • Women in Research: Resilience in Research Award

    The Resilience in Research Award is awarded to a researcher who, in the last three years, has succeeded in attaining a doctoral qualification in spite of extraordinary personal circumstances that would inhibit possible completion. The award celebrates the values of perseverance, commitment and singular dedication in the pursuit of academic goals. This award was discontinued from 2017.
Name Department Year
Dr Lineo Johnson ABET and Youth Development 2016
  • The Principal’s Prize for Research Excellence

    The Prize is targeted at young and developing researchers (not older than 35 years) or groups who have achieved academic research excellence of the highest quality as published in the preceding two years. The research cohort comprises of scholars who are generally in the minority throughout the national higher education system. Traditionally awarded bi-annually, it alternates with the Principal’s Prize for Excellence in Research.
Name Department Year
Prof Lindelani Mnguni   2018
Dr Elvis Nkoana   2020
  • Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in Research

    The Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in Research is regarded as the most prestigious prize for research and innovation at Unisa. Awarded every second year and alternating with the Principal’s Prize, it rewards high-quality published research by permanent Unisa researchers and research groups.
Name Department Year
Prof Noor Davids   2019
Prof Norma Romm

 

2015

Prof Vuyisile Msila   2013
Prof Michael van Wyk   2013
  • The Half Million and Million Rand Club Awards

    The Half Million and Million Rand Club Awards are a new award introduced in 2019 to recognise researchers who have obtained competitive external funding for their research projects.

  • Half Million Rand Club

    The Half Million Rand Club Award recognises a researcher who has received external funding for his/her research from R500 000.00 to R1million.
Name Department Year
Prof Noor Davids Educational Foundations 2019
  • Million Rand Cub

    The Million Rand Club Award recognises a researcher who has received external funding for his/her research of R1million or more.
Name Department Year
Prof Sello Mokoena Educational Leadership and Management 2019
  • Prestigious External Research Awards and Memberships

    External awards and memberships serve to provide credible affirmation of excellence. Hence, researchers who have been recognized by external bodies are eligible for awards at Unisa.
Name Recognition Year
Prof Mishack Gumbo Editor in Chief: Action Learning and Action Research Journal (ALARj) 2019
Prof Veronica McKay Honorary Fellow, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCA) Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) 2017
Prof Zingiswa Jojo African Mathematics Union (AMU) Commission for African Women in Mathematics membership 2017
Prof Brigitte Smit Education Association of South Africa (EASA) Research Medal 2015
Prof Nareadi Phasha Distinguished Researcher in Science, Women in Science Awards 2013
Prof Trudie Steyn Education Association of South Africa (EASA) Medal of Honour 2013
Prof Eleanor Lemmer Education Association of South Africa (EASA) Research Medal 2012

Capacity building and training

The office of Graduate Studies and Research hosts several capacity building and training workshops for the researchers in the College. The workshops that were mainly face to face are now held online due to COVID-19 pandemic. Since the adoption of a new normal, all research activities are conducted fully online. This has increased the number of online workshops that are being attended in big numbers. A series of article writing workshops, NRF rating information session, grant research proposal and postgraduate supervision are organised throughout the year. Furthermore, the researchers are guided by the Consultants when applying for internal and external grants. This has increased the number of researchers obtaining different grants.

  • External grant holders
Beneficiary Funder
Prof SP Mokoena ETDP SETA
Prof HB Ebrahim DHET
Prof M Letseka UNESCO Chair on ODL
Prof ME Makoe Council for Higher Education
Prof NC Phatudi Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership & Gov.
Prof V Scherman CSUR: NRF
Dr MM Maja NRF Thuthuka
Prof LE Mnguni/VG Gasa SASUF Research Fund
Prof ME Makoe Commonwealth Chair on OER
Prof ZMM Jojo IMU-CDC: SAWMSA
Prof MM van Wyk CPRR: NRF
Prof JN Mampane NIHSS
Prof FD Mahlo DHET
Dr S Meeran NRF Thuthuka
Prof MM van Wyk THEMIS, UK
  • Internal grant holders

Masters and Doctoral Support Programme (MDSP)

Name Department Duration
Mr H Van der Walt Institute for Open and Distance Learning 2021-2022
Mr N Zongozzi Institute for Open and Distance Learning 2021-2022
Ms S Sefora Institute for Open and Distance Learning 2021-2022
Mrs B Magadlela ABET & Youth Development 2020-2023
Mrs PS Makhura Early Childhood Education 2020 -2023
Mrs ZN Malimela Early Childhood Education 2020 -2023
Mrs MM Manyaka Early Childhood Education 2020 -2023
Mrs C Ngetu Early Childhood Education 2019 –2022
Mrs BA Feldman Psychology of Education 2019 –2021
Ms P Sibisi Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2018-2020
Ms MR Mabusela Educational Leadership & Management 2018–2020
Mr EC Ndlovu Science & Technology Education 2018 –2020
Mrs P Moshaba Early Childhood Education 2018 -2020
Ms K Young Institute for Open and Distance Learning 2017-2020
Ms TAL Phala Early Childhood Education 2017-2019
Ms GK Gomba ABET & Youth Development 2017-2019
Mr Rapeta Educational Leadership & Management 2017-2019
Mr F Mukhati Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2016-2018
Mrs M Phajane Early Childhood Education 2016-2018
Mrs SM Danke Educational Foundations 2015-2017
Mrs LR Johnson ABET & Youth Development 2014 - 2016
Mrs AR Molotsi Science & Technology Education 2012-2014
Academic Qualifications Improvement Programme (AQIP)
Name Department Duration
Mr F Mukhati Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2021-2023
Mr MZ Mncanca Early Childhood Education 2020-2023
Mrs MP Modise Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2020-2023
Mr ND Ndwandwe Educational Foundations 2019-2021
Mr EK Prins Educational Leadership & Management 2016-2019
Ms F Gani Language Education, Arts & Culture 2015-2018
Ms TI Mashau Inclusive Education 2015-2018
Ms X Tawana ABET & Youth Development 2015-2018
Ms K Naidu Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2015-2017
Mrs JM Motitswe Inclusive Education 2015-2017
Ms A Moll Psychology of Education 2014-2016
Mr LM Luvalo Educational Foundations 2014-2016
Ms N Madikizela-Madiya Educational Foundations 2014-2016
Mr PG Tshephe ABET & Youth Development 2014-2017
Open Distance Learning Research Support Programme (ODL-RSP)
Name Department Duration
Prof SA Ngubane Institute for Open and Distance Learning 2021-2023
Prof MN Davids Educational Foundations 2019-2021
Prof MT Gumbo Science & Technology Education 2018-2020
Prof MZ Ramorola Science & Technology Education 2017-2019
Prof J Nyoni Educational Leadership & Management 2016-2018
Prof G van den Berg Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2016-2018
Women in Research (WiR)
Name Department Duration
Dr S Meeran Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2021-2023
Dr AR Molotsi Science & Technology Education 2021-2023
Dr II Setlhodi ABET & Youth Development 2021-2023
Dr MM Masilo Mathematics Education 2020-2022
Dr PK Mudau Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2020-2022
Dr ST Mkhwanazi Educational Leadership & Management 2019- 2021
Dr LR Johnson ABET & Youth Development 2018-2020
Dr MM Maja Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2018-2020
Dr N Madikizela-Madiya Educational Foundations 2018-2020
Dr MG Clasquin-Johnson Inclusive Education 2016-2019
Prof MMZ Jojo Mathematics Education 2016-2018
Prof V Scherman Psychology of Education 2016-2018
Prof MM Dichaba ABET & Youth Development 2016-2018
Prof L Goosen Science & Technology Education 2014-2017
Prof MD Magano Psychology of Education 2014-2016
Dr C Haasbroek Psychology of Education 2014-2016

Vision Keeper (VK)

Name Department Duration
Dr JN Mampane ABET & Youth Development 2020-2021
Dr MF Machaba Mathematics Education 2017-2019
Dr MJ Taole Curriculum & Instructional Studies 2016-2017
Dr AV Mudau Science & Technology Education 2016-2017
Dr SA Ngubane Institute for Open and Distance Learning 2015-2017
Dr HO Mokiwa Science & Technology Education 2015-2017
Dr MJ Sethusha Early Childhood Education 2014-2016
Dr RJ Tabane Psychology of Education 2014-2016
Dr AT Motlhabane Science & Technology Education 2014-2015
Dr VG Gasa Inclusive Education 2012-2013

Strategic partnerships

  • JET Education Service, Johannesburg (MoU)
  • Open University of Mauritius, Mauritius (MoU)
  • Liverpool John Moores University, UK (MoU)
  • Oldenburg University, Germany (MoU)
  • University of Helsinki, Finland (MoU)
  • University of Tampere, Finland (MoU)
  • The Farhangian Teacher Education University (FTEU), Iran (MoU)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • The Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
  • South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE)
  • Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges
  • University of Zimbabwe (UNESCO Chair)
  • University of Botswana UNESCO Chair)
  • Makerere University (UNESCO Chair)
  • University of Zambia (UNESCO Chair)
  • University of Malawi (UNESCO Chair)
  • Athabasca University (UNESCO Chair)

Postgraduate Studies

  • Support for master’s and doctoral studies
    The Office of Graduate Studies and Research organizes discipline-specific research training workshops for Postgraduate students. These workshops are usually held face to face during the first and second term in selected regional offices. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the mode of delivering these workshops changed to fully online. Students are informed of these workshops through their ‘mylife’ email addresses. It is important that new students activate their ‘mylife’ account immediately after registration.
  • Research Focus Areas

  • Postgraduate Bursaries
    Postgraduate students are encouraged to apply for bursaries and grants. For detailed information click here

Research resources

  • Flagship projects
Flagship Description Project Leader Contact  
Flagship 1:

UNESCO Chair on Open Distance Learning (ODL)

 

The UNESCO Chair on ODL seeks to promote an integrated and co-ordinated system of research, research training, production and dissemination of knowledge on ODL at Unisa. The Chair endeavours to be responsive to the needs of South Africans by (a) cultivating and promoting an institutional ethos, scholastic culture and educational experience in an environment that is conducive to intellectual curiosity, a critical attitude and tolerance of diverse views, and (b) undertaking research, knowledge production and dissemination guided by integrity, quality and rigour. The Chair seeks to create a co-ordinated, vibrant, inclusive and sustainable ODL research culture within the framework of the UNITWIN/UNESCO programmes. This shall entail co-supervision of postgraduate (master’s and doctoral) students with ODL practitioner partner institutions, and bilateral and multilateral collaborative research partnerships. Prof M Letseka Letsem@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 2:

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Chair on OER

 

The goals of this chair are to promote OER, to develop capacity in OER and to provide opportunities for research and international collaboration linked with the Commonwealth of Learning strategies and goals. Activities of the Chair have been designed in such a way that information on OER and OEPs will be shared and disseminated as widely as possible. Prof ME Makoe qakisme@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 3:

Project for Inclusive Early Childhood Care and Education (PIECC)

 

 

 

 

This is a multi-sectoral teacher education project that aims to professionalise the sector by developing a standardised framework for the training of ECD practitioners working in Birth to Four.  UNISA is a leading partner with 5 members from the Department of ECE and 2 members from the Department of Inclusive Education in a collaboration with SAIDE, Bridge, Rhodes University and ten other universities and TVET colleges from around the country.

 

Prof HB Ebrahim ebrahhb@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 4:

The dynamics of teaching and learning spaces in the South African schools

 

This project explores the manner in which the South African school spaces enable or constrain the optimal teaching and learning in various school contexts. The project further evaluates the manner in which school spaces may be organised either to change the constraining issues or to enhance the enabling ones for more effective teaching and learning processes in schools. Dr N Madikizela-Madiya madiyn@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 5:

The role of an international partnership in developing academic capacity in open distance learning

The purpose of the project will be to determine how the partnership between UMUC and Unisa influences meaningful teaching and learning and research at Unisa. Although e-learning is regarded as having the potential to improve student learning, the introduction of e-learning in educational institutions is often a complex matter, as lecturers do not always implement it as intended and design considerations may be overlooked. Prof G van den Berg vdberg@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 6:

The physical, technological and social spaces of higher education practice in Sub-Saharan Africa

 

This is a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary and cross-border research project. The project is on a least researched area in higher education research; the dynamics of space for academic practice. There is a dearth of research into higher education spaces from a comparative and philosophical lens. The project seeks to understand the ways in which spaces enable or constrain academic practices, especially in the education field. Dr N Madikizela-Madiya madiyn@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 7:

Effective Student Support for Student Success at the College of Education

The aim of the project is to investigate ways in which effective student support frameworks can be developed in order to leverage student success. UNISA is a mega university that is recognised as the only dedicated distance education provider on the African continent. However, concerns have been raised about the university’s student success rates. Prof M Letseka Letsem@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 8:

Evaluating Ethiopian postgraduate student support services in an Open and Distance Learning institution

 

The aim of this research project is to evaluate the impact of student support services offered to the Ethiopian postgraduate students enrolled at Unisa. This multi-phase research project evaluates the postgraduate student support services offered to the Ethiopian students by the College of Education (CEDU), at the University of South Africa (Unisa). The focus is on student support services related to research initiatives and programmes facilitated by CEDU staff members to postgraduate students in Ethiopia. CEDU postgraduate student support project is part of Unisa’s wide and outreach educational mandate, which emanated from a memorandum of understanding signed in 2008 by the Government of Ethiopia and Unisa. Prof. MT Gumbo gumbomt@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 9:

Teaching Practice Assessment: An ICT (APP) approach in an ODeL context

Teaching Practice (TP) in the ODL context presents challenges due to the distance factor between student and UNISA supervisor/lecturer. At an ODL institution, the mode of delivery is predominantly ‘on line’ while TP assessment, as per DHET policy, must be face-to-face in order to provide guidance and support while the student is in the workplace environment. TP assessment has been identified as a major concern at most Teacher Education institutions (Education Faculties). While E- assessment is increasingly being used in education and teaching, the assessment of the TP module has not followed this pattern.

TP assessment requires the supervisor to observe the student and provide feedback on his/her performance. In this age of digital education and internet ubiquity, an ICT-based assessment programme for TP needs to be explored. Research supports the desirability of an ICT-based TP assessment application which will enhance the quality of Teacher Education not only in an ODL environment but also, the face-to-face institutions.

Prof MN Davids davidmn@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 10:

Promotion of correctional education discourse through research-based methods and personal development

The project is an initiative aimed at promoting correctional education discourse through research-based methods and personal development. The project is targeting Correctional Services officials and inmates to pursue their educational qualifications through Unisa at postgraduate level.  Correctional education, research and personal development is a two-pronged project aimed at increasing the enrolment of correctional officials who wish to enhance personal development in a variety of career pathways in correctional services, specifically those in Development and Care at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). This embraces correctional officials, educationists/adult educators and inmates who are teaching other offenders, such as peer tutors, facilitators, and adult education practitioners. Dr LR Johnson johnslr@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 11:

Towards effective use of e-portfolios as alternative assessment tool in an Open Distance Learning environment

The purpose of the project is to orient Unisa lecturers and students on the use of e-portfolios as an e-learning alternative assessment tool to enhance students learning. It aims to empower lecturers on effective use of e-portfolios as an assessment approach. Dr KP Mudau mudaupk@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 12:

Disability management for employees in an open and distance learning workplace

The purpose of this project is to explore the perceptions and experiences of employees with disabilities, the support strategies that the Disability Management support staff provide to employees with disability and to understand the impact of disability management procedures for the employees with disabilities. Dr TS Mkhwanazi mkhwats@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 13:

Enhancing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning through Open Distance e-Learning research support programmes

The project seeks to evaluate the role of research support programmes in enhancing scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and transparently identify inadequacies by using academics and professional staff. By doing so, innovative methodologies to improve the scholarship of teaching and learning in Open Distance eLearning (ODeL) may be realised. Furthermore, it aims to develop a model for ODeL research capacity building programmes, with a focus on enhancing the sphere and practice of SoTL. Such a model has potential to inform similar capacity-building initiatives at UNISA and other institutions of higher learning. Prof SA Ngubane ngubasa@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 14:

Africanising mathematics teaching: Using ethnomathematical games in the Intermediate Phase

Teaching mathematics and designing practical activities can be hard work for teachers. Many struggles to communicate mathematical concepts to learners. The rationale for this project is to take a step towards providing teachers with the means to make everyday knowledge and experiences vital to the teaching and learning of mathematics in the classroom. Dr S Meeran meeras@unisa.ac.za
Flagship 15:

Empowering TVET lecturers to pursue Postgraduate studies

The purpose of this project is to recruit, capacitate and empower TVET lectures to pursue Postgraduate Studies at Unisa.  This is a new priority area for the South African Government, in particular the Department of Higher Education and Training. Research topics will be organised around the following themes: Tackling youth unemployment through TVETs, greening TVETs, work-based learning systems in TVETs, entrepreneurship and emerging trends in TVETs, quality assurance and monitoring in TVETs, and leadership in TVETs, among others. With the funding from ETDPSETA, the project is rolled to a number of TVET Colleges, i.e. Majuba (KZN), Free State; North West; Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Prof S Mokoena mokoesp@unisa.ac.za

Work related to COVID-19

  1. Researcher: Prof M Noor Davids published a paper in Yesterday & Today Journal (Special Edition) titled: The history of pandemics: Responding to the COVID 19 pandemic from a curriculum perspective.
  2. Researcher: Prof Mpine Makoe is leading the project on: Response to COVID 19 by training teachers to teach online using OERs. This project has more than 300 teachers from schools, District Offices and TVET colleges in Gauteng and Kwa Zulu Natal Provinces
  3. Researcher: Prof Jenny Roberts was requested to write the narrative on the South African case and submitted her contribution on 5 May 2020. The full article is currently being finalised with publication expected in June 2020. The research that she sent through was titled” Reflections on the educational landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa”. As a response to interruption of education due to COVID-19 pandemic, this study is a collaborative reaction that narrates the overall view, reflections from educational landscape, lessons learned and suggestions from a total of 31 countries across the world with a representation of 62,7% of the whole world population.
  4. Researcher: Dr Gloria Ledwaba conceptualized collaborative research related to covid19 with two colleagues, one from Wits and the other one from UP.  Initially they wanted to develop communication symbols (using PCS software) for COVID 19 awareness for learners with severe speech difficulties (for home and school context).  Topic: “Understanding of prevention messages of COVID19 by learners with complex communication needs”.
  5. Researcher: Dr Asteria Nsamba is conducting research with a colleague from East Africa on knowledge, skills, attitudes and values students have learned during the COVID 19 lock-downs.
  6. Researcher: Professor Veronica McKay published an article titled ‘Adult learning and education as a tool to contain pandemics: The COVID‑19 experience (Henrique Lopes & Veronica McKay) in the International Review of Education journal.
  7. Researchers: Professor Ngubane-Mokiwa, S.A. and Mr Zongozzi, J.N. published an article titled ‘Exclusion Reloaded: The Chronicles of Covid 19 on Students with Disabilities in a South African Open Distance Learning Context’ in the Journal of Intellectual Disability - Diagnosis and Treatment.
  8. Researcher: Professor Davids M.N and Dr Meeran S. published an article titled ‘COVID-19 catalysing assessment transformation: a case of the online open book examination’ in the South African Journal of Higher Education (SAJHE).

Research focusing on SDGs

Team members/author/s Title of your project/publication/collaboration, etc SDG no. Brief description
1. Dr S Meeran, Prof M.N Davids, Dr M.V Makokotlela; Mrs S Kodisang and Mrs M Moila Africanising mathematics teaching: Using ethnomathematical games in the Intermediate Phase 4 We endeavour to improve mathematics in the Intermediate Phase through indigenous games that are interesting, fun and contextually based. Challenges in Mathematics are reviewed in 2021 and an intervention programme is planned and will be carried out in September 2021 to equip teachers with tools to introduce ethnomathematics games into the classroom. These skills will be developed in the classroom in 2022. Strategies to improve and sustain the use of indigenous games will be carried forth in 2022.
2. Liverpool John Moores University, University of Botswana,  University of South Africa (Prof MM van Wyk), University of Ghana, Igbinedion University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Ibadan THEMIS project 2021-2023 4, 5, 17 The THEMIS project (Evaluating gender equity and equality in the English language teacher curriculum, ICT policies and learning materials in Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa) addresses this agenda by evaluating the English language curriculum of teacher training courses in four African ODA countries. THEMIS builds on previous research (Tom-Lawyer, 2014) and an ELTRA project which uses the CIPP Curriculum
3.  Shava, S, Saurombe, T., Sibanda, M. and Matowanyika, J.Z.Z.  Impact of cyclones and extreme floods on traditional medicines and indigenous knowledge systems in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. In Nhamo G. and Dube, K. (Eds.). Cyclones in Southern Africa Vol 2: Foundational and Fundamental Topics (pp. 169-178). Cham: Springer.  3, 13, 15 Focus of on health and environmental sustainability
4.  Saurombe T and Shava, S. The role of Hunhu/Ubuntu as a local community response to floods and cyclones in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. In Nhamo, G. and Dube, K. (Eds.). Cyclones in Southern Africa Vol 2: Foundational and Fundamental Topics (pp.193-206). Cham: Springer.

 

 3, 11 and 13) Focus on climate change and human wellbeing  
5. Siwedza, S., Mukonzo, S., Ngambi, C. and Shava, S. Impacts of cyclones Idai and Kenneth and the 2019 floods on the insurance sector in South Africa and Mozambique. In Nhamo, G. and Chapungu, L. (Eds.). Increasing Risk of Floods and Tornadoes in Southern Africa (pp.157-171). Cham: Springer.  13 Focus on climate change
6.  Siwedza, S. and Shava, S. 2020. Insurance under increasing natural disaster risks and in SDGs era: a focus on Southern Africa. In Nhamo, G., Odularu, G.O.A. and Mjimba, V. (Eds.). Scaling up SDG implementation: emerging cases from state, development and private sectors. Pp 109-137. Cham: Springer.  13 Focus on climate change
7. Dr Teane FM The Value of the Kha Ri Gude Literacy Campaign in Attaining the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals: A Case Study of Rural Communities in Three South African Provinces 4 This research evaluated the extent to which the long-term goals of the Kha Ri Gude (KRG) mass literacy campaign have been achieved by using the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a benchmark.
8. Dr MM Maja, Prof M Motseke, Prof MM Van Wyk, Dr S Tshabalala, Dr S Meeran, Ms. ML Maleka, Mr RV Nkuna, Ms. C Kotze Classroom Interaction Pedagogy in Teaching English First Additional Language Learners in the Intermediate Phase 4 Training teachers on how to implement teaching strategies 
9. Linda Liebenberg and Vanessa Scherman

 

Resilience and the SDGs: Promoting child and youth resilience and related mental health outcomes.

Journal of Psychology in Africa,

1, 4, 5, 10, 11, 13, 16 Using a systems theory framework, in this article, we review how the SDGs can be considered as a facilitator of positive mental health outcomes. We conclude the article by considering the role of community resilience as a means of achieving the SDGs as they pertain to child and youth resilience and mental health outcomes.
10. Dr Smangele Mkhwanazi, Prof Sindile Ngubane, Prof Sthabile Ntombela (External), Prof Jabulani Nyoni, Dr Alet Moll, Dr Noma Madikizela-Madiya, Dr Mubi Mavuso, Dr Rossano Wells, Mr Tonny Matjila, Dr Eleanore Johannes Disability management for employees in an open and distance learning workplace

 

3 The research study seeks to investigate how do the employees with disabilities and the disability management support staff perceive and experience their disability management procedure at Unisa

 

11. Prof G van den Berg

Dr PK Mudau

Progression of South African Academics (Funded by the DHET from the Development Fund) 17 Many academics in Higher Educational Institutions such as UNISA do not have an educational qualification additional to their professional degrees, and this Certificate (based on a MoA with Oldenburg University), addresses the gap in teaching skills in ODeL. This programme was developed in response to a growing challenge of Unisa as an ODeL institution in advancing excellence, innovation and leadership in ODeL teaching and learning and research. This need has increased since UNISA had to move from a blended to a fully online teaching and learning approach because of Covid-19 and its consequences.
12.  Prof Moeketsi Letseka

Prof Michael Kahn (Stellenbosch University)

Prof Salim Akoojee (Wits)

The Status of Innovation in the TVET Colleges: An exploratory study

 

5 of Goal 9 To develop a framework of indicators that would be utilised in assessing the state of innovation in TVET;

To develop the methodology for mapping the state of innovation in the TVET colleges of South Africa, and

To develop a report on the state of innovation in TVET colleges in South Africa.

13. (Project Owners)

Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa (VP: Research)

Prof Moeketsi Letseka) UNESCO Chair on ODL)

Mr Harry Bopape (Director: DRS)

UNISA’s Annual ODeL e-Conference 10 of Goal 4 Organise the annual UNISA ODeL e-Conference. The purpose of the conference is to generate debates on ODeL; stimulate ODeL research and production of ODeL research outputs, and ODeL capacity building at UNISA.

 

14. Hasina Ebrahim, Mary Clasquin-Johnson, Donna Hannaway, Thembi Phala Sivulithuba: Capacity Building Access and Support Programme for ECD Workforce Development

for Qualifications in Early Childhood Care and Education (Birth-4)

4 Collaboration between Unisa, TREE and Midlands Community College.

To provide opportunities for access, support, retention and success through mentoring, coaching and academic support of ECD practitioners

15. Prof MN Davids (PI), Prof MM Van Wyk, Prof M Taole, Dr M Setlhako, Dr M Sethusha, Prof M Jojo, Dr K Prins, UNISA TP Office administrators “Developing an ICT solution for Unisa Teaching Practice Supervision: UNISA TP App.” 4 The project’s objective is to upgrade the current, manual – based supervision of student teachers, in line with 21st century ICT practices. Unisa’ Teaching Practice office is tasked to conduct and provide mandatory student supervision and support for over 40,000 students, registered for Teaching Practice modules. The project offers the development of a customised digital Application, comprehensively designed and integrated with the Unisa ICT architecture.
16.   Prof. Akwasi Arko-Achemfuor,

Ms Patricia Lethole,

Prof. Janet McIntyre, Prof. Norma Romm, Dr Rudolf Wirawan, Ms Mphatheleni Makaulule, D. Enid Pitsoane

A systemic action learning approach using a community of practice to support the green circular economy

 

1, 2, 5, 8, 12, 17 The focus is on:

a) researching whether a community of practice (as per Wenger et al., 2009) can help to support raising awareness after viewing 3 x 20 minute talks by Janet McIntyre and Rudolf Wirawan (translated into Venda on the spot) on the need for a green circular social enterprise in South Africa and

b) whether the webinars plus Focus Group (FG) discussions after the webinars help to support a community of practice which advances capacity building on how to set up a community co-operative in line with social and environmental considerations congruent with regional/international and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda (2030).

17. Prof Hasina Ebrahim

UNISA is a leading partner with 5 members from the Department of ECE and 2 members from the Department of Inclusive Education in a collaboration with SAIDE, Bridge, Rhodes University and ten other universities and TVET colleges from around the country.

Project for Inclusive Early Childhood Care and Education (PIECC) 4, 17 This is a multi-sectoral teacher education project that aims to professionalise the sector by developing a standardised framework for the training of ECD practitioners working in Birth to Four. 

 

18.  Prof S Mokoena and Team Empowering TVET lecturers to pursue Postgraduate studies 17 The purpose of this project is to recruit, capacitate and empower TVET lectures to pursue Postgraduate Studies at Unisa.  This is a new priority area for the South African Government, in particular the Department of Higher Education and Training.
19. Dr M Modise, Prof NC Phatudi, Prof ST Mampane Early Childhood Leaders’ Conceptualisation and Understanding of Leadership in Community Centres:  The Case of South Africa 4&17 ECCE leadership and sustainable development of community centre leaders who practise collective leadership to maximise day-to-day engagement with practitioners and learners.

Conferences

There are three conferences that are part of the College of Education’s calendar. These conferences form part of the drive to increase the scholarship of academics, international collaboration and research outputs.

  • Teacher Education and Interdisciplinary Research Conference (TEIR)
    TEIR Conference is a well-established part of the College of Education’s calendar. This conference is held annually in different provinces in South Africa as well as SADC countries. It is part of the drive to increase the scholarship of academics, international collaboration and research outputs in the College of Education. www.unisa.ac.za/te@distance
  • Masters and doctoral students conference
    This annual conference offers masters and doctoral students an opportunity to present and discuss their latest work and discover new and interesting developments in their field. It helps them to recognize and establish scholarly benchmarks in terms of cutting edge discoveries and theories, learning the best practices, methods and resources in research and personal networking.

Media & events

Follow this link: https://www.unisa.ac.za/sites/corporate/default/Colleges/College-of-Graduate-Studies/Research-resources/M&D-Policies

 

Units linked to OGS&R

The Institute provides support and equip UNISA staff members with the appropriate knowledge and skills to carry out ODeL research, to produce articles and develop research capacity.

  • UNESCO Chair on Open Distance Learning (ODL)

The UNESCO Chair on ODL seeks to promote an integrated and co-ordinated system of research, research training, production and dissemination of knowledge on ODL at Unisa.

  • Turn it in

Registered Unisa M&D students are enrolled automatically within the college. This enables the students to upload their academic papers to the Turnitin database.  Students LOG IN directly online using their myLife email addresses.  The Unisa Turnitin Team can be contacted on turnitin@unisa.ac.za. For more information click here.

Research Ethics

The College of Education adheres to the Policy on Research Ethics by ensuring that the researcher is informed of his/her responsibilities in conducting ethical research. The CEDU Research Ethics Committee (REC) is mandated to promote compliance through the evaluation of ethics clearance applications. As a result, all students and staff members are required to apply for ethics clearance before the collection of any data. Applications may only be submitted by the supervisor on behalf of the student.

When UNISA staff, students or data form part of your research you also need to obtain permission from the Research Permissions Subcommittee (RPSC) of the Senate Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Degrees Committee after ethical clearance has been obtained from the CEDU REC. The clearance certificate should be appended to the RPCS application. Applications to RPSC need to be submitted through the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, College of Education.

Contact us

Ms LK Nthekenyane
Tel: 012 429 3526
E-mail: ntheklk@unisa.ac.za

Ms P Maapola
Tel: 012 429 6260
E-mail: Kekanp@unisa.ac.za

Last modified: Tue Nov 30 09:37:39 SAST 2021