College of Human Sciences

The College of Human Sciences shines at the Unisa Excellence in Teaching and Learning awards

The College of Human Sciences celebrates its teaching and learning excellence of 2018 by celebrating Dr Motshedisi Chauke, Mr Marang Mamahlodi and Dr Britta Zawada for their success at the 2018 Unisa Teaching and Learning Festival Awards. Out of the seven institutional winners, three of the wins came from the College. Their wins showcase the sterling work of the College and promotes and encourages continued excellence in teaching and learning. They were nominated for the annual university awards after they were named as winners in the College Teaching and Learning awards earlier this year.

Dr Chauke from the Department of Health Studies was the only winner in the Innovation and Tuition award, Mamahlodi also from the Department of Health Studies received one of two awards in the Assessment, student success and retention category and Dr Zawada, Deputy Dean of the College, received the Lifetime Award.

Dr Chauke saluted all the 2018 nominees, each of whom she said has made an incredible contribution to Unisa’s core business of teaching and learning. She said she was honored and humbled to have received the award and thanked those who nominated her and supported the nomination. The work she presented to the judges reflected on her use of innovative technologies and strategies to improve student success, as well as the development of innovation in assessment and creative assessment strategies with improved student retention and success.

She said her win highlights the teamwork approach within the Department of Health Studies as well as the support and motivation always given by the CHS. “My work is in the field of Nursing Education, which is critical to the preparation of nurses for practice in a complex, dynamic and multicultural health care environment. Through innovative teaching, assessment and application of research, the students registered for my module can contribute towards the quality of healthcare services through nursing education.”

Sharing his thoughts, Mamahlodi said to be nominated and to win an award at Unisa is rewarding. “This, given the fact that Unisa is one of the top leading open distance learning institutions in Africa, offering internationally accredited qualifications and having world-class resources that inspire students to create meaningful futures of their own. It has given me a responsibility to avail myself and always be part of the academic professionals who have a desire to find answers to Africa’s educational and development problems.”

In order to win in the category of Excellence for Student Success and Retention, Mamahlodi said he had to demonstrate how he, implemented new strategies that improved student success and retention, implemented research findings on how to improve student success and retention, included innovation in terms of new strategies to improve student success, monitored student performance in order to ensure timely identification of at-risk students and provided evidence of success of strategies.

Passionate about working in his field and the difference the College can make in South Africa and the continent, he first acknowledged the challenges faced by today’s college students which he labels as complex and multi-faceted, and which pose an obstacle to most postgraduate or any student’s path to graduation. “I am passionate about OdeL and I am working hard to create opportunities and tools (written and digital) in my module plans that focuses on removing barriers to access learning, offer flexibility of learning provided, with student-centeredness approach, supporting students and constructing learning programmes with the expectation that students can succeed and enjoy the easy path to graduation.”

* By Rivonia Naidu-Hoffmeester

Publish date: 2018/12/13