A highly successful seminar and workshop on teaching and learning took place at the Hatfield Campus of the University of Pretoria (UP) on 18 and 19 November 2015 for the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT). The seminar focused on the utilisation of technology to support the teaching and learning processes, especially in larger groups of students.
Prof Norman Duncan, Vice-Principal: Academic at UP opened the event that was attended by about 60 enthusiastic delegates and presenters. The guest speaker was Prof Sean Brophy from the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University, Indiana, USA. Prof Brophy's address, titled ‘Technologies for supporting engineering education in large classrooms: Issues and opportunities’, provided excellent guidelines on educational issues regarding the handling of large groups and the utilisation of technologies in student learning experiences. This was followed by presentations by staff members from EBIT and the Department of Education Innovation at UP.
One of the outcomes of the seminar was the establishment of a Work Group for Teaching and Learning, which is dedicated to matters of particular concern for engineering students in South Africa.
On the second day, small groups of lecturing staff brainstormed and came up with a number of related issues to be addressed by the Work Group, including a fresh look at first-year orientation, access to available infrastructure, computer literacy of first-year students, curriculum integration and alignment among modules, departments and disciplines.
The Faculty intends having an event of this nature annually while the Work Group is very keen to organise regular activities around teaching and learning in the engineering environment.
- Author Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology