Message from the Director - Prof Gerrit Stols
The department has a team of experts in the fields of education, assessment, community engagement, instructional design, graphic design, videography, photography, communication technology, educational research and student academic development. We provide leadership and expertise to academic staff in relation to innovative teaching and student success solutions.
The future workplace will require our students to work well with others and to innovatively solve difficult problems using and creating ever-expanding information sources and technology. To prepare our students for their future, we need to enhance the quality of student learning and success. It is therefore important that we move beyond the transmission of information (for example rote memorisation of facts, the ability to do calculations and the effective use of procedures). We need a broader goal for education. Teaching is more than the transmission of information and learning is more than memorising facts. We need to create opportunities for students to build on their prior knowledge and to develop their thinking skills. Combining the latest technological advances with good quality teaching creates new possibilities and the opportunity to develop authentic, flexible, individualised, adaptive, active learning environments that could enhance our students’ knowledge, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. Technology does not only affect how we learn but also what we learn. This means that activities like calculations, routine procedures, sketching and memorisation become less important. More time is allowed to focus on more important activities, such as developing ideas, understanding connections, justifying solutions, and solving problems. To increase student success, we need to support our students and optimise their learning and development. As assessment often drives learning, the assessment of our students’ learning, should also reflect these goals. To achieve the aspirations stated above, we have to carefully measure, analyse and utilise data to reflect on and inform our teaching and assessment practices.