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Dr Noluthando Toni​

NELSON MANDELA UNIVERSITY

Noluthando Toni is the Director of the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Media (CTLM) at Nelson Mandela University. She was the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) from February 2012 to July 2018. Prior to joining UFH she was a lecturer, senior lecturer, head of department (for Foundation Phase Studies) and the Director of School for Initial Teacher Education in the Faculty of Education at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Noluthando is passionate about the enhancement of teaching and learning practices for effective student learning. Upon her appointment at UFH, Noluthando facilitated the introduction of the Annual Teaching and Learning Weeks. These symposia serve as platforms for pedagogical exchanges among academics and provide students with opportunities to engage lecturers on their learning needs.

Noluthando is passionate about the advancement of teaching and learning in higher education, particularly the transformation of curriculum for epistemological access for all students. Her views on academic staff support and development are premised on conceiving teaching as a scholarly act. She asserts that crafting teaching and learning as a scholarly act should encompass applying approaches that are implemented in other areas of knowledge production: constant reflection on teaching approaches and technologies, assessment tools and methods, and so on; sharing teaching practices with others; applying recent and relevant literature in specific disciplines; and publishing the ‘best’ practices under the banner of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).

In 2015 Noluthando decided to broaden her focus in research and collaborated with a colleague on a research project that focuses on Women in Higher Education Leadership. The project has thus far resulted in four published articles in accredited journals. Her other published work is on reflective practice and managing the link between academic development and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Abstract

Re-centring Meaningful Student Voices in Academic Development Processes to Enhance Learning

In recent years, much has been done in South Africa to widen access for a diverse range of students in higher education. This is in line with the expressions of the Education White Paper 3 of 1997 that called for the generation of new curricula and flexible modes of teaching and learning in Higher Education Institutions to accommodate a larger and more diverse student population. Since then, attempts have been made to bring about the required changes particularly addressing “Eurocentric bias” in the design and delivery of curricula. Academic development (AD) practitioners, teaching staff and relevant administrative staff continue to contribute to various forms of curriculum development and renewal processes for enriching students towards careers of the future and not only prepare them for the workplace of today. However, a pertinent notion to ponder is whether or not we are missing a vital ingredient in the architecture, delivery and management of academic development activities in building university milieus relevant to student needs. In our history, the student voice has been a powerful positive driver in enhancing relevant student learning. One example was the 1976 Soweto uprising that challenged the dominance of an alien tongue as the language of instruction. Again in 2015, it was the students who highlighted the importance of consolidating and extending the issue of language to embrace decolonization of the curriculum. Current student activities give us the opportunity to once more harness the student voice as a positive force within AD processes towards the enhancement of meaningful learning in higher education. It is therefore imperative to interrogate how we can involve students in the processes of advancing disciplinary knowledge (content), epistemologies (knowledge arts) and our pedagogical aspirations.

Other Event Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Department of Higher Education and Training

Universities South Africa

University of the Witwatersrand

University of the Witwatersrand