After what has been yet another challenging year, the University of Zululand (UNIZULU) is thrilled to once again reward some of its academics who have displayed excellence in the teaching and learning space throughout the year.
The staff members will be honoured during the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards this evening at Umfolozi Casino and Convention Resort.
According to Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Professor Vuyokazi Nomlomo, the purpose of these awards is to honour, recognise and reward excellence in teaching and learning. The awards serve as a motivation to both staff and students, and they are also incentives to reward good performance.
“Nominations occur at faculty level and any staff member can be nominated by staff or students on recognition of their excellent/outstanding performance at the different academic levels, that is, lecturer; senior lecturer; associate professor; or full professor,” Prof Nomlomo explained.
Awards will be presented in three categories namely, Emerging Academic, Developed Academic and Distinguished Academic. Here, the outstanding performances of a lecturer with either a Masters or PhD qualification; a Senior lecturer who holds a PhD in a relevant field; and an Associate or Full professor with a PhD in a relevant field will be recognised, respectively.
Various factors have been considered prior to identifying recipients. These include an articulation of a clear teaching philosophy; a teaching and learning practice structure of the modules taught, the teaching methods employed and supervision style (for postgraduate students), and how these align with the teaching philosophy; and an assessment of student learning. Furthermore, the evaluation panel assesses the nominees’ curriculum development endeavours; how student and peer evaluations are used to enhance learning; scholarly teaching and learning; and the role played by the academics outside the university.
The evaluation panel makes use of an explicit scoring grid that is aligned to the assessment criteria.
Contenders can either self-nominate or be nominated by peers or students. They can also choose to accept or turn down the nomination. They each are expected to submit teaching portfolios that articulate their teaching philosophies based on the teaching and learning practices guided by particular teaching theories, assessment methods and curriculum development.
- Precious Shamase