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Adapting to Changes in Teaching and Learning

“The use of technology in all facets of our lives is changing the way in which we do things. We therefore need to come together, from time to time, to share our knowledge and experiences in this area so that we remain relevant (in higher education).” This sentiment- according to Dr Yasmin Rugbeer, the Director of Teaching and Learning at University of Zululand’s (UNIZULU) Teaching and Learning Centre- was the backdrop against which this year’s Teaching and learning Conference (TLC) was organised.

The two-day function began yesterday (Wednesday, 10 October) at uMfolozi Casino, Empangeni under the theme Rolling out the red carpet: Responsiveness of Higher Education Institutions post-apartheid.

“These are interesting times requiring restructuring of institutions to provide new science programmes and departments in emerging fields to deliver trained workers to help advance the development of evermore sophisticated biotechnology, nanotechnology materials and artificial intelligence,” Dr Rugbeer noted during her opening address. She added that being relevant therefore means adopting interdisciplinary approaches to global curricular in residential context. “These approaches would focus on intercultural and interpersonal skills and would be a hallmark of the future for IR workplace,” she added.

To shed more light on the evolving practice of teaching and learning, Professor Matthew Montebello, a lecturer in the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology at the University of Malta, was invited to deliver the first keynote address. A self-proclaimed artificial intelligence (AI) enthusiast, Prof Montebello shared on AI, crowd sourcing and assessment, unpacking how these three areas can revolutionise teaching and learning in higher education.

Using various examples, Prof Montebello demonstrated how technology can be utilised to enhance the learning and teaching experience for students and teachers, respectively. He mentioned that AI plays a pivotal role in online learning as it assists educators with profiling their learners (in terms of what their varied interests are) in order to effectively impart knowledge to them using relatable examples. He also elaborated on the notion of crowd sourcing which he indicated is a form of knowledge sharing and accessing via social networking platforms such as Moodle before touching on how technology can assist with formative assessment.

The conference continues at uMfolozi Casino today.

– Naledi Hlefane


Professor Matthew Montebello, a lecturer in the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology at the University of Malta, delivering his keynote address on the first day of the 2018 Teaching and Learning Conference.

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