UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA (UNISA)
ARA SCIENCE WEEK 15th July 2013, ACCRA, GHANA
David Modise
BSc Hons Bath, MSc West Virg...
Teaching of Agriculture by ODeL
PROTOCOL
• Location
• Colleges
• Enrolments: Head-counts
• Mode of delivery: Open Distance...
Location
• South Africa, main campus in Pretoria CBD and Science Campus in
Florida (RSA), and Regional Learning Centres: E...
Main Campus
COLLEGES OF:
• AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (CAES)
• LAW (CLAW)
• EDUCATION (CoE)
• HUMAN SCIENCES (CHS)
• ECONOMIC...
HEAD COUNTS by Colleges, 2007-2011
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
CAES 3 712 1,4% 4 506 1,6% 4 318 1,5% 5 672 1,8% 6 815 2,1%
CE...
UNISA Vision and Mission
The University of South Africa (UNISA)’s Strategic Plan For 2015
geared to establishing itself as...
Mode of Delivery
• Comprehensive University: Vocational & Academic programmes
• Open Distance Learning (ODL)/ODeL
• - Acce...
Background to distance education
• Distance education began only through print material as
correspondence over 100 years a...
The reality
• Distance learning offers a wide choice of learning models for both
formal and informal teaching & learning
•...
Examples of distance learning institutes
• Faculty of Agric. Bindure Univ. of Science, Zimbabwe
• Tamil Nadu Agric. Univ. ...
Teaching of Agriculture : UNISA model
Teaching & Learning
• Student support :
- Tutors (20 students per tutor/module) in the field provided to support
lecturers...
Practicals & work experience
• Provide Practicals through collaboration with other
institutions e.g. Vet practicals with U...
Research
• Collaboration with partners/stakeholders/industry is
a win-win situation for all (local and internationally).
-...
The 600 MHZ NMR placed at CSIR
Used for structural analysis of compounds; bioprospecting in
medicinal plants – research in...
General challenges to teaching agriculture by
ODeL in most African countries
• Unstable electricity supply
• Lack of moder...
Reflections on teaching & learning models
• There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution but rather a
careful choice should be...
Continued
• The teaching methodology should enable an
interaction between learner & lecturer, learner &
material to encour...
References
FAO. 1989. Guidelines on communication for rural development: a brief for
development planners and project form...
A word of thanks
• To FARA for affording space to make presentation
• Attention from participants
• Grateful to UNISA for ...
22
Thank you!
An acacia tree spp.
silhouette under the
African sky
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Teaching Agriculture via long distance education

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A presentation by Dr. D. Modise, that looks at the teaching of Agriculture via distance learning. This was at a side event on Day 2 of the AASW6

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Teaching Agriculture via long distance education

  1. 1. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA (UNISA) ARA SCIENCE WEEK 15th July 2013, ACCRA, GHANA David Modise BSc Hons Bath, MSc West Virginia, PhD Nottingham Director: School of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  2. 2. Teaching of Agriculture by ODeL PROTOCOL • Location • Colleges • Enrolments: Head-counts • Mode of delivery: Open Distance e- Learning • UNISA Vision and Mission • UNISA model of teaching agriculture – Challenges – Solutions – Possibilities
  3. 3. Location • South Africa, main campus in Pretoria CBD and Science Campus in Florida (RSA), and Regional Learning Centres: Ethiopia, Major Cities/Towns in SA. • Gauteng Province : Major industrial and political centre in SA with Johannesburg proximal and forms conurbation. Therefore accessible through well developed road, & telecom infrastructure (freeways, international airports) and vibrant corporate climate. Sister universities in proximity are University of Pretoria, WITS, Tshwane University of Technology and National Research institutes.
  4. 4. Main Campus
  5. 5. COLLEGES OF: • AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (CAES) • LAW (CLAW) • EDUCATION (CoE) • HUMAN SCIENCES (CHS) • ECONOMICS MANAGEMENT SCIENCES (CEMS) • SCIENCE, ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY (CSET) • GRADUATE STUDIES (CGS)
  6. 6. HEAD COUNTS by Colleges, 2007-2011 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 CAES 3 712 1,4% 4 506 1,6% 4 318 1,5% 5 672 1,8% 6 815 2,1% CEMS 132 223 50,3% 140 088 49,1% 130 688 46,7% 140 990 45,7% 137 728 42,9% CoE 26 454 10,1% 36 201 12,7% 45 612 16,3% 51 159 16,6% 61 764 19,2% CHS 35 504 13,5% 39 263 13,8% 39 492 14,1% 45 433 14,7% 47 992 14,9% CLAW 28 890 11,0% 27 523 9,7% 27 208 9,7% 30 743 10,0% 31 725 9,9% CSET 17 817 6,8% 19 087 6,7% 18 453 6,6% 20 679 6,7% 21 817 6,8% OCC 18 260 6,9% 18 531 6,5% 13 969 5,0% 14 120 4,6% 13 282 4,1% Total 262 860 100% 285 199 100% 279 740 100% 308 796 100% 321 123 100%
  7. 7. UNISA Vision and Mission The University of South Africa (UNISA)’s Strategic Plan For 2015 geared to establishing itself as a world class higher education institution through Open Distance Learning (ODL). The Mission is aligned with national development imperatives and Vision encompasses the African continent as well as international arena– thus the significant enrolments from other African countries UNISA is a comprehensive university as by offerings: Doctoral, Masters, PG, UG degree, UG certificate and diploma
  8. 8. Mode of Delivery • Comprehensive University: Vocational & Academic programmes • Open Distance Learning (ODL)/ODeL • - Accessible, Relatively affordable, distance is bridged by technology [videoconferencing, sms, ICT portal (myUNISA), study guides, contact (blended approach), e-mail, digital satellite etc.] • - History of success with many current respect political leaders e.g. Nelson Mandela and many prominent activists
  9. 9. Background to distance education • Distance education began only through print material as correspondence over 100 years ago (Moore & Kearnsley 1996). • Presently a wide range of different technologies exist including multimedia. • Choice of which media platform to adopt due to increasing technological advances is of great importance • The ODL/ODEL model’s basic principles are: - Bridge the geographical distance between teacher & learner, learner & learner, learner & study material and learner & institution. - Study material is prepared in a manner that allows self study - Barriers to learning removed (economical, discrimination, flexiblity of learning provision, student support) - Quality education provided in a cost effective way (Daniel & Mallet
  10. 10. The reality • Distance learning offers a wide choice of learning models for both formal and informal teaching & learning • Demand particularly for Agriculture is likely to increase as it is a cost effective method of studying (alternative to full time) • Eliminates need to travel to institution • Can take place while people are on full-time employment • Allows and enables creativity in teaching and learning • Many universities in the world and some in Africa have already adopted distance learning for particular programes especially postgraduate studies • Stimulates higher thinking through social constructivists paradigm (collaboration in learning – learners & peers etc. (Mbati, 2012)
  11. 11. Examples of distance learning institutes • Faculty of Agric. Bindure Univ. of Science, Zimbabwe • Tamil Nadu Agric. Univ. India, (Undergraduate) • Bangladesh Open University (Training 20 000 teachers) • College of Agric & Life Sciences, Florida Univ. (USA). • Virginia Tech University, Virginia, USA –Masters degree • Distance Learning Centre, Univ. of Ibadan. Nigeria. Undergrad. • University of Pretoria, South Africa. MSc Vet Science • California Virtual Campus, USA. Undergrad • Faculty of Agriculture, Univ. of Nairobi, Kenya. Undergrad. • Open Polytechnic, New Zealand. Vocational qualifications. • Institute of ODeL, Kenyatta University, Under & postgrad • Many other universities in Africa and abroad
  12. 12. Teaching of Agriculture : UNISA model
  13. 13. Teaching & Learning • Student support : - Tutors (20 students per tutor/module) in the field provided to support lecturers - Learning material accessible through the ICT platforms (MyUnisa), regional centres (electronic toasters), postal. This is a blended approach. - Technologies (DVD, audio and CD, satellite broadcasting, podcasting, radio, television, on-line. Asynchronous methods e.g. Blogs, wikis, social media, e-portfolios Interactive technology – Telephony, sms, e-mail, discussion/chat forums e.g. Myunisa, videoconferencing (e.g. Ethiopia learning centre), face to face sessions, simulations and advanced combinations of synchronous technologies - Access to the library & to books : E-books and on-line access provided, mobile library facility. Also access to internet facilities
  14. 14. Practicals & work experience • Provide Practicals through collaboration with other institutions e.g. Vet practicals with University of Pretoria. • Utilise facilities of research institutes e.g. the Agricultural Research Council • Assist with provision of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities in the industry – finding placements • Seek innovative ways of exposing learners to various alternative ways e.g. simulations, virtual lab
  15. 15. Research • Collaboration with partners/stakeholders/industry is a win-win situation for all (local and internationally). - Supervision of Postgrad. Students with externals as either supervisor/co-supervisor has been successful - Collaboration on joint equipment grant application & use of research facilities - External examiners - Encourage academic discourse by inviting scholars - Use of research fellows and academic associates to enrich the research and scholarly environment - Develop own research facilities e.g. new science hub
  16. 16. The 600 MHZ NMR placed at CSIR Used for structural analysis of compounds; bioprospecting in medicinal plants – research in metabolomics
  17. 17. General challenges to teaching agriculture by ODeL in most African countries • Unstable electricity supply • Lack of modern electronic access e.g. emails • Access to electronic gadgets such as computers, TV, radio • Dropouts due to inability to maintain self study discipline, feeling of loneliness (Faruque, 1998) • Access to facilities to conduct practicals • Plagiarism
  18. 18. Reflections on teaching & learning models • There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution but rather a careful choice should be adopted of what technology to use. • Considerations to be based on prevailing factors (media, learners, subject matter, interactions etc) • A media mix (blended approach) is often recommended as more effective and efficient than a single medium of teaching & learning • A synchronous method is quite often suitable as a model where access is not a problem
  19. 19. Continued • The teaching methodology should enable an interaction between learner & lecturer, learner & material to encourage student to engage with teaching material (FAO, 1989). • Infrastructure is a major consideration e.g. internet access, electricity etc. as it affects both learner & lecturer. • The medium should compliment the learners experience e.g. familiarity with content, literacy • The cost is also thus a factor. It may be cheaper to produce a CD than a manual book (Truelove, 1998). • Support available to learners e.g. counselling
  20. 20. References FAO. 1989. Guidelines on communication for rural development: a brief for development planners and project formulators. Farauque AM. 1998. Agricultural education in distant mode in Bangladesh Open University – A new approach to transfer of technology. Col.org Mbati LA. 2012. Online learning for social constructivism: Creating a conducive environment. Progressio 34: 99-119. Moore MG & Kearnsley G. 1996. Distance education: As systems view. Belmont. Truelove W. 1998. The selection of media for distance education in agriculture. FAO.
  21. 21. A word of thanks • To FARA for affording space to make presentation • Attention from participants • Grateful to UNISA for enabling environment for this opportunity to make this presentation in Ghana
  22. 22. 22 Thank you! An acacia tree spp. silhouette under the African sky

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