Journal for New Generation Sciences
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1684-4998
Published by Sabinet Online Ltd [188 journals]
- The doctoral quest as an alternative metaphoric narrative for doctoral
Authors: E.M. Bitzer
Abstract: Earlier research on doctoral education had pointed to different conceptions of doctoral research education and scholarship. In particular, the 'journey' narrative, whereby doctoral studies are typically described as articulated research journeys and point to existential issues and dilemmas in the formation of research identities, proved to be useful. Research into processes that assist doctoral candidates to change from a position of dependency to independency also provides a useful way to explore research education.However, such researcher autonomy frameworks typically draw on the commonality of research learning journeys as well as notions of symbolic control and identity change. While the conceptions of research journeys and research autonomy represents a continuum of researcher development, such conceptions also have their limitations.A possible richer narrative may be needed to describe the doctoral research education process and take account of the fundamental nature of the doctorate. This would include its complexity, the uncertainty involved, the extent to which research addresses the unknown, the roles of multiple actors and the emotions often accompanying the research experience. With less rich narratives candidates and supervisors often recognise that research is mostly a non-linear process and sometimes accompanied by uncertainty, isolation and motivational challenges.The article addresses the metaphoric narrative of the 'quest' as it relates to doctoral research education to enrich the well-known 'journey' narrative in promoting research independence. The 'quest' narrative offers a nuanced account which includes at least six metaphoric elements: the desired object, the lengthy journey, the hero, several tests, the guardians and the helpers. Hereby 'quest' as metaphor offers a vehicle for a better understanding of the doctoral research education process - not only to doctoral candidates, but also to their supervisors. In addition, it implies a potentially useful thinking frame for facilitating development programmes for doctoral research candidates.
- The effect of prior knowledge and academic performance on success in
first-year university accounting
Authors: W.S. Bosua
Abstract: It has become common practice in South African universities not to require students to have completed accounting at secondary school level as a prerequisite to enrollment for a diploma or degree in accounting and/or business. The primary objective of this study is an analysis of the effect of a prior knowledge of accounting at secondary school level on the success rate of first-year accounting students. The study also analyses whether academic performance in accounting and mathematics at secondary school is a success factor in first-year accounting and the influence on having mathematical literacy as a subject at secondary school level on the success rate of first year accounting students.
- Empirical study on e-learning adoption at institutions of higher learning
in South Africa
Authors: A. Chigona; R. Dagada
Abstract: Although the familiarity of technology in general among academics may not be a problem, research has shown that many course instructors are still lagging behind on the uptake of the new technologies, e.g. eLearning platforms for curriculum delivery. This paper aims at investigating the factors that are affecting the uptake of eLearning platforms by course instructors at tertiary level. The paper answers the question: "Why aren't eLearning platforms used more by instructors for curriculum delivery at tertiary level?" A qualitative research approach was employed whereby conversations with purposively selected academics were the data collection technique. Analysis shows that the uptake of the eLearning platforms by course instructors is affected by their level of confidence to use the technologies for teaching and learning. The confidence here is a combination of computer self-efficacy and teacher efficacy. The study can contribute to a better understanding of determining constructs of lecturers' uptake of new technologies.
- Wireless fault monitoring of robotic cells using android tablet pcs within
Authors: A. Cumberlege; T. Van Niekerk
Abstract: This paper presents the work on the development of software for an Android based mobile device. The goal being not only for a working application, but also to optimise the development process to ensure a user friendly application. Android is an ideal platform for connecting man and machine in a fast moving production environment. With its current popularity and market share it allows engineers to easily create flexible software applications to monitor and control industrial processes and machines. This software if not properly designed can lead to stability and maintenance problems. The experience gained from developing, maintaining and improving a mobile application for monitoring production faults, results in the improved response between man and machine. Further on it will be shown how the application can be used for data capturing purposes, thereby simplifying the data capturing process.
- A programmable logic controller based laboratory analysis of conventional
and intelligent control schemes for non-liner systems
Authors: J.M. Fernandes; T. Van Niekerk
Abstract: Intelligent Neural Network (NN) based control schemes have surmounted many of the limitations found in the conventional control approaches such as Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) control. Nevertheless, these modern control techniques have only recently been introduced for use on industrial computational platforms such as the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). Intelligent control on PLCs thus remains an area that is open to further research and development. In this paper, a strongly non-linear mechatronic type system, namely the Ball-on-Wheel balancing system, is developed using a PLC as its control platform. The research details the implementation of an intelligent controller on a standard, medium specification PLC. The results from the intelligent controller are then compared to those produced by a variety of conventional controllers as physical parameters are varied. Finally, the system is presented as a stimulating educational tool that addresses the knowledge gap that exists in industry pertaining to the implementation of these intelligent control algorithms on PLCs.
- Self-regulated learning as predictor of academic performance
Authors: J.N. Keyser; M.C. Viljoen
Abstract: The goal of this study was to research the hypothesis that self-regulated learning (SRL) predicts academic performance in second-year Economics studies. In the theoretical underpinning, self-regulated learning as related to academic performance was explored. Data was analysed using descriptive, correlation analysis and hierarchical regression. A correlation matrix and hierarchical regression revealed a relationship between different aspects of SRL and academic performance. In conclusion, the study recommends that teaching and assessment methods should be used to empower students to apply self-regulated learning strategies. This could greatly enhance their academic performance.
- An analysis of the evolving role of information technology with respect to
selected standard and its impact on internal audit
Authors: B. Marx; H. Ravjee
Abstract: Modern organizations are increasingly dependent on information technology (IT) for various reasons: to enhance their operational efficiency, reduce costs or even attain a competitive advantage. The role of information technology in the organization continues to evolve and this has an impact on the internal audit functions that serve these organizations. This study investigated whether the King III report, Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) standards and Institute of Internal Audit (IIA)standards assist the internal audit function in addressing the impact of information technology on the organization and, as a result, the internal audit function itself. This was performed by way of a literature study on the internal audit function and the selected standards and corporate governance framework, the role of information technology in both the organization and the internal audit function, as well as an empirical study detailing a comparative analysis of the King III report, ISACA standards and IIA standards, utilizing keysuccess factors. The study identified an alignment of the key principles and elements identified in the King III report, ISACA standards and IIA standards, as well as support for IT-related reviews. The comparative analysis performed resulted in the formulation of key internal audit success factors, which compared favourably to those identified in the literature review. The study indicated that the King III report, ISACA standards and IIA standards assisted the internal audit function by addressing IT-related risks, controls and governance elements.
- Exploring eudaimonic and hedonic components of happiness : a mixed methods
Authors: H.D. Mason
Abstract: In addition to assisting students in addressing stressful challenges, psychologists who work as student counsellors are also expected to focus on the development of strengths and potential. This implies, amongst others, to explore empirically students' conceptions of happiness. This article reports on a mixed methods study that investigated the concept of happiness, with specific reference to subjective and eudaimonic well-being, among a sample of university students. Quantitative results substantiated findings reported in the international literature. Qualitative analysis suggested that the participants regarded happiness as the absence of life stressors that are related to life circumstances. An integration of the data indicated that the university experience is intimately related to the pursuit and realisation of eudaimonic goals, which could result in collective subjective well-being. It is argued that student counsellors could play an important role in enhancing eudaimonic well-being.
- A comparative study of methods for defect detection in textile fabrics
Authors: P. Nsengiyumva; H. Vermaak N. Luwes
Abstract: Fabric defect detection methods have been broadly classified into three categories; statistical methods, spectral methods and model-based methods. The performance of each method relies on the discriminative ability of texture features it uses. Each of the three categories has its own advantages and disadvantages and some researchers have recommended their combination for improved performance.In this paper, we compare the performance of three fabric defect detection methods, one from each of the three categories. The three methods are based on the grey-level co-occurrence matrices (GLCM), the undecimated discrete wavelet transform (UDWT) and the Gaussian Markov Random field models (GMRF) respectively from the statistical, spectral and model-based categories. The tests were done using the textile images from the TILDA dataset. To ensure classifier independence on the outcome of the comparison, the Euclidean distance and feed forward neural network classifiers were used for defect detection using the features obtained from each of the three methods. The results show that GLCM features allowed better defect detection than wavelet features and that wavelet features allowed better detection than GMRF features.
- Bayes factors for grouped data
Authors: L. Raubenheimer; A.J. Van der Merwe
Abstract: In this paper we apply Bayes factors to grouped data. Group testing is where units are pooled together and tested as a group rather than individually. The Bayes factor is the ratio of the posterior probabilities of the null and the alternative hypotheses divided by the ratio of the prior probabilities for the null and the alternative hypotheses. A beta prior will be used, also known as a conjugate prior for the binomial distribution. An application to mosquito data will be considered, where a comparison is made between West Nile virus (WNV) infection prevalences in field collected Culex nigripalpus mosquitoes trapped at different heights.
- Community based tourism and pro-poor tourism : dissimilar positioning in
relation to community development
Authors: M. Saayman; A. Giampiccali
Abstract: This paper proposes community-based tourism (CBT) as an alternative to conventional and pro-poor tourism (PPT) as a means to alleviate poverty and facilitating the development of disadvantaged (poor) community members. The substantial differences between CBT and PPT are examined. The CBT is an alternative to mass tourism and is controlled by disadvantaged community members in order to benefit from a social justice approach to tourism that is characterised by redistributive aims. The PPT, on the other hand, originated in and is sustained by the neoliberal system, thereby precluding change to the status quo.
- Service learning based environmental health promotion activities for
pharmacy students : educating young on the safe disposal of medicines and
Authors: S.C. Srinivas; S.A. Paphitis, A.S. Ncomanzi, R. Tandlich K. Bradshaw
Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of a service-learning based environmental health promotion exhibit in raising awareness of safe disposal of medicines and used sharps during the 2014 National Science Festival in South Africa. The study design utilised a computer-based quiz, an information poster, an interactive model and a take-home information leaflet on the safe disposal of medicines and used sharps which were developed by students and staff in the faculty of pharmacy at Rhodes University. Predominantly school students attended the exhibit and took part in a quiz. 413 participants took part in the environmental health promotion activity, with 91% of the participating learners attending schools in the Eastern Cape Province. significant improvement (p< 0.001). Moreover, the results show significant gender differences for both the pre- and post-intervention mean scores. The environmental health promotion project was successful in raising awareness of the safe and appropriate disposal of medicines and used sharps by highlighting the dangers associated with their incorrect disposal, both to the environment and eventually to humans. Similar continuous health promotion activities are essential for sustainable effectiveness in the transformation of individual and communal actions in South Africa for the safe disposal of medicines and used sharps.
- The development level of a school based professional learning community in
a South African school
Authors: G.M. Steyn
Abstract: This study explored the developmental level of a professional learning community (PLC) in which the primary school studied operated. A quantitative research design determined the views of staff members regarding the nature of a PLC in the school. The study used the five characteristics of the Professional Learning Community Assessment instrument to determine how these characteristics were realised in the school: (1) leadership; (2) a shared vision and values; (3) collective learning; (4) shared personal practice; and (5) supportive conditions. It was evident from the results that the school showed considerable growth and that the PLC had advanced to the intermediate developmental level.
- Google search by image : a system evaluation of adjusted images for
the detection of visual plagiarism
Authors: L. Van Heerden; S.I. Duminy N.J. Luwes
Abstract: This paper investigates the precision of Google's Search by Image (SBI) system which lecturers can use to establish a workflow that will combat visual plagiarism in photography programmes. Currently no efficacious visual plagiarism detection method exists for implementation by photography lecturers. Content-based image retrieval systems like Google SBI have not yet been tested systemically for the detection of visual plagiarism. Using the Precision method to calculate the accuracy of the system, 300 images were randomly sampled through Google Images and altered with different adjustments. The images were uploaded to Google SBI and the results indicated a system of high quality.
- Formative assessment in doctoral education
Authors: H.S. Friedrich-Nel; J.L. Mac Kinnon
Abstract: The overall goal of doctoral education is to prepare the doctoral student for the summative assessment of a thesis. However the focus of doctoral education is changing to include the attainment of professional attributes or competencies of the student. This article shares information collected from thirty-eight participants from a research-intensive university in the United States on the role of postgraduate formative assessment and, in particular, feedback as an essential element underpinning doctoral education. The findings emphasise the importance of constructive engagement and feedback embedded in formative assessment in doctoral education to develop scholarly and professional attributes in addition to research knowledge and skills.
- Understanding academics' popular science publishing : institution culture
and management style effects
Authors: F. Crettaz Von Roten; G. Goastellec
Abstract: Most universities and higher education systems have formally taken up a third mission, which involves various public outreach and engagement activities. Little is known regarding how higher education institutions' organisations interact with academic's level of public outreach. This article examines to which extent the perceptions academics have of their institutions' culture and management style, as well as some of their own individual and statutory characteristics interact with their level of public outreach. Using the Academic Profession in Europe comparative and quantitative research database, this article focuses on two countries on the extremities of the spectrum - Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
- The role of teaching and learning in European higher education research
Authors: B. Kehm
Abstract: This contribution offers a definition of the field of higher education research and its relationship to the field of higher education didactics (i.e. teaching and learning). It then provides an account of the difficult relationship between the two in Germany and their respective institutional basis. However, it is also pointed out that the separation between the two fields is beginning to give way towards more cooperation and integration. This is followed by a look at the relationship between higher education research and higher education didactics in Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In all of these countries, the two fields tend to separate each with a different institutional basis and a different organisation. Although the Bologna Process has contributed to a blurring of boundaries, it has also contributed to a higher importance being given to teaching and learning issues while at the same time PISA and related OECD studies have led to an 'empirical turn' in (higher) educational research. In this way, both fields are challenged and receive new inputs at the same time leading to more integrated and more internationally comparative approaches.
- Research-readiness in postgraduate students : how do we recognise it and
overcome possible deficiencies?
Authors: C. Maasdorp; S.M. Holtzhausen
Abstract: Due to ever-increasing strains, quality improvement of research degree programmes is imperative for the South African postgraduate landscape. This research explored the recognition and overcoming of research-readiness deficiencies in university of technology postgraduate students within the ambit of South African higher education transformation. This formative-evaluative case study generated data through a questionnaire survey, focus groups and interviews. The results identified motivation and commitment, managerial and academic-writing research-readiness deficiencies. These results also suggested that recognising and overcoming these research-readiness deficiencies could lead to conceptualised, critical and creative work in university of technology postgraduate studies.
- The design of an adult learning programme : a theory-guided evaluation of
Authors: L. Massyn; A.C. Wilkinson
Abstract: The learning design in programmes for adult learners in higher education does not usually make provision for the specific characteristics and learning needs of adults. The question that directed the evaluation study undertaken was whether the learning design in a specific programme reflected the learning needs of the predominantly adult learners in the programme. Adult learning principles incorporated in an integrated four-part model provided a theoretical framework for the research. The results suggested that some of the learning needs/preferences of the adult respondents were addressed but cautioned leaders that certain areas of the learning design in the programme needed improvement.
- Do hospitality management curricula at public higher education
institutions in South Africa comply with the standards suggested by a
research-based competence framework?
Authors: H.J. Moolman; A.C. Wilkinson
Abstract: The employability demands of hospitality employers, combined with the requirements of the 2013 Higher Education (HE) Qualifications Sub-Framework, necessitated a thorough evaluation of the current hospitality management curricula at public HE institutions in South Africa. The evaluation described in this article was based on a comprehensive competence framework developed in a broader study that was aimed at enhancing the employability of hospitality management graduates in South Africa. The outcomes in existing curricula were compared with 127 essential competences in the framework. Hospitality management curricula at public higher education institutions in South Africa do not comply with all the standards suggested by the mentioned research-based competence framework. The key weaknesses identified relate to 36 competences in the framework, which are either not reflected or wrongly represented in the curricula. Arguments for improvement are substantiated by the results of an extensive Delphi evaluation of the competences in the framework by 38 experts in the field.
- Journal writing for the academic and psychosocial development of student
teachers : an action research project
Authors: M. Roodt; S.M. Niemann
Abstract: This study explored reflective journals as a means to enable students to take a more active role in their learning to understand their own psychosocial growth towards maturity. This article presents the author's living journey to explore the value of journal writing in the identity formation of third year student teachers. In this article, the researcher makes a case that her own values of involvement in the personal lives of students may have contributed to facilitating the emotional growth of her students. In the process, they learnt to write about their emotions and feelings and to come to grips with unpleasant experiences in their lives. They also learnt that reflection could support their professional growth as teachers.
- Socially relevant and socially responsible higher education : a disputed
Authors: U. Teichler
Abstract: Higher education is expected to be socially relevant. However, there is a controversial discourse in both higher education policy and in higher education research, how striving for 'quality' according to theoretical and methodological criteria can co-exist with efforts of ensuring the relevance of academic work. Academics are frequently accused of harbouring 'ivory tower' objectives without sufficiently paying attention to social expectations. In reverse, many academics view public calls for relevance as aimed at subordinating higher education under presumed needs of society instead of encouraging innovative contributions to society. In recent years, terms such as the 'service function' or 'third function' are employed on an increasing basis. They suggest that higher education should serve society not only through its core functions of teaching and research but also through various kinds of direct involvement in societal actions. This requires universities to clarify their understanding of 'social responsibility': They have to examine how direct involvement in social action can be justified as being based on academic expertise.
- Rethinking the moderation of student assessment in South African
Authors: S.P. Van Tonder
Abstract: A conceptual analysis of the moderation of assessment exposed different and contested theoretical understandings and practical applications of the phenomenon in an international context. International literature also reveals that there is very strong support for a moderation system of continuous, social and consensus seeking moderation involving communities of moderation practice. In turn, a subsequent comparative document analysis of relevant South African national policy and guideline documents show that these documents might encourage institutional moderation systems that are relatively quantitative, structured, individualised, analytical and/or technical in nature. The implication is that South African higher education authorities and institutions such as universities of technology need to review and rethink their moderation of assessment policies and procedures.
- Knowledge sharing for the development of service learning champions
Authors: K. Venter; M. Erasmus I. Seale
Abstract: Champions engage in knowledge sharing within triad service learning partnerships. However, the role of knowledge sharing in the development of champions needs further exploration. This qualitative study within a constructivist paradigm, shares the effect of mutual learning at the University of the Free State in the nursing education field. Selected international, national, regional and local champions shared perceptions through semi-structured interviews, indicating that: (1) champions could be situated in any sector of the triad model; (2) sharing different kinds of knowledge develop different domains; and (3) connection, collaboration and continuous communication should guide knowledge sharing towards societal change and reciprocal empowerment.
- Blended teaching and learning approach for the instruction of
Authors: W. Viljoen; J.H. Van Schoor
Abstract: This article reports on the utilisation of a blended teaching and learning approach in the instruction of three-dimensional (3D) drawing to student teachers in an Engineering Graphics and Design (EGD) class. The study examined the students' preferences related to a blended teaching and learning approach and more specifically to the use of Computer-Aided Drawing (CAD) in the instruction of 3D drawing. An action research, mixed-method design was used and data were collected by means of questionnaires, interviews and observation. Results showed that students preferred to learn 3D drawing in a blended teaching environment. It is clear from the results that when a blended learning environment selectively combines face-to-face and digital tutorials, group work, videos, simulations and other online and offline work, the likely result will be an educational environment highly conducive to learning.