The Academic Development Unit of the Centre for Higher Education Teaching and Learning (CHETL) at the University of Venda (Univen) held a Portfolio Development Workshop for academics on Friday, 05 and Friday ,12 April 2019 at 2Ten Hotel in Sibasa. The workshop was attended by 58 academic staff from various Schools of the University of Venda.
In her opening address, the Director Centre for Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Professor Nancy Mutshaeni mentioned that the workshop focussed on developing a Teaching Portfolio and narrating one’s trajectory as an academic in a well-documented reflective manner. The participants were assured that they were to be taken through a journey including skills that require them to think deeply and critically about their teaching philosophy, teaching and learning practices and their stance on assessment. She further indicated that a Teaching Portfolio can help to reflect on what they do and also their teaching skills can be refined. The participants were reminded that the Portfolio is a multi-faceted document meant to organize their accomplishments, goals, aspirations, and personal thought.
Ms Nosipho Ngangani, Head of Records and Archives Management presented about matters relating to management of records and their importance. Among other things, Ms Ngangani told the audience that records management is important for any organisation because it ensures that vital, historical, fiscal and legal values are identified and preserved. She highlighted that records are important because they provide evidence; provide a corporate memory; formulate policy; make decisions; sustain service delivery; protect the interests of the organization, staff and clients. “Once you are being able to develop a portfolio, it becomes part of managing records”, said Nosipho. Ms Ngangani showed that well managed records avoid risks and loss of corporate memory. She emphasized the fact that records management is everybody’s responsibility.
Dr Langutani Masehela, Head of Academic Development Unit at CHETL shared information on current developments in the higher education sector at the national level. She spoke about the importance of the recently published document titled “National Framework for Enhancing Academics as University teachers” published by the Department of Higher Education and Training. In her presentation she indicated that the framework was aimed at promoting continuous professional development for university teachers to maximize teaching excellence in higher education. She further advised lecturers to reflect on their teaching practices in order to increase chances of academic success of their students.
Dr Fhatuwani Ravhuhali, Senior Academic Developer from the Academic Development Unit dealt with issues pertaining to developing a Teaching Portfolio. He advised academic staff to share their teaching philosophies with their students in order to ensure that they are on the same page with them. Dr Ravhuhali further showed the importance of having a Teaching Portfolio in one’s teaching responsibility. He pointed that a portfolio provides documented evidence of teaching from various sources. “Developing a teaching portfolio is not a once off activity, it’s an ongoing process.” He said that as the portfolio develops over time, academics should include documents that provide evidence of a wide range of activities and achievements.
Dr Emma Lubaale, Senior Lecturer at Univen School of Law shared her personal experience in compiling a teaching portfolio. She encouraged other academic staff to build their teaching portfolio because the teaching portfolio makes a job easier. She told them that they can even enter teaching competitions using the same portfolio because it provides details and evidence of their work and achievements in teaching.
The first group of academic staff that attended the workshop on day one of the workshop
The second group of academic staff that attended the workshop on day two of the workshop
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Date: 25 April 2019