An inaugural lecture is considered an important rite of passage in the life and career of an academic.
Professor Marietjie Havenga delivered her inaugural lecture, titled Cooperative problem-based learning in Information Technology: Active learning for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In this lecture, Prof Havenga argued that the implementation of cooperative problem-based learning as a teaching and learning strategy can contribute to students’ active and responsible learning skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
She used the following key points to illustrate the conversation:
- Introduction and background: the teaching and learning of Information Technology (IT);
- Teaching and learning in higher education: passive vs active learning;
- The incorporation of problem-based and cooperative learning to promote the development of active learning in students;
- The development of self-directed learning as an essential skill for the future;
- Cooperative problem-based learning for the 4IR ̶ a research agenda.
She concluded her lecture by highlighting the following:
Lecturers must promote effective teaching and learning and explore and implement innovative ways of assessment. The effectiveness of various teaching-learning strategies needs to be further explored, for example, the use of cooperative game-based learning and inquiry learning with the application of virtual reality.
In terms of the impact on society, lecturers can advise the Department of Basic Education on the new Coding and Robotics curriculum and teachers can be supported to create opportunities in the classroom where learners obtain essential skills that can be developed for the future.
Furthermore, a virtual centre can be developed at the faculty. Here colleagues and students’ interdisciplinary work with the use of various platforms and software can promote digital literacy and teaching and learning for 4IR, and create opportunities for research and the development of innovative artefacts.
Dr Pentecost Nkhoma, School Director: School of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, gave the welcoming address. He emphasised that Prof Havenga has raised the flag of our school, our faculty and the NWU.
“In her field, not many people reach professorship because it is rare in Information Technology Education, and we are extremely proud of her.”
Prof Lloyd Conley, executive dean at the Faculty of Education, had the honour of officially draping her in her academic regalia and reading her biography. He also highlighted that it is indeed an auspicious occasion and a proud moment for all.
In his response, Prof Jako Olivier, professor in Multimodal Learning in the School of Professional Studies in Education, said that Prof Marietjie’s presentation was excellent.
Professor Robert Balfour, deputy vice-chancellor for Teaching and Learning, presented Prof Havenga with a certificate and offered a word of congratulations.
“On behalf of the vice-chancellor, Dr Bismark Tyobeka, and the management of the university, we would like to extend our congratulations to you, as well as the family and faculty gathered here this evening.”
He also added that he knows how many years it takes to become a professor and once that recognition is provided, it is truly a signal of entry into many years of further development.
Click here to read Prof Marietjie's full biography.
Prof Marietjie Havenga
Prof Marietjie Havenga and Prof Robert Balfour