The teaching mix matters: Rethinking veterinary education at a South African university
Keywords:Hybrid learning, Academic development, Professional development, Technology-enhanced learning, Inquiry-based learning, COVID-19
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a shift in teaching and learning practices. The University of Pretoria in South Africa was not entirely unprepared for this event, since the university’s teaching strategy had gradually evolved into a hybrid delivery mode. In the Faculty of Veterinary Science, however, the practical nature of the discipline brought about unique challenges in implementing hybrid-mode teaching and learning methodologies. An intervention was thus required to empower lecturers in the faculty to adapt their teaching methodologies to incorporate the hybrid teaching and learning mode. The aforementioned intervention was gleaned from a professional development framework developed by Brown et al. (2010) with a definite focus on core knowledge, areas of activity and core values. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the university’s educational support department developed and presented a tailor-made course, called “The Mix Matters: Step up your hybrid teaching”, to enhance lecturers’ hybrid teaching skills. Unknowingly, the workshop amply prepared the lecturers for what was still to come in 2020. The aim was to provide participants with a deep understanding of the complexities involved and the skills required for revising and quality-assuring academic courses for the hybrid-teaching environment. Using a mixed-method research design, this paper elucidates how the training and its learning outcomes inspired the lecturers to implement the hybrid teaching and learning mode that conforms to the University of Pretoria’s teaching and learning model. A noticeable paradigm shift was accomplished once the initial scepticism had turned into enthusiasm and positive attitudes.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Dr M. Pienaar, Dr E. Mostert
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