An academic facilitator’s commentary on teaching in a post-Covid-19 South Africa
Keywords:academic literacy, autoethnography, critical thinking skills, experiential knowledge, motivational teaching
The importance of the academic writing facilitator’s role – part of which involves the facilitator’s capacity to master, and to enable students’ confident navigation of increasingly digitised learning platforms1 – has been widely noted in academic circles. Covid-19’s aftermath has provided further impetus for the acceleration of higher education institutions’ research output on the successes and shortcomings of curricular learning designs. The waves of the pandemic have also resulted in educators and students being challenged to craft innovative and creative ways to continue facilitating the learning process for the benefit of their students. The initial ‘teething problems’ accompanying the online migration of course content and sessions meant that the poorest students suffered doubly, for reasons including lack of access to technology, as well as poor signal/connectivity in rural areas. It is against this backdrop that this piece, phenomenological by nature, sets out to explore how and when meaningful relationships between students and facilitators might be forged for the sake of fostering meaningful, productive collaborations between facilitators and students enrolled in tertiary academic literacy courses. The overarching research question is how an educator’s personal investment in, and commitment to the academic writing process might be evidenced by way of positive student feedback, generated and sourced from student evaluations.2 The reader is invited to consider whether or not a correlation exists between the input of an experienced educator who displays genuine interest in her students’ engagement in the course and positive student feedback. It is suggested that display of emotion (including, but not limited to exhibiting a sense of humour) corresponds positively with students’ overall satisfaction with the course material and presentation thereof.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Lorette Marais
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