Saide Current Awareness
02 October 2023


Education: South Africa 


Language, Literacies and Research Writing


Open Education and Open Educational Resources

  • Undoing the Grade :Why We Grade, and How to Stop Source: PressBooks This OER collection represents over 20 years of thinking and writing about grades and ungrading. The word “ungrading" means raising an eyebrow at grades as a systemic practice, distinct from simply “not grading.” The word is a present participle, an ongoing process, not a static set of practices.
  • Introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) - Clark University Source: Clark University "Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. OER form part of ‘Open Solutions’, alongside Free and Open Source software (FOSS), Open Access (OA), Open Data (OD) and crowdsourcing platforms. UNESCO


Post Schooling

  • BRIEFLYSPEAKING NUMBER 25 -  MODELS OF POSTGRADUATE SUPERVISION AND THE NEED FOR A RESEARCH-RICH CULTURE Source: CHE Rapid increases in postgraduate numbers have led to questions about the best models to be used in supervision. Across the world there has been a move away from the one-on-one model of postgraduate supervision to cohort, team, and project-based approaches to providing support to master’s and doctoral students. This Briefly Speaking reviews the literature on these models and the benefits and concerns related to each. The argument offered is that postgraduate students need to undertake their studies within a research-rich culture with multiple opportunities to see research being modelled, to practice their own knowledge creation attempts, and to get feedback from peers and expert researchers. 
  • What makes an ‘African’ university authentically African? Source: University World News Universities are vital institutions with great promise and contribute in myriad ways to society. But there are good reasons to critique universities in Africa, both those created by colonial overlords and those that emerged in the post-independence years.
    If critique is about clarifying issues to inform social action, it means grappling intellectually with alternative logic for universities in Africa that can recreate them as African universities, which is the concern of my chapter in the book, Creating the New African University, titled ‘Re-envisioning Universities in Africa as African Universities’.
  • University of Cape Town’s Dr Linda Mtwisha calls for a national research impact assessment system Source:USAF The Children’s Institute of the University of Cape Town (UCT) is one of seven interdisciplinary research entities and 89 accredited research groupings of UCT undertaking research with socioeconomic impact. Such impact includes having protected 31 000 children from losing the Child Support Grant while the team of seven researchers continues to produce an average of about 21 peer-reviewed publications annually, said Dr Linda Mtwisha, Executive Director: Research at UCT.
  • More institutions take part in rankings, only one in top 200 Source: University World News The number of universities in Africa participating in the 20th edition of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 has increased by 16%, from 97 in 2022 to 113 institutions this year.
    The University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, placed in 167th position out of 1,904 universities from 108 countries and regions, was the only university in Africa to be among the top 200-ranked institutions. The University of Oxford was placed first globally.


Skills and Employment 

  • SA’s growing 'gig economy' signals weak business confidence - expert Source: News24 While unemployment has remained stubbornly high in South Africa, more people have found part-time work in the country during recent years.
    Between June 2018 and 2023, there has been a 27.8% increase in the number of people who are employed part-time. A lot of this growth came in the last year, where 150 000 found part-time employment between June 2022 and 2023. This represents a 13.2% increase in part-time employment.
  • ILO Director-General welcomes BRICS commitment to ensuring decent work, dignity and respect for all Source: ILO Speaking at the meeting of BRICS nations*, Gilbert F. Houngbo emphasized the importance of inclusive and sustainable development, promoting labour rights for all, ensuring universal access to social protection systems, closing the skills gap in the informal economy and promoting sustainable enterprises. (*Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa


Teaching and Learning- Local and Global

  • What is ungrading? Source: Bryan Alexander Youtube Channel  This week the Forum is delighted to host the University of Denver's Jesse Stommel, author of the new book Undoing the Grade: Why We Grade, and How to Stop.
  • Advancing meaningful learning in the age of AI Source: Oregon State University "Bloom’s Taxonomy is often used as a resource to help higher education faculty assess what kinds or “levels” of learning are planned based on course-level outcomes and, relatedly, to align appropriate activities and assessments to support student learning and success. Here, we have used Bloom’s Taxonomy as a touchstone for reconsidering course outcomes and student learning in the age of generative AI."
  • Assessment reform for the age of artificial intelligence Source: TEQSA The emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI), while creating new possibilities for learning and teaching, has exacerbated existing assessment challenges within higher education. However, there is considerable expertise, based on evidence, theory and practice, about how to design assessment for a digital world, which includes artificial intelligence. AI is not new, after all. This document, constructed through expert collaboration, draws on this body of knowledge and outlines directions for the future of assessment. It seeks to provide guidance for the sector on ways assessment practices can take advantage of the opportunities, and manage the risks, of AI, specifically generative AI.
  • Using affective learning to foster engagement and critical thinking Source: Times Higher Education It takes time, patience and training, but a teaching approach that recognises the role that emotions play in learning can result in a more positive, effective and impactful student experience


Technology Enhanced Learning

  • Embers of Autoregression: Understanding Large Language Models Through the Problem They are Trained to Solve Source: Arvix The authors write:" We argue that in order to develop a holistic understanding of these systems we need to consider the problem that they were trained to solve: next-word prediction over Internet text. By recognizing the pressures that this task exerts we can make predictions about the strategies that LLMs will adopt, allowing us to reason about when they will succeed or fail. This approach - which we call the teleological approach - leads us to identify three factors that we hypothesize will influence LLM accuracy: the probability of the task to be performed, the probability of the target output, and the probability of the provided input. We predict that LLMs will achieve higher accuracy when these probabilities are high than when they are low - even in deterministic settings where probability should not matter. To test our predictions, we evaluate two LLMs (GPT-3.5 and GPT-4) on eleven tasks, and we find robust evidence that LLMs are influenced by probability in the ways that we have hypothesized."
  • AI Developments and What it Means for Education Source: Sovorel Youtube Channel Meta recently released several new AI tools and resources (such as AI personas and Rayban Smart Glasses) which has caused other AI companies like OpenAI to release more AI capabilities as well. These different announcements/events are discussed as well as what it means for Education and how it will affect teaching and learning  
  • Prompts- For- Edu Source:GitHub A prompt library for experimental use in education.
  • EDLAB CPD presentation: The Era of AI and its impact on Higher Education - Prof. Mairéad Pratschke Source: Youtube  Prof. Mairéad Pratschke, @maireadpratschke Professor and Chair in Digital Education in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester presents a very engaging talk about the impact of AI replete with many helpful resources and introduces her concept of generativism, an approach to designing education in collaboration with GenAI, based on digital education frameworks adapted for this new hybrid of the AI age.. You can check out her YouTube channel here for more content:   / @maireadpratschke   
  • ChatGPT Alternatives/Plugins for reliable references  Source: LinkedIn ChatGPT makes up references. Use these AI tools & plugins for verified sources. This is the list of tools leveraging LLM for literature search.


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