Saide Current Awareness
24 October 2023


Distance Education

  • 10 Interesting Facts About Distance Learning Source: Linkedin A range of facts are explored including motivational factors, nontraditional students, free college courses, paying for college, and pros or cons.
  • An algorithm predicts the academic performance of distance education students Source: Newswise Distance education has democratized access to knowledge, overcoming problems of time and space. The flexibility and accessibility of this type of system has increased the number of people educated via online platforms. However, due to its large numbers of students, and the lack of the kind of close interaction that classrooms make possible, professors face a big problem: the difficulty of monitoring and adapting learning to their students.
  • Algorithm Forecasts Distance Education Students' Performance  Source: Mirage A team from the University of Cordoba has designed a model, based on fuzzy logic, that predicts the performance of online education students, dividing them into 4 categories and helping professors give more personalized assistance to each student, tailored to their situations
  • UNESCO Chair -Unisa on Open Distance Learning (ODL) embracing Ubuntu Source: CEOWorld It was indeed an opportunity to participate in the international conference on “ODeL in the Global South: Opportunities in times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA)”, August 14-17, 2023; design and executed under the UNESCO Chair at University of South Africa (Unisa), Professor Moeketsi Letseka. Through the opening interaction with this charismatic personality, a marathon athlete, it was clear that this personality demanded action from all, caressed with humility and humbleness. This began the journey to have multitude one-on-one sessions on him and capture the take away from his long-standing journey deluge with exuberance and foresight.

 Education: South Africa 


Language, Literacies and Research Writing

  • The Learning Board Source:Nali'bali.Org Nal'ibali's FREE-to-use story learning board allows you to translate words in 7 SA languages and keep track of the words you have learned FREE-to-use story learning board allows you to translate words in 7 SA languages and keep track of the words you have learned


Open Education and Open Educational Resources

  • Critical Thinking in Global Challenges Source: University of Edinburgh These 14 videos formed part of a course run by Professor Mayank Dutia and Dr Celine Caquineau from the School of Biomedical Sciences, which aimed to provide the opportunity to better understand what critical thinking is, and to practice and enhance critical thinking skills. The course used the context of some important global challenges that affect us all, and to which we have no clear “correct” solutions: for example, the risk and spread of serious infectious diseases in epidemics in modern societies, the implications of increasing human population on global resources, energy, environment and climate, and the challenges of human health and wellbeing in the modern world. 


   Post Schooling

  • Priorities of new ‘African university’ lack substance Source: University World News There has been an explosion of new universities on the African continent in the past 20 years. During this time, Ethiopia, alone, established 60 new universities. In this article, based on research conducted for a Human Sciences Research Council study on the impact of the Mastercard Foundation’s support for higher education development in Africa, the strategies of six institutions are analysed.
  • Dire need to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in HE Source: University World News There is a need to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education institutions across Africa to create a sense of belonging for every student and to advance transformation.
  • SA’s top university told to create space for poor students Source: University World News The Council on Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa has recommended that the University of Cape Town (UCT) admit more students from poor communities and intensify efforts to transform its demographic profile, writes Loyiso Sidimba for the Sunday Independent.
  • Strategies needed to promote effective, ethical data sharing Source: University World News Despite the benefits of data sharing, many researchers and scientists remain reluctant to share their data because of privacy or intellectual property concerns, the historical misuse of data, and worries about data being scooped.


Skills and Employment 


Teaching and Learning- Local and Global


Technology Enhanced Learning

  • A Generative AI Primer Source: JISC A blog post that is a work in progress piece on a  course providing basic essential information on large language models 
  • AI in education: where we are and what happens next Source: OUP "Oxford University Press (OUP) recommends governments, school leaders, and education business leaders to support AI in schools while prioritizing educational quality. Their report acknowledges AI's potential but emphasizes education-leading technology, not the other way around. It highlights that 49% of teachers feel unprepared for AI's impact and calls for empowering teachers and students for an AI-enabled future."
  • Enhancing Face-to-Face Education: Leveraging Learning Management Systems for Student Success Source:Faculty Focus ' In my experience working with face-to-face faculty, I have observed a wide range of usage patterns regarding the Learning Management System (LMS). During the peak of the pandemic, usage understandably surged, with more faculty embracing LMS tools and features. Faculty were eager to learn out of necessity, and we were thrilled to witness double-digit participation in online trainings that would typically draw only a handful of attendees...."
  • ELICITING HUMAN PREFERENCES WITH LANGUAGE MODELS Source:ARVIX  Language models (LMs) can be directed to perform target tasks by using labeled examples or natural language prompts. But selecting examples or writing prompts for can be challenging—especially in tasks that involve unusual edge cases, demand precise articulation of nebulous preferences, or require an accurate mental model of LM behavior. We propose to use LMs themselves to guide the task specification process. In this paper, we introduce generative active task elicitation (GATE): a learning framework in which models elicit and infer intended behavior through free-form, language-based interaction with users.