Two fourth-year courses offered by UCT's School of Management Studies not only provide a sterling example of collaborative learning, but have clinched the UCT Collaborative Educational Practice Award for 2013.
The Business in Context and Business Communication collaboration has earned its originators, Gao Nodoba and Stuart Hendry, a R40 000 prize and was lauded by Deputy-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sandra Klopper.
Making the award late last year, Klopper commended the team on the excellent design and implementation of their collaborative pedagogical approach, adding that it served as an excellent example of collaborative educational practice.
The UCT award for collaborative educational practice (CEP) is open to two or more UCT staff members who have collaborated on a particular project to enhance the teaching and learning environment. The projects need to have been sustained for several years and to have had a positive impact on the teaching and learning environment.
Congratulating Hendry and Nodoba, Professor Don Ross, dean of the Faculty of Commerce, said: "This is most gratifying and a well-deserved recognition of the dedicated work on pedagogy by the School of Management Studies team."
The collaboration between Business in Context and Business Communication courses aims to equip postgraduate management students with the requisite skills to develop and deliver a live business project.
Hendry and Nodoba explain that the teaching approach comprises a collaborative effort between students, course convenors and small business owner-managers. "This teaching model was developed in an attempt to prepare postgraduate students for challenges of in the workplace and to offer technical support to small businesses (SMEs) in order to enhance their competitiveness."
"Since its inception in 2010, this model has been a resounding success, with both students and small business owner-managers indicating that it enhanced their studies and businesses respectively," state the colleagues.
Commerce student Derek Asbun maintains he has benefitted enormously from the courses which have encouraged him to use a systematic approach to group projects. "I have learned that not every team or project is the same, and that you must be open to change and look for innovative ways to solve problems. You will never be working with the same exact personalities and skill sets, so by understanding the specific needs of each person as well as the overarching problems, you are able to tailor each role accordingly. I have learned the meaning of healthy and effective collaboration and I look forward to using these skills in future projects and in my career".
Nodoba remarked: "I am so happy that our hard work paid off in the end. Having stated that, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Terri Grant and Alison Meadows for their unwavering support for the collaboration. My sincere gratitude also goes to our colleagues Claudia Kalil, Christel Kalil, Sindiswa Majebe, Nashly Langenhoven and Nyameka Nongwe for believing in us and actively supporting our efforts and ensuring the success of the collaboration."
Staff reporter. Image supplied.
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