Progressio 2023-12-08T09:20:04+00:00 Oupa Mashile Open Journal Systems <p><strong>Open Access</strong></p> <p><em>Progressio</em> is a peer-reviewed, open access, scholarly journal that provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners in teaching and learning, particularly in higher education, in the areas of open, distance and e-learning; online learning; digital technology; and flexible education to publish their articles. The journal is read by researchers, leaders, managers, policy makers and practitioners in specialist distance education institutions, as well as those using flexible learning and digital educational technologies in conventional contact institutions. Progressio is accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training.</p> <p> </p> Emerging Trends in South African Higher Education: A Critical Analysis of Distance Learning Modalities in Music 2023-12-08T09:20:04+00:00 Sakhiseni Joseph Yende <div> <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This study addresses the dynamic shifts in South African higher education, focusing on integrating distance learning into music education. The proliferation of digital platforms has redefined educational paradigms, necessitating a critical examination of its impact on music pedagogy within the South African context. Employing a qualitative critical analysis methodology, this research leverages existing scientific literature to discern patterns, challenges, and opportunities presented by distance learning modalities. Anchored in Jack Mezirow's Transformative Learning Theory, this study investigates emerging trends in distance learning modalities within South African higher education music programmes. Two significant findings emerge: firstly, distance learning fosters student autonomy, enabling self-directed exploration of musical concepts. Secondly, collaborative online environments facilitate cross-cultural musical exchanges, enriching students' cultural understanding and musical proficiency. This study underscores the imperative of harnessing technology for music education in South Africa, emphasising its capacity to democratise access and broaden cultural understanding. The findings contribute to a growing body of literature on transformative learning experiences in music education, offering practical insights for educators and policymakers. As South Africa's educational landscape continues to evolve, this research lays a foundation for the innovative integration of digital platforms, ushering in a new era of inclusive and culturally enriched music education.</span></p> </div> 2023-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Sakhiseni Joseph Yende A Design Thinking Approach to Disentangle the Wicked Problem of Re-Curriculation during a Pandemic 2023-10-16T07:36:03+00:00 Johanna Catharina (Irene) Lubbe Sumaiya Adam Werner Cordier <p>Covid-19 continues to cause major disruptions and unique challenges in the higher education sector. Some of the most profound disruptions are in health sciences where students depend on current, up-to-date information, interdisciplinary collaboration, and work-integrated learning to acquire the needed skill set to become proficient clinical practitioners. Combining the Covid-19 pandemic with emergency remote teaching and an outdated 25-year-old non-responsive, fragmented curriculum created the perfect storm for a wicked problem. (A problem that is almost impossible to solve due to incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognise.) In this article, the authors share their journey-in-process of design thinking disentanglement to solve this current and wicked problem. Shortly before the start of the pandemic, the specific medical school under study embarked on a re-curriculation process—a process that was rudely and abruptly distorted and tangled by the pandemic. However, despite the initial setback, they continue with this mammoth task, basing their activities on “design thinking” principles. They purposively approach this task from within a human-centred, value-based, solution-focused, action-orientated and systematic reasoning process. The five intertwined, non-linear design thinking phases of empathise (stake-holder analysis and data collection), define (data analysis and problem statement), ideate (possible solutions), prototype (integrated draft curriculum) and test (stake-holder feedback and input) were adopted as a method to facilitate and expedite the re-curriculation process. The process discussed in this manuscript has value beyond the health sciences. The approach to storyboarding, creating, and unpacking a new curriculum is applicable to all disciplines in multiple educational settings.</p> 2023-10-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Johanna Catharina (Irene) Lubbe, Sumaiya Adam, Werner Cordier Moodle in an Open Distance e-Learning University: Is It a Building or Stumbling Block to Student Interaction and Autonomy? 2023-08-01T07:30:04+00:00 Kershnee Sevnarayan Kgabo Maphoto Mirriam Madikwe Keagile Lephalala <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Africa are seemingly staggering under the burden of digital division and exclusion. Due to its perceived flexibility and affordability for students in remote areas, distance education is a popular option for many students at HEIs. One of the e-learning tools introduced is a modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment (Moodle) learning management system (LMS), which is designed using web-based applications and provides online learning services to students. The key question remains: how do first-year students experience Moodle? Do they view it as a building block to their learning? Or is it a stumbling block? This article reports on a study that was conducted in a South African open distance e-learning (ODeL) institution with students who speak English as an additional language, in an Academic Writing module. The study used a qualitative case study approach and drew on the theory of transactional distance to understand how Moodle encourages student interaction and autonomy. Although the study findings cannot be generalised on a broader scale, the findings are in line with similar studies, amplifying the critical role of student experiences, interaction, and autonomy in HEIs to bring about the required change.</span></p> 2023-08-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Kershnee Sevnarayan, Mirriam Madikwe Keagile Lephalala, Kgabo Maphoto Investigating Online Versus In-Person Learning on Student Performance 2023-09-01T08:36:14+00:00 Upasana Singh Mergan Naidoo Oliver Mtapuri Ruwayda Petrus Sarah Gibson Oreh Arek-Bawa <p>The urgent transformation from face-to-face teaching to an online format in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide was carried out overnight, and almost seamlessly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the transition to adopting online assessment methods may have proved challenging for academics, recent literature in this area highlights the main reason for this—that many face-to-face universities had never implemented any form of online assessment from an institutional perspective prior to the pandemic. This issue was further exacerbated by the fact that these assessments had to be conducted remotely, bringing to the fore extraordinary challenges for HEIs, including academic dishonesty, infrastructural limitations, coverage of learning outcomes, and commitment of students to submit assessments, to name but a few. The overarching purpose of this research was to determine which teaching method proved more effective over the eight-year period. The scores of 548 students—401 traditional students and 147 online students—in an environmental science class were used to determine which instructional modality generated better student performance by means of a comparative study. This article adopts a quantitative approach analysing retrospective data at the selected institution to determine the performance of undergraduate students during the first and second semesters of 2019, when the institution operated in a fully face-to-face environment, and compares these results with those achieved during the first two semesters of 2020, during which the institution adopted emergency remote teaching and assessment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this article was to determine whether students performed better or worse in the online environment. Results from institutional-wide modules were compared across the two years.</p> 2023-09-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Upasana Singh, Mergan Naidoo, Oliver Mtapuri, Ruwayda Petrus, Sarah Gibson, Oreh Arek-Bawa