Dr Refilwe Mogase, HoD in the Department of Informatics.
Dr Refilwe Mogase, current Informatics HoD, believes that her thesis, entitled: “A mobile computing model to enhance Personalised Learning for students in South African Higher Education” will add value to her current role as HOD as well as the Department of Informatics as a whole because, “the Covid -19 pandemic has forced education systems worldwide to find alternatives to face-to-face instruction. As a result, online teaching and learning have been used by teachers and students on an unprecedented scale. As one of the universities that are underdeveloped, our students come from disadvantaged backgrounds with poor socio-economic conditions and inferior schooling. However, with the growth of the use in mobile devices/smartphones, many students have become techno-savvy and are competent social networkers. This makes Personalised Learning in a teaching space since we are on a hybrid mode to be more relevant as an adopted pedagogy in education to combat the restriction of access to education. Conversely, this fits in well as an online learning platform that is viewed as a means of reaching such students without losing the personal or social element in the teaching and learning space.”
In addition to her PhD that she completed in 2022, other academic achievements that she has obtained include her undergrad qualifications (National Diploma: IT and BTech:IT-Support), she then proceeded to do her Master’s degree – MTech: Business Information Systems. In addition, Dr Mogase completed a 2-year leadership programme named SAAL which stands for South African Academic Leadership in collaboration with 2 international Universities in the Netherlands: Groningen University and Erasmus University.
Moreover, Dr Mogase has published two academic articles in accredited journals titled “Enhancing Learning through the Use of Digital Libraries in Developing Countries Universities” and “An Adoption Model for Smart Learning in Ekurhuleni North District Secondary Schools” as a co-author. She also has one journal published on InPrint titled “Improved Personalised Learning Pedagogy through Mobile Computing Model for South African Higher Education learners”. In addition, she has presented three conference papers internationally titled “E-Resources Usage in South African Higher Institutions of Learning”, “An Interactive Mobile Computing Model to Enhance Personalized learning for At-risk Students in South African Higher learning” and “Personalizing Learning with m-Techologies to Improve Students’ Performance in South African Higher learning”. One conference paper and one journal article are currently under review.
Throughout her studies, Dr Mogase firmly believed that giving up on her journey to become a PhD graduate was simply never an option. “I constantly reminded myself that I belong to a journey that requires me to remain intentional and present despite obstacles”, she said.
When asked what piece of advice she would give students who are currently on their journey to obtaining their PhD, she said: “Put God first, and everything else will fall into place. Remember that wisdom is never given; it is always earned through positive and unpleasant life experiences, so live those experiences. Take care of both your physical and emotional health in order to reclaim and sustain your motivation throughout this journey, and always remember why you started and envision your ultimate goal.”
The Faculty of ICT further boasts another PhD graduate namely, Dr Tshimangadzo Mavin Tshilongamulenzhe, and 8 Master’s graduates, of which 5 were obtained with cum laude.