Prof Bongazana Dondolo, Assistant Dean: Teaching and Learning and Project Leader.
It was the second of such workshops this year, the first took place from 31 March to 2 April, when members presented their work in progress. During the latest workshop, members were guided to write for publication, under the theme E-Learning and E-Assessment based on the new Learning Management System, Brightspace.
Once published, these papers would add to the research output of the Faculty.
Although the project was launched in the Faculty of Humanities in 2020, the aim of the Forum is to assist all TUT women in writing papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals. The goal of the initiative is to develop competencies in research, which will benefit the participants as they advance in their careers. The anticipated benefits include an increased understanding of research methodology issues; increased independence as a writer; and publishing of journal research papers. The project's significance will be determined by how it affects the lives of the women who participated in the programme by equipping and empowering them to conduct independent research.
Members of the Forum, representing different departments at the University, mainly work in groups, focusing on a specific topic of their choice, aligned to the theme.
"The theme was chosen in line with the changes that took place in the higher education sector during the COVID-19 pandemic," says Prof Bongazana Dondolo, Assistant Dean: Teaching and Learning and Project Leader. "The ongoing workshops ensure that all members ‘move as one’ in writing papers, and that no one is left behind."
Data collection related to the project will take place at TUT, either from TUT students and/or staff, upon receiving permission from the TUT Research Ethics Committee.
Although the data collection process is a challenge for some groups, four groups have so far completed it. Prof Dondolo assisted attendees with identifying and choosing the different data collection methods for their respective papers. She also presented a short workshop on how to use the statistical package, IBM Statistics software for data analysis (SPSS).
"It is important that researchers know how their data is analysed; hence, I wanted them to have a practice run on using SPSS," she adds.
This provided attendees with valuable information on how to continue with their papers.
There are two completed papers ready for publication, with the authors awaiting feedback from the language editor.
"I think by the end of the year we will publish at least two papers," says Prof Dondolo.