One of the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) mission statement is to promote excellence in teaching, technology transfer and applied research.DUT academics like Dr Anisa Vahed (senior lecturer in the Dental Technology Programme in the Dental Sciences Department and a NRF Y2 – Rated Researcher), who is passionate about promoting excellence, was given due recognition for her dedication towards her research and learning practices.
In February this year, she was one of the finalists selected to go through to the final round of judging for the 2019 Teaching Research Methods Excellence Awards.
From the 20 submissions, 15 competitors were invited to submit full case histories. After the evaluation by a panel of judges, 10 were invited to present in the next round. Seven were then selected to present their work at the 18th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies, which took place at WITS Business School from 20 to 21 June 2019. Her Project titled “Using Research Informed Teaching Practices to Strengthen the Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Research” was one of the seven selected and has been published in a book titled “Innovation in the Teaching of Research Methodology Excellence Awards: An Anthology of Case Histories 2019”, which is edited by Professor Dan Remenyi. A double-blind peer review process was followed. In addition, she was the ‘runner up’ in the competition.
Dr Vahed is ecstatic to have been given recognition for her work and added that her vision for the next six years is to establish improved practices in strengthening the link between undergraduate teaching and research aimed at cultivating valued graduate attributes.
She added that the undergraduate research project also seeks to transform undergraduate education by engaging and advising students in their development as researchers, especially enabling them to make the cognitive shifts toward postgraduate study and to gain real-world experiences.
“To this end, I have teamed with Professor Helen Walkington from Oxford Brookes University who is renowned for her work on the Research – Teaching Nexus. We will be conducting staff development workshops in this area of work between 15 to 26 July in DUT and UKZN. Hence, my collective involvement in teaching and research reflects a commitment to improve practice, not just in my discipline, but across the University, on a national and international level,” she said.
Furthermore, Nomvelo Dladla and Cassim Seed at whose Dental Technology Masters research projects, Dr Vahed is currently supervising,were also afforded the opportunity to present their research through a poster presentation at this international conference. They received positive feedback and engagement from international peers, particularly with regards to their explicit research design and methodology.
“On behalf of my students and colleagues, special thanks to the Acting HOD: Mr Gumbi, and their respective co-supervisors Professor Ashely Ross (Ms Dladla’s Project) and Dr Tufayl Ahmed Muslim (Mr Seedat’s project) for all your support and encouragement to date,” she said.
Dr Vahed is also an active participant in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) professional learning courses, which she is affiliated with the States University of New York (SUNY) since 2016. “Using the COIL method of internationalised pedagogy, I have developed six COIL courses and have successfully completed four. Currently, two COIL projects are in-progress,” she said.
Pictured: Dr Anisa Vahed.