UKZN Hosts Workshop Series aimed at Developing Institutional Research Capacity
In an effort to foster inter-departmental collaboration and develop institutional research capacity, the University Teaching and Learning Office at UKZN (UTLO) hosted the second in a series of Data Analytics Workshops on the Howard College campus.
This workshop series is being presented by internationally renowned academic and Institutional Researcher, Professor Victor Borden of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington in the United States.
Borden has served as an advisor to several national bodies in the USA, teaches in the field of Institutional Intelligence and has published extensively in his field.
He said the aim of the workshop series was to provide participants with a deeper understanding of how to do inquiry and analysis in a Higher Education setting for the purposes of improving student success as well as quality and learning in the working environment. He emphasised that institutional research was not simply about doing the research and analysis, but rather about doing it in a way that made it ‘usable and useful’.
The workshop series, attended by academic and support staff, seeks to improve institutional capacity for collaboration across Colleges, across programmes and between central administration and the programmes. ‘The research and analysis only becomes useful if it is done collaboratively,’ said Borden.
He also underscored the importance of buy-in and support from the Executive and collaboration between departments to ensure the success of institutional research projects.
Borden’s general area of scholarship is on the assessment of organisational and performance within Higher Education Institutions. Within this general area, he has pursued four themes: student progress and performance; organisational performance assessment and accountability; diversity and equity within higher education, and organisational learning and development as a framework for institutional research.
UKZN’s Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr Rubby Dhunpath, said he was satisfied about the progress the Data Analytics Group was making. ‘Under the expert guidance of Professor Borden, the group of emerging specialists has been able to conceptualise four signature institutional research projects, which will begin to address perennial problems related to student success in a coherent and holistic approach.’
For more information on the Data Analytics Workshop Series, details on the Institutional Research projects and to watch the recent interview with Professor Victor Borden, please visit: http://utlo.ukzn.ac.za/data-analytics
Ebrahim Adam and Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer