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ERIC Number: EJ1060094
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1443-2110
Role Perceptions of Science Academics Who Teach to First-Year Students: The Influence of Gender
Jacobs, Melanie; Jacobs, Gerrie J.
Journal of Institutional Research, v19 n1 p33-45 Jul 2014
A marked increase in student enrolments in South African public universities over the last two decades have admitted substantially more 'non-traditional' students to the sector. These students typically have unsatisfactory levels of school performance, lack communication skills (especially in English) and mostly have first-generation status. The Faculty of Science at the University of Johannesburg established its First Year Academy (FYA) in 2007. The FYA, a community of practice for first-year lecturers, promotes an optimal learning environment for students, and expects lecturers to adjust their usual facilitation of learning strategies. Not much is known (research-wise) about role adaptions that academics (in science environments) are expected (forced?) to make in such circumstances. However, appropriate behaviours and expected competencies have to be interrogated if the faculty wants to continually enhance academic student success. A literature-validated Likert-type questionnaire involved 53 first-year lecturers (60% females). The survey gained perceptions in respect of eight possible roles that lecturers (could or should) play when dealing with first-year students, as well as their competence in fulfilling these roles. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed significant differences between perceived role importance and competence of males and females in respect of certain roles. Gender was found to significantly influence opinions and behaviours of science academics who teach to first-year students at University of Johannesburg (UJ). Capacity building geared at the more proficient execution of the roles of "course designer", "teacher", "course manager" and "student consultant" is regarded as vital and a tailor-made professional development program is planned for 2014.
Australasian Association for Institutional Research. 546 Gallymont Road, Mandurama, NSW 2792, Australia. +61-2-6367-5347; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa (Johannesburg)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A