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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Issues of student throughput and graduation rates are issues of concern in many South African universities. Numerous intervention programmes are put in place to assist students to progress well with their studies and curb failure and subsequent drop out from degree programmes. Student mentoring is one such intervention. The purpose of this study was to establish trained mentors’ reflections of their contact with mentees in a pilot student mentoring programme in a South African University. The study adopted a wholly qualitative approach in which a purposefully selected sample of 42 mentors participated in the study. Data were collected through document analysis of mentors’ weekly reports and postings to a Facebook page were read and analysed. Data were analysed through content analysis of emerging themes. The study found that although the mentors were positive about the establishment of a student support programme, they were concerned about schedules, communication between themselves and the Teaching and Learning Unit and between mentors and mentees. The level of commitment by mentees and the impact that the programme had on assessment were found questionable. In conclusion mentors agree that this programme is important in this context but more still needs to be attended to, to improve the system. The paper provides a list of recommendations that the university needs to take into account to provide a more effective student support programme.
    Anthropologist 01/2014; 17(2):367-376.
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT The study sought to establish lecturers’ views on factors affecting students’ performance in one School in a South African University. This qualitative study utilised a case study design in which twenty-three purposefully selected practising lecturers participated in the study. Data were collected through individual interviews with participating lecturers in one School in a rural-based university in South Africa. Interview proceedings were audio-taped, transcribed and analysed. The results were cross-checked with the participants. Data were analysed through content analysis where emerging themes were noted. The study found that there were numerous positive factors that affected students’ academic performance that included the existence of some lecturers with teaching qualifications and some who had attended professional development courses in teaching, assessment and moderation, the use of varied ways of presenting module content and effective handling of assessment and feedback. There were also negative factors such as general students’ under-preparedness, inability to use available resources, the unavailability of teaching and learning space, laboratories as well as students challenges in academic writing and study skills. The study concludes that positive factors should be tapped to improve student academic performance while negative factors need redress. Recommendations were made in the light of key findings of the study.
    Anthropologist 01/2014; 17(2):409-420.
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    Anthropologist 03/2012;
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    Anthropologist 01/2012; 14(5):467-472.
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    Anthropologist 01/2012; 14(1):29-38.

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