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“EMERGENCY TAKE OFF AND SAFE LANDING”: REFLECTION ON USING DIGITAL SPACE AS A SUPERVISION PEDAGOGICAL STRATEGY FOR B. ED. HONOURS IN TEACHING AND LEARNING STUDENTS

V. Van Staden , K. Booi 

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
Conducting research as early as in the honours degree empowers students with skills which will enable postgraduate students whose intention is to embark on higher degrees through research projects to succeed. There is a compelling argument that a higher degree with no research component deprives students with critical skills to induct them in the academic discourse. Such skills are necessary to develop students into future scholars. During the time of Covid-19 pandemic, new approaches to teaching and learning had to be incorporated without compromising the integrity of the degrees offered. The same prevailed with a result of exploring alternative pedagogies that involved the use of ICTs to teach students about research, guiding them through the process of undertaking their research projects. This study aimed at exploring ways of interacting with students effectively during the period of lockdown imposed to avoid transmission of the corona virus to ensure that they successfully acquire research skills resulting in the successful completion of research projects. In the case study of a university in South Africa, 12 students who were enrolled for B. Ed Honours in Teaching and Learning of science education were supervised using alternative ways including the use of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, emails, WhatsApp, and telephonic consultations. Most of them in turn used the same media to collect data while a few managed to engage with participants face-to-face. Data was collected through interviews, covert observations of their presentations and document analysis of their research projects. Results of the students demonstrated their resilience and drive which made them to obtain an average of 60 % in the research projects with one student obtaining a distinction. This performance demonstrated that students’ capabilities to produce work of acceptable standard, and their readiness to enroll for higher degrees should they desire to do so was possible. Fourth industrial revolution became a reality and as such, this difficult time brought innovations and as such made people who are involved in higher education to be innovative.