Head of deparment highlights the growing importance of technology in higher education

Professor Alfred Msomi

The Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Professor Alfred Msomi, gave a presentation at the 10th Focus Conference that took place off campus, from 23 – 25 August 2023. Presenting a topic: Investigating the relationship between technology integration and student engagement at a South African university of technology, Professor Msomi emphasised the importance of embracing technology in teaching. Professor Msomi warned that it was vital for academics to do thorough research and find out the necessary facts about their students, and not work on assumptions. For instance, there are students whose backgrounds did not make it possible for them to acquire the required technological know-how. Professor Msomi recommended that academics consider this, and do something to assist the students to cope and be able to use technology in their studies.

Professor Msomi said that the research conducted revealed that it was difficult to get staff to use technology in their teaching. The uptake was very low, he said. He argued that there must be some incentives for both staff and students to embrace technology as a tool that would enhance the pass rate and the quality of the knowledge they generate and share. Professor Msomi said lecturers should dig deep. “How can you say that students must use technology when you have not introduced them to it?”, he asked. Professor Msomi was supported by several of his fellow MUT colleagues. Dr Yvonne Mvuyana, Acting Head of the Department of Public Administration and Economics, said that lecturers who have been long in the system were likely not to have embraced technology. Dr Mvuyana added that the Institution must also provide the required technology. Dr Rafiq Jamal of the Department of Communication said he was “influenced” by Professor Msomi’s presentation.