Training 3 reflections - day 2

The third training is well under way now. Wednesday 2 February was an eventful day with lots to digest. The theme of the day was competence assessment. In the end of the day, the participants were introduced to the concept of hackathons and started work towards completing one tomorrow.

University of Johannesburg School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) Hospitality Lecturer Ms Akhona Melani reflected on the second day of the SUCSESS project training 3:

In the first session, we reflected on the importance of assessments, with discussions on why we and how we assess students. We were grouped into diverse groups from different universities and different disciplines. The groups also identified ways in which assessment practices can be changed to increase student success in their studies and to better prepare them for the workplace. On the discussion of assessment practices that could be changed, one of the groups highlighted that there is a need for an inclusive appreciation and compassion for students and a better understanding of their needs.

For the second half of the day, we were introduced to the concept of a “Hackathon”. Very few people had ever heard of this before and were very excited by the idea. We learned that a hackathon is an event that is hosted in a short time frame to develop software that can be used to solve a problem. To carry out the hackathon, university groups were formed wherein each university identified an existing problem within their university or department and then specify why this problem needed to be addressed and how it could be addressed. Then each university decided which software would be used to address the problem. It was very exciting to hear different perspectives from each university on the problems that they would attempt to address.

There is a real value of learning in being part of the SUCSESS training. Each of the sessions offer thought provoking insights that encourage one to aspire to constantly improve student experiences in their journey in higher education.