Lecturers' perspectives of pedagogical training initiates at a University of Technology in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

  • P. R. Gumede Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
  • M. P. Sithole Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban
  • D. Gumede Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban
Keywords: evaulation, pedagogy, professional development, teaching and learning, training, university of technology


Professional development of academics in higher education in South Africa has been offered in an uncoordinated and unsustainable manner. Ever since the new dispensation, concerted efforts have been implemented to address this problem. As part of the solution, universities through their academic development units, have introduced various pedagogical training workshops to equip academics with teaching skills. This study investigates perceptions of academics pertaining to this training. A multi-method cross-sectional research design was adopted to understand lecturers’ perspectives regarding professional development. A total of 45 participants were purposefully selected to participate in the study from the academics who attended the pedagogical training. A questionnaire (closed and open-ended) was used to collect data. Quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), while thematic analysis was applied to analyse qualitative data. Results of the study revealed that the training was well-received and academic staff members felt motivated and confident to implement various instructional strategies acquired from the training. Participants expressed a need and willingness to learn and develop new instructional techniques and acquired a positive outlook on teaching and learning following the professional development training. The study recommends redesigning the pedagogical training to include ongoing support activities and customisation in addition to the generic version.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

P. R. Gumede, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

Teaching and Learning Development Centre

Acting Senior Director

M. P. Sithole, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban

Teaching and Learning Development Centre

D. Gumede, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban

Centre for General Education


Avidov-Ungar, Orit. 2016. “A model of professional development: Teachers’ perceptions of their professional development.” Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice 22(6): 653–669. https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2016.1158955.

Barnett, Ronald. 2005. “Recapturing the Universal in the University.” Educational Philosophy and Theory 37(6): 785–797. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-5812.2005.00158.x.

Bayar, Adem. 2014. “The Components of Effective Professional Development Activities in terms of Teachers’ Perspective.” International Online Journal of Educational Sciences 6(2): 319–327. https://doi.org/10.15345/iojes.2014.02.006.

Bertram, Carol and Iben Christiansen. 2014. Understanding Research: An Introduction to Reading Research. Pretoria: Van Schaik publishers.

Bimpitsos, Christos and Eugenia Petridou. 2012. “A transdisciplinary approach to training: Preliminary research findings based on a case analysis.” European Journal of Training and Development 36(9): 911–929. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090591211280964.

Bingwa, Luyanda and Musawenkosi Ngibe. 2021. “The impact of academic training programmes in improving teaching and learning: A case of academic staff at a selected university of technology.” South African Journal of Higher Education 35(2): 21–41. https://doi.org/10.20853/35-2-4620.

Bulger, Sean, Derek. J. Mohr, and Richard T. Walls. 2002. “Stack the Deck in Favor of Your Students by Using the Four Aces of Effective the Deck in Favor of Your Students by Using the Four Aces of Effective Teaching.” The Journal of Effective Teaching 5(May): 1–8. https://www.scribd.com/document/14003103/Four-Aces-of-Effective-Teaching.

Chalmers, Denise and Mia O’Brien. 2005. “Education development units and the enhancement of university teaching.” In Education Development and Leadership in Higher Education: Developing an Effective Institutional Strategy, edited by Kym Fraser, 50–71. London and New York: Taylor & Francis Group.

Coe, Robert, Cesare Aloisi, Steve Higgins, and Lee E. Major. 2014. “What makes great teaching? Review of the underpinning research.” Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (October): 2–57. https://www.suttontrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-Makes-Great-Teaching-REPORT.pdf%0Ahttp://www.suttontrust.com/researcharchive/great-teaching/%0Ahttps://www.cem.org/what-makes-great-teaching-cobis-2016.

Courtney, Jane. 2007. “What are effective components of in‐service teacher training? A study examining teacher trainers’ perceptions of the components of a training programme in mathematics education in Cambodia.” Journal of In-Service Education 33(3): 321–339. https://doi.org/10.1080/13674580701486978.

Department of Higher Education and Training. 2018. “A National Framework for Enhancing University Teaching.” HELTASA. https://heltasa.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/National-Framework-for-Enhancing-Academics-as-University-Teachers_signed.pdf.

Desimone, Laura M. 2011. “A primer on effective professional.” Kappan 92(6): 68–72. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F003172171109200616.

DHET see Department of Higher Education and Training.

Dzvimbo, Peter Dzvimbo and Moloi, Kholeka Constance. 2013. “Globalisation and the internationalisation of higher education in sub-Saharan Africa”. South African Journal of Education 33(3): 1‒16.

Evens, Marie, Jan Elen, and Fien Depaepe. 2015. “Developing Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Lessons Learned from Intervention Studies.” Education Research International 1: 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/790417.

Gibbs, Graham and Martin Coffey. 2004. “The Impact Of Training Of University Teachers on their Teaching Skills, their Approach to Teaching and the Approach to Learning of their Students.” Active Learning in Higher Education 5(1): 87–100. https://doi.org/10.1177/1469787404040463.

Gomez-Palacio, Claudio, Sandra M. Espinal, and Deisa Vargas. 2018. “Adjunct instructors: Genesis of a continuing professional development program.” Ikala 23(3): 545–559. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v23n03a10.

Griffin, Richard. 2011. “Seeing the wood for the trees: workplace learning evaluation.” Perspective on Practice 35(8): 841–850. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090591111168357.

Gubbins, Claire, Siobhan Corrigan, Thomas N. Garavan, Christy Connor, Damien Leahy, David Long, and Eamonn Murphy. 2012. “Evaluating a tacit knowledge sharing initiative: A case study.” European Journal of Training and Development Emerald Article: Evaluating a tacit knowledge sharing initiative: a case study. European Journal of Training and Development 36(8): 827–847. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090591211263558.

Guskey, Thomas R. 2002. “Does It Make a Difference? Evaluating Professional Development.” Educational Leadership 59(6): 45–51. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ640979.

Guskey, Thomas R. and Kwang S. Yoon. 2009. “What Works in Professional Development? The Leading Edge Professional Learning.” Phi Delta Kappan 90(March): 495–500. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F003172170909000709.

Hanover Research Centre. 2015. Best Practices in Evaluating Teacher Professional Development. Arlington, VA: Hanover Research Centre.

Horton, Joann. 2015. “Identifying At-Risk Factors That Affect College Student Success.” International Journal of Process Education 7(1): 83–102. https://www.ijpe.online/2015/risk.pdf.

Houdyshell, Michael and Patti Kirk. 2020. “Graduate students’ perceptions’ on a professional pathway for academic advisors.” American Journal of Qualitative Research 2(1): 77–96. https://doi.org/10.29333/ajqr/5795.

Karm, Mari. 2010. “Reflection tasks in pedagogical training courses.” International Journal for Academic Development 15(3): 203–214. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2010.497681.

Killion, Joellen. 2017. “Critical questions remain unanswered in research on teacher leadership.” The Learning Professional 38(2): 26–30. https://learningforward.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/the-learning-professional-august-2017.pdf

Kirkpatrick, Donald L. 1976. “Evaluation of training”. In Training and development handbook: A guide to human resource development, ed. R. L. Craig, 301–319. 2nd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kusek, Jody Z. and Ray C. Rist. 2004. 10 Steps to Result-Based Monitoring and Evaluation. Washington, DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development /The World Bank. https://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/World%20bank%202004%2010_Steps_to_a_Results_ Based_ME_System.pdf.

Merkt, Marianne. 2017. “The importance of academic teaching competence for the career development of university teachers: A comment from higher education pedagogy.” GMS Journal for Medical Education 34(4): 1–4. https://doi.org/10.3205/zma001125.

Nolan, Andrea and Tebeje Molla. 2017. “Teacher confidence and professional capital.” Teaching and Teacher Education 62: 10–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.11.004.

Paull, Megan, Craig Whitsed, and Antonia Girardi. 2016. “Applying the Kirkpatrick model: Evaluating an Interaction for Learning Framework curriculum intervention.” Issues in Educational Research 26(3): 490–507. https://doi.org/10.1111/eje.12112.

Pekkarinen, Virwe and Hirsto, Laura. 2017. “University Lecturers’ Experiences of and Reflections on the Development of Their Pedagogical Competency.” Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 61:6: 735‒753, DOI: 10.1080/00313831.2016.1188148.

Podolsky, Anne, Tara Kini, and Linda Darling-Hammond. 2019. “Does teaching experience increase teacher effectiveness? A review of US research.” Journal of Professional Capital and Community 4(4): 286‒308. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPCC-12-2018-0032.

Postareff, Liisa and Sari Lindblom-Ylänne. 2008. “Variation in teachers’ descriptions of teaching: Broadening the understanding of teaching in higher education.” Learning and Instruction 18(2): 109–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2007.01.008.

Postareff, Liisa, Sari Lindblom-Ylänne and Anne Nevgi. 2007. “The effect of pedagogical training on teaching in higher education.” Teaching and Teacher Education 23(5): 557–571. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2006.11.013.

Quinn, Lynn. (ed.) 2012. Re-Imagining Academic Staff Development: Spaces for Disruption. Stellenbosch: Sun Media. https://doi.org/10.18820/9781920338879.

Quinn, Lynn. 2003. “A Theoretical Framework for Professional Development in a South African University.” International Journal for Academic Development 8(1‒2): 61‒75. DOI: 10.1080/1360144042000277946.

Robson, Fiona and Sharon Mavin. 2015. “Evaluating training and development in UK universities: Staff perceptions.” European Journal of Training and Development 22(1): 46–54. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJTD-04-2013-0039.

Rutz, Carol, William Condon, Ellen R. Iverson, Cathryn A. Manduca and Gudrun Willet. 2012. “Faculty Professional Development and Student Learning: What is the Relationship?” Change 44(3): 40–47. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2012.672915.

Seawright, Jason. 2016. “Better Multimethod Design: The Promise of Integrative Multimethod Research.” Security Studies 25(1): 42–49. https://doi.org/10.1080/09636412.2016.1134187.

Sela, Orley and Miriam Harel. 2019. “‘You have to prove yourself, initiate projects, be active’: the role of novice teachers in their own induction process.” Professional Development in Education 45(2): 190–204. https://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2018.1441173.

Shagrir, Leah. 2012. “How evaluation processes affect the professional development of five teachers in higher education.” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 12(1): 23–35. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264548236_How_Evaluation_Processes_Affect_the_Professional_Development_of_Five_Teachers_in_Higher_Education.

Simon, Eszter, Kathleen M. Quinlan, Jennifer Murphy, Torgny Roxa, and Matyas, Szabo. 2012. The Professionalisation of Academics as Teachers in Higher Education. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263038062_The_Professionalisation_of_Academics_as_Teachers_in_Higher_Education.

Twersky, Fay, Amy Arbreton, and Prithi Trivedi. 2019. Evaluation Principles and Practices. https://hewlett.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Evaluation-Principles-and-Practices-Second-Edition.pdf.

van Driel, Jan H., Nico Verloop, and Wobbe de Vos. 1998. “Developing Science Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge.” 35(6): 673–695. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1098-2736(199808)35:6%3C673::AID-TEA5%3E3.0.CO;2-J.

Wood, Leigh N., Tori Vu, Matt Bower, Natalie Brown, Jane Scalicky, Diane Donovan, Birgit Loch, Nalini Joshi, and Walter Bloom. 2011. “Professional development for teaching in higher education.” International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology 42(7): 997–1009. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2011.608864.

How to Cite
Gumede, P. R., M. P. Sithole, and D. Gumede. 2023. “Lecturers’ Perspectives of Pedagogical Training Initiates at a University of Technology in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”. South African Journal of Higher Education 37 (5), 221-36. https://doi.org/10.20853/37-5-5287.