Call for Applications: Postdoctoral Fellowship

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SMME SUPPORT ON BUSINESS SURVIVAL: A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS
OF THE COVID -19 ERA

AWARD CRITERIA
 A PhD in Business management/entrepreneurship/finance/marketing or related fields.
 Applicants must have completed their doctoral within the last five years.
 Applicants are required to have strong quantitative/qualitative data collection and analysis skills.
 The fellowship is valued at R250 000 per year (non-taxable).
 The fellow can be based in Alice or East London for the duration of the fellowship on a full time basis.

 

PROJECT BRIEF
The impact of the COVID -19 in the operations of all businesses was felt across all nations. Most governments and the private sector then developed
support structures to assist SMMEs in reducing the impact during the lockdown. The delivery to SMME is acknowledged both at national and international
level. However, what lacks in literature is the understanding of whether support offered by both the public and private sector in South Africa was
adequate and effective enough to save the businesses. This project will explore the effectiveness of both private and public sector support on the survival
of SMMEs during and post COVID -19 catastrophic. The main purpose of this study is to determine if both financial and non-financial support offered to
SMME by both the private and public sector was adequate and effective to business survival.

 

APPLICATION DETAILS: Applicants should email their CV and qualifications to Ms Pumla Mapasa pmapasa@ufh.ac.za and the host Dr EC Rungani:
erungani@ufh.ac.za

DEADLINE: 3 august 2020

5 Greatest Threats to E-Learning and the way Out

There are 5 common problems faced by students in eLearning classes and which they need to be solved through proper initiatives for the students’ future benefits:

  1. Adaptability Struggle.  
    Switching from traditional classroom and face to face instructor training to computer-based training in a virtual classroom makes the learning experience entirely different for students. Their resistance to change doesn’t allow them to adapt to the online learning environment, whereas it takes time for them to get accustomed to Course Management Systems (CMS) and the methods of computer-based education. While passive listening and notes taking are expected in a traditional classroom, online discussions or creating a web page demand springing into action. Students with a “traditional” mindset find it difficult to adapt; however, they need to accept the new learning circumstances with an open mind and heart. Understanding the benefits of eLearning and even discussing them with their peers may change this mindset and better prepare students for online classes.
  2. Technical Issues.
    Many students are not provided with the high bandwidth or the strong internet connection that online courses require, and thus fail to catch up with their virtual classmates: Their weak monitors make it hard to follow the Course Management System and their learning experience becomes problematic. Moreover, most of them live off campus and find it difficult to keep in tune with the technical requirements of the chosen course. Some of them don’t even own computers and seek help in Learning Resource Centers for technical assistance. The only solution to this problem is knowing exactly what kind of technological support they will need for a certain course before enrolling in it, as well as properly equipping themselves for the course’s successful completion.
  3. Computer Literacy.
    Although students are generally tech savvy, and thus able to manage computers well, lack of computer literacy is a major issue among students today. Many of them cannot operate basic programs such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and therefore are not able to handle their files. Furthermore, many students find fixing basic computer problems troublesome, as they have no knowledge in this area. However, technological proficiency is a must for following online courses, as it enables students to manage their assignments and courseware in an organized manner without struggling. Basic courses in computer literacy enhance students’ knowledge in the field; having a fundamental knowledge of computer hardware would help them participate in online classes without interruptions and hindrances.
  4. Time Management.
    Time management is a difficult task for eLearners, as online courses require a lot of time and intensive work. Furthermore, whereas it is mostly adults who prefer web-based learning programs for their place and time flexibility, they rarely have the time to take the courses due to their various everyday commitments. A regular schedule planner would be a significant help to these learners, as they could even set reminders for their courses and assignments.
  5. Self-Motivation.
    Self-motivation is an eLearning essential requirement; however, many online learners lack it, much to their surprise. After enrolling in distance learning courses, many learners fall behind and nurture the idea of giving up, as difficulties in handling a technological medium also seem insurmountable. Students need to find the motivation to follow the new educational trends and also properly equip themselves for future challenges in their education and careers. Only a positive attitude will help them overcome the challenges in eLearning; though this is hard to practice, students need to understand that it is necessary in order to reap the eLearning’s benefits in the future.
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9 Tips to Improve your E-Learning Class Engagement

So, in order to boost online learners’ engagement to facilitate learning, consider these 9 tips:

1. Keep It (Visually) Simple

For improved online learners’ engagement, remove any extraneous graphics, images, and text, limiting them to only a few items, properly structured, relevant, high quality, and neatly arranged. When courses prove complex, supporting aids such as graphs and charts offer the appropriate time to choose more over less. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to choose white space over unnecessary and distracting clutter. And for clean visual structuring, use headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs so online learners can quickly identify important items within the text.

2. Choose The Right Colors And Fonts

Fonts should be clean and simple without distracting stylistic elements. In fact, it’s been long argued that simple serif fonts are the easiest to read and that a long-standing typographic maxim is that the most legible typefaces are ‘transparent’ to the reader—that is, they don’t call undue attention to themselves. Consider your audience, consider your message—and consider keeping it simple.

Just as with fonts and the less-is-more approach to limiting visuals, the same is true for colors. Use appropriate, thoughtful colors in your logos, images, links, text, and beyond. Consider that some colors boost online learners’ responsiveness while others may have a calming effect. For example, red is known to provoke excitement while green is associated with peacefulness.

3. Make Navigation Easy

Learners should be able to navigate easily and unguided through a course. Navigational aids like arrows, icons, and buttons need to be thoughtful, useful, and clearly visible. Navigating a course should be much like navigating a road: it is simple and obvious enough that you can stay focused on the task at hand.

4. Use Microlearning

When you consider that most people get information outside of work in little chunks and snippets—watching videos, accessing Instagram or Facebook posts, searching retailers, buying things online, and checking emails several times a day—it explains the efficacy and growing popularity of microlearning.

Now, everything comes into the brain very quickly and in small pieces and as such, eLearning courseware needs to reach learners where they are—with short snippets of information, available through apps and mobile devices that are ready and accessible when the user is ready and available. In fact, studies have shown that breaking information down into smaller chunks of related content can increase retention and learning speed.

5. Gamify

Gamification increases engagement because it taps into motivators—recognition, rewards and a sense of competition—to keep employees engaged. Adding gamification elements creates the intersection of technology and productivity that can be accomplished even without a full game-based learning course.

Even simply adding badges to your course to recognize student accomplishments as a reward for achieving particular competencies can encourage continued engagement. In fact, almost 80% of learners say that they would be more productive if their university, institution, or work was more game-like.

6. Be Social

eLearning provides multiple avenues for communicating on diverse social platforms. Consider social media to engage students. Adding a Twitter badge to your course homepage and use a hashtag to push posts with course-relevant content to your students to help build a sense of classroom community.

Consider also including embedded audio and video, chat rooms, instant messaging, broadcast text messaging, and homepage announcements to socially engage users. Additionally, explanatory screencast videos have become increasingly easy and inexpensive to create and provide yet another channel for communication.

7. Give Your Learners Room To Breathe

Make sure your slides are clean and uncluttered to allow your learners time to consume the information and process it. Facilitate discussions, take breaks for questions, or respond to real-time questions via Twitter or chat to encourage engagement without burying them in the details.

8. Be Human

Find ways to humanize your course – introduce yourself and ask the learners a few questions. If your course doesn’t allow for live interaction, consider using a pre-recorded video where you share a little about yourself to break the ice to help to build rapport with your learners. Also, try to remember to speak in plain language, being conscious of the fact that while the technical jargon may be a second language to you, it’s likely completely foreign to your learners.

9. Include Self-Assessment

Provide opportunities for self-assessment, allowing students to take more ownership of their learning. Allowing students to grade their own discussion posts or provide input for their own grade for course participation can prove motivating as students are encouraged by taking responsibility for their own learning experience.

These online learning tips aim to improve online learners’ engagement and motivate them to extract the most from their online courses. And while some of them may seem obvious, it’s often the overlooked—but critical—‘small’ or ‘simple’ details that prove essential to the success of a course.

Focusing on boosting engagement—and not just transactionally delivering content—will elevate the quality of a course’s message, ensuring engagement and, ultimately, retention.

2020 International Students Admission Scholarships at University of Toronto, Canada

The University of Toronto is offering numerous admission scholarships aimed at international students across the globe for a full-time undergraduate study programme slated 2020 academic year

There are over 4,400 undergraduate admission scholarships that the University of Toronto, along with its faculties, campuses and colleges, awards each year. Eligible high school students (including international candidates) are automatically considered for a variety of admission scholarships when they apply to the University.

 

Scholarship Sponsor(s): University of Toronto.

Scholarships to be taken at: University of Toronto, Canada.

Scholarship Type: Entrance Award/Tuition Award.

Scholarship level: Undergraduate

Slots: Over 4,400 scholarships to be awarded.

Scholarship Worth: Please see scholarship benefits.

Subject Eligibility: All undergraduate study programmes

Country/Candidate Eligibility: International students.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria:

  • Applicants must be International students
  • Applicants must have applied or applying to University of Toronto – Canada
  • Applicants must be fluent in English Language
  • Applicants should check and meet the university’s admission requirements at the admission requirements page.
  • The scholarship awards and cut-offs will vary by division, faculty and college.

Application Procedures for the 2020 International Students Admission Scholarships at University of Toronto – How-to-Apply: 

There may be no separate application for the admission scholarships, applicants are required to take admission to this university before the deadline. After taking admission students are automatically considered for a variety of admission scholarships.

Application Deadline: Varies by programme

Visit the Official Website for Further Details.

Ku Leuven International Masters Scholarships in Belgium, 2020

Ku Leuven International Masters Scholarships in Belgium, 2020
Applications are hereby invited from suitably qualified candidates to apply for the 2020 master mind scholarships for outstanding students taking a master’s degree programme in Flanders. Applicants are to submit a complete application file for an eligible Master’s programme before the application expiration date.

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2020 Shell Undergraduate Scholarship – New!

2020 Shell Undergraduate Scholarship – New!
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (Operator of the NNPC/SPDC /TEPNG/AGIP Joint Venture) in pursuance of its Education Social Investment programme, which aims to promote academic excellence and improve the skills of young Nigerians, hereby invites applications from suitably qualified Full Time Nigerian Students admitted in the 2018/2019 academic session to apply for its University Scholarship Scheme.

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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Category:                                         Scholarship

Sponsors:                                        United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Title:                                                  L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science

Location:                                          Sub-Saharan Africa region

Minimum requirement:              Ph. D.                       

Closes:                                              28th April 2019

More info:                                       https://www.forwomeninscience.com/en/home