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22 August 2018
Prof Coetzee is retelling old stories in a new book
"Failing to Learn Doomed to repeat" was one of the bookworks on display.

The title of Prof Jan K Coetzee’s latest book, Books & Bones & Other Things, says it all. The book looks into the many aspects that have built our society by presenting in a new way the stories contained in old books collected over the years. 

Prof Coetzee is a Senior Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Books & Bones & Other Things was launched on 14 August 2018 and coincided with an exhibition of various “bookworks”   art installations by Prof Coetzee that feature old books, sculptures, artefacts, and fossils.
 
Book resulting from research programme 
   

“This is a book on books so the library is the perfect venue to launch a book on old texts as documents of life,” said Prof Coetzee.

For the past seven years he has been directing a Master’s and PhD programme in Sociology called The Narrative Study of Lives. His project, Documents of Life, from which this book came, focuses on a collection of old texts the oldest of which dates back to 1605.

“We live in storytelling societies and for as long as we can remember we have been telling stories. Over time the ability to produce books was born. Any collection of books can tell you a lot about your own life and the society you live in."

“I cannot read the stories of many of these old books because their narratives are closed. I have to re-narrate the books, change the narrative convention and present them in a way that makes sense to me. By combining the books with art and artefacts I want the books to tell their ancient stories in new ways.”

Book launches and intellectual discussions

At the book launch, Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research said: “What we have achieved with this launch and exhibition is unbelievable. We always try to create an intellectual space in the library.

“A book such as this is the pinnacle of an academic career. It is multidisciplinary and it looks at the world in a different way. That is what scholarship is about.”

A painting by Robert Hodgins was also handed over to the Johannes Stegmann Gallery, home of the corporate collection of the UFS, at the event. 

News Archive

Digitising the Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT)
2017-02-06

Description: Digitising the Advanced Certificate in Teaching  Tags: Digitising the Advanced Certificate in Teaching

The 100% online ACT aims to help
teachers improve their qualifications.
More information is available at
http://www.ufs.ac.za/ACTonline.
Photo: Supplied


Online learning is fast becoming the most convenient and affordable way to study. In 2016, the South Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) became the first university in South Africa to launch a fully online course for current teachers to upgrade their qualifications; the Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT).

The IDEAS Lab digitisation team on our South Campus is responsible for converting the existing ACT modules from a blended format to a 100% online format. With this format all lessons and study material are available online, with no contact sessions required. The advantages of online, interactive learning far outweigh those of blended learning. Lessons are converted to videos online, which is not only more user-friendly, but students can also access the lessons repeatedly.

In addition, tutors are always available, with WhatsApp groups and the ACT Online Facebook page further facilitating the support provided. Discussions between or communication with students situated in remote areas is made possible, adding to an enriched student experience. Immediate feedback on activities serves as a diagnostic tool as well as motivation for the students.

Lesson videos are recorded at the IDEAS Lab Studio at the South Campus or onsite at various schools. Students are expected to complete a unit, which consists of two lessons, per week.
There are “think about your learning” activities after each lesson as well as “after readings” to ensure that students have grasped the material. In these and many other ways the online ACT is specifically designed to suit students’ unique needs and make their studies a satisfying and rewarding experience.

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