In a bid to strengthen academic programmes at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Makerere University, the CHUSS Centre of Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL) on 24th March 2021 trained academic leaders on the management of various programmes. The training workshop held at Grand Global Hotel in Kampala was attended by Heads of Department and registrars from all schools in the College.
During the workshop, participants were sensitized on the roles of Heads of Department in ensuring effective and timely delivery of services to students. In particular, they were equipped with skills to efficiently monitor teaching and learning activities in their respective units. They were also briefed on the budgeting and examination processes, timetabling and the most effective ways of managing teaching and learning in the COVID-19 era. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictive measures put in place to curb the spread of the pandemic, the University Management adopted a blended teaching and learning model, whereby classes are conducted both physically and online. It is therefore prudent that staff and students acquaint themselves with various online learning facilities, like the Makerere University E-Learning Environment (MUELE) system used to conduct online teaching at Makerere University. During the workshop, Dr Godfrey Mayende from the Institute of Open, Distance and E-Learning at Makerere University trained participants on the modules under MUELE.
Prof. Abasi Kiyimba from the Department of Literature updated participants on the progress of the CHUSS Rubric Review Committee intended to standardize the teaching, learning and student assessment processes.
Sharing views on the most effective ways of monitoring teaching and learning activities, academic leaders namely Dr Julius Kikooma (Ag. Deputy Principal, CHUSS); Dr Patrick Mangeni (Dean, School of Liberal and Performing Arts); Dr Paul Omach (Head, Department of Political Science and Public Administration); and Dr Aisha Nakiwala (Head, Department of Journalism and Communication) emphasized the need for periodical evaluations aimed at improving programmes at the College. They advised academic leaders to acquaint themselves with all academic policies in the University in a bid to make decisions from an informed perspective. Academic leaders were also reminded of their role as “frontline workers” who should ensure all programmes in their respective Units progress well. “The office of the Head is very important in the operationalization of programmes in the College. Heads of Department are the first point of call when there is a problem and should therefore maintain an open door policy, be consultative and ready to solve challenges as they arise. Working with programme coordinators and student representatives can be very helpful in addressing the challenges,” noted Dr Paul Omach.
Commenting on online teaching and learning, the presenters cautioned members of staff to take time to acquaint themselves with MUELE so as to prepare teaching materials in a manner that facilitates learning. They also called for the strengthening of academic evaluation tools and cautioned staff to ensure cordial relationships with students.
In his remarks, the Director of CERTL, Dr Andrew Ellias State further emphasized the importance of Heads of Department in managing academic programmes. “In the absence of external examiners, Heads are expected to play a pivotal role in ensuring quality assessment of students.
In her closing remarks, the Principal of CHUSS, Dr Josephine Ahikire urged staff to be more innovative as a measure of refining the quality of programmes, as well as the teaching and learning processes.
The workshop was moderated by Dr Grace Kibanja, Dean, School of Psychology; Dr Pamela Khanakwa, Deputy Director, CERTL; as well as Dr Edgar Nabutanyi and Dr Levis Mugumya, Coordinators of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Projects at CHUSS.
Presenters included Dr Eddy Walakira, Head, Department of Social Work and Social Administration who sensitized participants on the role of Heads of Department in ensuring timely services to students. Mr. Tom Vok Elwana, CHUSS Bursar explained the budgeting processes. Ms. Joanna Kayaga delivered a presentation on examination processes whereas Dr Gilbert Gumoshabe explained the timetabling process. Dr Robert Kabumbuli delivered a presentation on teaching and learning in the COVID-19 era.
Presentations attached here.