CHUSS Center of Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL) Small Grants Dissemination Workshop was held on 25th April, 2022 at the Grand Global Hotel in Kikoni, a Kampala Suburb.
Under the small grants, staff are facilitated with$ 3000 to conduct research for period of six months and come up with a working paper on actionable intervention in teaching and learning in the area Social Sciences and Humanities.
The workshop was opened and closed by the Director and Associate Director CERTL Prof. Andrew Elias State and Dr. Pamela Khanakwa respectively.
It brought together consumers of the research findings who will ensure that findings are implemented. These included the Deans, Heads of Departments, Researchers and project coordinators from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS).
In his opening remarks, the Director CERTL, Prof. Andrew Elias State explained that CERTL was established sometime back in the CHUSS with the generous support from Andrew W Mellon Foundation.
Prof. State explained that such workshops organised by CERTL are aimed at ensuring continued professional growth because many of the lecturers irrespective of whether they were formally taught pedagogy find challenges.
Under the Small Grants, the Director said, staff apply for small grants mainly focusing on teaching to come up with an actionable intervention for improved teaching and learning.
“So CERTL is a place where we meet to discuss how to address challenges we meet and what you propose. There are several activities under CERTL and one of them is small grants for six months focusing on intervention in the areas of teaching and learning in humanities and social sciences.
Small grants is an activity where we have very limited funding but in case you have an activity or challenge that can be done in a short while, done in a away that there could be some intervention, new way of doing things that many of us have not been exposed to for instance, using a particular way to teach a particular subject”, Prof State explained
The small grant according to Prof. State amounts to $ 3000 for six months. The centre expects the researchers to have done the research, present a report with interventions and outcomes to be shared.
“We don’t expect a spiral bound report but a working paper that shows that something was done and eventually expect that that working paper will turn into a publication where you celebrate the knowledge production and as CERTL, we celebrate the intervention that is unique to your discipline”, Prof. State said.
Seven researchers who applied for the small grants in April 2021 and got funding in September -October 2021 presented their progress reports and got input from the participants. They included Dr James Wasike, studying on “Disability and higher education: understanding blended learning experiences of students with disabilities at Makerere University”; Dr Nkonge Douglas Kiyinikibi, studying ,“Using the Blended Learning Approach to Teach and Learn Luganda at Makerere University” and Dr Boaz Mutungi, studying “Enhancing second language oral expression: Experiences and interventions for Kiswahili Beginners’ Programme at Makerere University”.
Other presenters were Dr. Alfadaniel Mabingo & Mr. Gerald Ssemaganda, researching on “Developing Pedagogic Competencies for Blended Teaching and Learning of Dance Courses at Makerere University"; Mr. Eric Jjemba, studying on “Adopting the Baste Model on Ethnic Dance Teaching and Learning at PAF”; and Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare researching on Using Sociodrama to teach theory in the humanities at graduate level: A Comparative Study in Religion and Peace, Philosophy and Journalism at Makerere University Kampala”.
In her Closing Remarks the Associate Director, CERTL Dr. Pamela Khanakwa described as interesting listening to all speaking and appreciated CERTL for offering such opportunities to reflect on issues affecting teaching and learning at Makerere university.
“It is very exciting on behalf of CERTL to learn that CERTL is making a difference. The funds may be small, but the presentations are making a difference. We can use very small grants to do big things and this is very great”, She said.
Dr Khanakwa observed that the presenters raised fundamental issues that are with the faculty at Makerere university such as infrastructure, technology, pedagogy and how colleagues were struggling to navigate all these and how students themselves are challenged.