Investigating best practices in teaching and learning at a rural university
Given the importanceof teaching and learning as fundamental in any institution, this article sought to investigate best practices in teaching and learning at a rural university. The qualitative method was adopted in which a questionnaire with open-ended questions wasused to collect data from lecturers.Qualitative data collected were analysed using the Thematic Content Analysis technique (Cresswell, 2013). The principal findings of this study revealed that monitoring mechanisms of academic support programmes and the visibility of teaching and learning policies can improve lecturers’performance. Feedback to students and students’ motivation were found vital to best practices in teaching and learning. Students’ poor performance at the rural university negatively affects not only the stakeholders but the development of the country as a whole. The study recommends that lecturers should attend intensive in-service training workshop, short courses, curriculum review, academic support programmes. They should also adhere to the teaching and learning policies as a way of improving their teaching pedagogies as well as students’ success. The study also recommends the university to offer academic support programmes such as: mentorship, writing skills, study materials, teaching assistants, tutors, student counselling and career development. Furthermore, the findings will assist the rural university to increase enrolment and students’ success rate.
Keywords: Teaching and learning, rural university, student, lecturers, best practice,