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Dr Jo-Anne Vorster


Jo-Anne has been working in the field of Academic Development since 1992. She has been involved in the curriculum development and teaching of the PG Dip (HE) since its inception and she currently acts as course coordinator for the Diploma. Since 2011 Jo-Anne and colleague, Lynn Quinn, have facilitated a version of the PG Dip (HE) aimed at academic developers. The first cohort from this programme graduated in 2013.

Jo-Anne works in the areas of teaching and course evaluation, assessment as well as curriculum and teaching development. Her PhD study, completed in 2009, was a social-realist analysis of collaborative curriculum development processes in an academic department. She is interested in examining the interplay between structures (national, institutional, departmental and disciplinary), culture(s) and lecturer agency, and curriculum. Other areas of interest include the nexus between academics’ understanding of knowledge, disciplinary knowledge structures and academic identity; staff development and inducting the next generation of academics. Her Masters degree was in Psychology and focused on collaborative learning in higher education.

She supervises postgraduate students at masters and PhD levels. Current students are exploring disciplinary knowledge structures and student learning, curricula and pedagogies for professional programmes and academic identities.


Vorster, J. & Quinn, L. (2017 in press). Re-framing academic development in Kinchin, I.M. & Winstone, N.E. (Eds.) Pedagogic Frailty and the University. Sense Publishers. Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Quinn, L. & Vorster, J. (2017 in press). Disciplinary responses to the call to decolonise curricula in South African higher education in Fung, D., Carnell, B. & Tong, V. Disciplinary Approaches to Connecting the Higher Education Curriculum. UCL Press. London.

Vorster, J. & Quinn, L. (2017 in press). The ‘decolonial turn’: What does it mean for academic staff development? Education as Change 21 (1).

Leibowitz, B.L., Vorster, J. and Ndebele, C. (2016). Why a contextual approach to academic development. Editorial. South African Journal of Higher Education 30 (6).

Quinn, L. and Vorster, J. (2016). Conceptualising an epistemically diverse curriculum for a course for academic developers. South African Journal of Higher Education 30 (6). 

Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V., Falmer, J., Garraway, J., Herman, N., Jawitz, J., McMillan, W., Mistry, G., Ndebele, C., Nkonki, V., Quinn, L., Van Schalkwyk, S., Vorster, J. and Winberg, C. (2016). Collaborative research in the context of inequality: the role of social reflexivity. Higher Education. DOI 10.1007/s10734-016-0029-5

Quinn, L. & Vorster. J. (2015) Pedagogy for fostering criticality, reflectivity and praxis in a course for lecturers on teaching. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. DOI:10.1080/02602938.2015.1066756

Vorster, J& Quinn, L. (2015) Towards shaping the field: theorising the knowledge in a formal course for academic developers. Higher Education Research and Development.DOI:10.1080/07294360.2015.1070126

Quinn, L. & Vorster, J. (2014). Isn’t it time to start thinking about ‘developing’ academic developers in a more systematic way? International Journal for Academic Development 19 (3): 255-258. DOI:10.1080/1360144X.2013.879719

Vorster, J. & Quinn, L. (2012). Theorising the pedagogy of a formal programme for university lecturers. In L. Quinn (Ed.) Re-imagining academic staff development: spaces for disruption (pp. 51-70). Stellenbosch: SUN MeDIA.

Vorster, J. & Quinn, L. (2012). Privileging knowledge, creating knowers: an analysis of a formal programme for university lecturers. In L. Quinn (Ed.) Re-imagining academic staff development: spaces for disruption (pp. 71-88). Stellenbosch: SUN MeDIA.

Vorster, J. (2011) Curriculum development processes in a Journalism and Media Studies Department, in Ivinson, G., Davies, B. & Fitz, J. (eds.) Knowledge and Identity: Concepts and applications in Bernstein’s sociology. London. Routledge.

Vorster, J. (2010) A social-realist analysis of curriculum development processes in an academic department in a South African University. Unpublished PhD thesis. Grahamstown. Rhodes University.

Van Niekerk, R. & Vorster, J. (2010) Economic responsiveness in organizational psychology curricula, In S.M.G. Mahlomahola, M.M. Nkoane and D. Francis (eds) Praxis towards sustainable empowering learning environments in South Africa. Stellenbosch. SUN Press.

Quinn, L. & Vorster, J. (2004) Transforming teachers’ conceptions of teaching and learning in a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education course.South African Journal of Higher Education Vol 18 No 1: 264 - 381.

Teaching resources

Clarence, S., Quinn, L. and Vorster, J. (eds) (2015)  Assessment in Higher Education: Reframing traditional understandings and practices. CHERTL. http://www.ru.ac.za/teachingandlearning/

Vorster, J. (ed) 2016. Curriculum in the context of transformation. Reframing traditional understanding and practice. CHERTL. http://www.ru.ac.za/teachingandlearning/

Newspaper articles

Quinn, L. & Vorster, J. (11 June 2015). How to turn lecturers into good university teachers. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/how-to-turn-lecturers-into-good-university-teachers-42134

Vorster, J. & Quinn, L. (29 June 2015). Professors aren't born: they must be nurtured.  The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/professors-arent-born-they-must-be-nurtured-43670

Quinn, L. and Vorster, J. (5 October 2012) Training new academics is a complex challenge. Mail & Guardian

Commissioned research reports 

Mostert, M., Quinn, L. and Vorster, J. (2005). Report on Evaluation of Three Programmes at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique. Unpublished.


Last Modified :Tue, 30 May 2017 10:46:24 SAST