Lecturers make use of ‘Lessons’ eTool to structure interactive online environments

The CIECT team offers Instructional Design Workshops which enables lecturers to design and develop structured interactive online environments. It is important to structure content into manageable units of work. Thus the team works closely with the subject-matter expert to design and develop interactive lessons/themes/topics/chapter within the ‘Lessons’ eTool within the institutional Learning Management System- iKamva.

The ‘Lessons’ eTool allows lecturers to organise resources, learning activities, and multi-media components. Lecturers are able to design and structure the course by units, themes, topics, module and week according to the subject-matter. Each Lesson page can be customised to suit the needs of the lesson, including links to other web resources and eTools. Furthermore, the content can be scaffolded and released based on the milestones achieved. Hence, iKamva caters for conditional release of learning content. The ‘Lessons’ eTool enables lecturers to:

  • Showcase learning outcomes and expectations
  • Develop clear guidelines formulated through a checklist
  • Focus on key concepts structured into manageable chunks of information
  • Embed digital learning content within the specific lessons

Lecturers across Faculties make use of the ‘Lessons’ eTool. See example of structured online modules below





Re-thinking Assessment Practices : Education Faculty- Digital Stories and ePortfolios

On Monday 18 November, CIECT in collaboration with the Faculty of Education jointly hosted the first Digital Storytelling and ePortfolio Seminar. This seminar enabled 3rd and 4th year Foundation Phase students to reflect on their preparation and assessment processes as prospective Foundation Phase Educators. The opening address was conducted by Prof Vivienne Lawack who highlighted the importance of student access and success. This Seminar highlighted and showcased different forms of assessment. The design and development of digital stories and ePortfolios for formative and summative purposes, enables us to engage in discussion around re-thinking our assessment practices.

Digital Storytelling Project: Foundation Phase Teacher-Educators

Foundation Phase Education lecturer, Nonhlanhla Shandu-Omukunyi collaborated with the CIECT team to implement a digital storytelling project for the undergraduate students (2nd and 3rd year students during 2018 and 3rd and 4th years in 2019), enrolled in the Language and Education Department. These prospective Foundation Phase Educators were expected to design and develop a digital story. The reflective digital story, focused on the literacy development of a specific student, during the field work practice. They were expected to monitor and track the student development from Gr R to Gr 1, making use of digital story eSkills.

Education: 3rd & 4th Year Foundation Phase students develop and showcase ePortfolios (evidence of Teaching Practicals)

Lecturers Lucinda Du Plooy and Frances Wessels [BEd Foundation Phase] contacted the CIECT team to assist with the design and development of an eAssessment that will showcase the students. The students were expected to develop ePortfolios throughout the year; and present completed ePortfolios (October 2019). Hence, the Seminar was a showcase and reflection of the student progress.

The prospective Educators developed ePortfolios, since 1st year level (2016 and 2017 respectively). The ePortfolio includes evidence of:

  • Teaching practical and observations within the field (specific schools);
  • Lesson plans and related activities;
  • Images reflective of class activities;
  • Other digital media components;
  • Signed consent forms;
  • Self-reflective exercises;
  • Teaching Philosophy;
  • Professional Development; and
  • Methodologies

Students also created an interactive eBook, whilst engaged within their classrooms capturing events and topics which was embedded within their ePortfolios.

Affordances of the eTools for Teaching and Learning

This digital story and ePortfolio assessment tasks enabled the prospective educators to develop their critical thinking skills, pedagogical approaches, problem solving; and scaffolding interventions such as listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

Did You Know? Sakai Platform/iKamva ranked top Open-LMS for User Experience

Did you know that the institutional Learning Management System, Sakai Platform (iKamva) has recently been ranked as the top Open-LMS for User Experience.

According to SoftwareReviews, Sakai offers a better customer experience than competing LMS platforms [https://www.softwarereviews.com/categories/education-learning-management-systems].


Education Faculty: 3rd Year Mathematics students engage in ‘Take-Home Exam’

Lecturer Xoliswa Mbeleni (3rd year Mathematics/TMM 302) contacted the CIECT Team to set-up an online environment; especially for assessment purposes [Take-home Exam, Nov 2019].

Summative Assessment/ November 2019: Eighty (80) students will be engaged in the final year-end exam [commonly called “Take-home Exam”] – which can be taken remotely, by accessing iKamva’s Assignment eTool.

Alignment to Turnitin (Tii): The Final exam was also linked to Assignment the Turnitin (Tii) platform in order for the student to check similarity reports; especially as the assignment included the “knowledge of the subject-matter and pedagogical content”.

Rubric: The lecturer developed a rubric which guided the students’ final submissions.

The Instructional Designer (CIECT Team) consulted with the lecturer to ensure the following processes:

  • Discuss and apply the relevant setting for the  Take-home Exam
  • Link an Announcement to the Assessment
  • Define the parameters in relation to time-frames (test will automatically open & close accordingly)
  • Link  to Turnitin (Tii)
  • Quality assure (preview online exam prior to publishing online)

Contact the CIECT team to structure your formative and summative online assessment activities.

Undergraduate Social Work students submit an ePortfolio as a summative assessment

Social Work lecturers consulted with the CIECT team regarding the use of a Google Application eTool, namely Google Sites and siteMaestro add-on.

Google Sites: ePortfolio templates were developed according to student year levels.

Google Sheets:  An online class-list was created by the CIECT team for each Supervisor.

siteMaestro Add-on: Allows the user to bulk-copy, share and manage ePortfolio templates within Google Sheet.  Each student receives a link to their ePortfolio via their student email.

This process of creating and sharing an ePortfolio template enables effective time-management, as the lecturer and Supervisor spends less time with administrative tasks (including locating and retrieving student emails; and related content for large groups of students).  Moreover, the lecturer and supervisor have more time to collaborate and reflect on the learning content and student development.

Summative assessment & continuous support: The CIECT team demonstrated how to develop their ePortfolios. In addition the team supports the students who visit the CIECT Offices to complete their ePortfolios. These portfolios serve as a summative assessment.

Contact the CIECT team to assist with the design and development of ePortfolios for student development.

Did You Know? iKamva Platfom can be accessed from various devices

Did you know the iKamva Platform is designed using responsive web design principles? This responsive design automatically adjusts the layout and content designed within the iKamva platform according to the user’s screen size. Students and lecturers can access and engage within their online environments making use of different devices which can include: Laptops, Desktops, Smartphones and Tablets.


Education: 3rd Year Foundation Phase students develop and showcase ePortfolios (evidence of teaching practicals)

Lecturer Frances Wessels [BEd Foundation Phase, FPL 301] contacted the CIECT team to assist with the design and development of an Assessment. Her 3rd year students were expected to develop ePortfolios throughout the year; and present completed ePortfolios (October 2019).

Third year students (prospective Educators) developed ePortfolios, since 1st year level (2017). The ePortfolio includes evidence of:

  • Teaching practicals and observations within the field (specific schools);
  • Lesson plans and related activities;
  • Images reflective of class activities;
  • Other digital media components;
  • Signed consent forms;
  • Self-reflective exercises;
  • Teaching Philosophy;
  • Professional Development; and
  • Methodologies

Development of eBooks: During a specific field experience, the students were exposed to technologies which enabled them to create eBooks. Hence prospective Educators, whilst engaged within their classrooms, were able to capture events/topics and collate as an eBook. The eBooks were added to their ePortfolios.

Continuous Support for students: The CIECT team were also available to support the students, especially as they developed and structured their evidence.

Rubric: The lecturer provided a rubric which guided the students; and especially for preparation of the final presentation.

*It should be noted that the ePortfolio supplements the lecturer’s face-to-face classes.

Contact the CIECT Team to design and develop structured and interactive ePortfolios for Assessment Purposes.

Did you Know? 18 000 unique users access iKamva daily

Eighteen thousand (18 000) unique users have accessed the institutional Learning Management System- iKamva on a daily basis, for the period January – October 2019. The users (students, staff, and external project stakeholders) access iKamva from different geographical locations).

The image below depicts the unique user access.

**Note: ‘On-campus’ refers to all connections made from a UWC network (UWC main campus, UWC external location, and UWC WiFi access).



Economics, Management & Entrepreneurship Blended Module: Interactive, structured environment for First-Year students

Lecturer Hilary Naidoo has created an interactive blended module for the first-year students engaged in the Introduction to the Economy and Business (IEB134) module. This module was created within the institutional Learning Management System – iKamva.

Lecturer Hilary has made use of various eTools to assist with the design, structure, and sharing of learning material.

‘Course Outline’ eTool: Enables the lecturer to structure important information related to the module content including: reading material, notional hours, assessment schedule, and also graduate attributes. The lecturer explicitly highlighted to the students how the learning content is aligned to specific graduate attributes.

‘Course Resources’ eTool: Weekly lectures and readings related to specific concepts such as managementeconomic growth4th Industrial Revolution and related economic terms were structured and shared with students on a weekly basis.

Pre-Reading: Students were required to engage in pre-reading in order to prepare for lectures.

Links – to specific and relevant economic-related websites were embedded in the ‘Lessons’ eTool. This enables the students to view and read the latest news feeds.

Group Assignment: Students were required to create and submit a group assignment. Students could identify one member to submit on behalf of the group.

Statistics’ eTool: Based on the statistics tool within the module, the ‘Course Resources’ eTool was accessed most frequently by students to view and retrieve related learning material.

Contact the CIECT team to design and develop your interactive blended and distance learning and teaching environments.


Did You Know? DAL has pilotedwith the interactive online training system (Skills Assessment Management/SAM)

CIECT’s Digital Academic Literacy Programme – has adopted a blended learning approach (face-to-face and online training), using various platforms.

In 2019, DAL launched an interactive online training system (Skills Assessment Management/ SAM) – which is a self-directed learning platform. The students are able to access the platform from any geographical space, dependent on internet connectivity.

The pilot was implemented in 2019; and one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five (1795) students engaged with simulated activities; and videos.

CIECT intends to rollout the SAM platform to the entire DAL student population, by the end of 2020.

For more information regarding the DAL Programme, contact the Programme Coordinator, Mr Fundile Nkunge. Email: fnkunge@uwc.ac.za