Arts Faculty: Blended Learning Practices & Language and Essay Project (across disciplines)

The Arts Faculty has created a total number of 238 online modules within the iKamva platform, in the 2017 academic year. These environments have been designed and developed in collaboration with the CIECT team.  Lecturers have also been introduced to the use of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) such as Digital Photo StoryPodcasts, and Narrated PowerPoint, as well as Google Applications (GAPP’s). These applications were integrated into learning, teaching and assessment practices, which include ePortfolioGoogle Drive and Blogger.  Specific learning objects have beenapplied and embedded into the online environments enabling students to engage with course content from any geographical setting via their mobile devices.

Online tests were conducted by various departments which included question types such as: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), True-and-False, Short Answer Essays, Fill-in-the-missing-blank, and identify the answer linked to a specific illustration (image).

In addition, the Linguistics Department lecturers have made use of iKamva’s ‘joinable groups’, which enables students to select specific slots and time-frames allocated to specific tasks. These online assessments were conducted in a controlled lab setting.

The Language and Essay Writing Project, initiated by a lecturer in the English Department, in 2015. The CIECT team, in collaboration with the lecturer designed and developed an interactive online environment. This project was implemented and the roll-out continues. It enables students to navigate content, focusing on basic skills of academic writing and effective language use. Various content blocks focus on correcting common language errors which occur in student submissions and interactively encourage the fundamentals of good academic essay writing. Each block presents the basic principles involved and thereafter tests students’ knowledge through a series of self-correcting exercises.

Furthermore, lecturers and tutors may refer students who struggle with language and essay writing, to the interactive online programme. It should be noted that students are able to access the programme asynchronously (independently, at their own pace and time). The system automatically grades the test and provides online results. Currently, the English Department is engaged in discussions and processes to include this project as a compulsory module within the curriculum.

Please contact the CIECT team to assist with the effective design and development of your online environment.

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EMS Faculty: Online Formative Assessment, Resources and Discussions – Preparation for Summative Assessment

Lecturer, Shaun Pather and Teaching Assistant, Stephen Kyakulumbye have made use of a blended teaching and learning approach for the 2nd year IFS module. The iKamva platform was used in conjunction with face-to-face lectures and tutorials toextend the classroom and assist with authentic learning.

The effective use of a combination of eTools enables students to prepare for the summative assessment. Hence, the online space was designed and organised in the following manner:

Online Assessment

The course incorporates various forms of assessments which include 4 mini tests, a class test, an individual essay, a major group project and tutorial submissions. These assessments were made available using the ‘Tests & Quizzes’ and ‘Assignment’ eTools.  These assessments are directly aligned to the course outcomes and forms part of the final mark.

**Note: Online assessment allows students and lecturers to monitor student progress & development; and assists in consolidating students’ understanding.

Preparatory online resources and discussions

The ‘Course Resources’ eTool has been organised into weekly categories and entails readings, lecture slides and links to relevant videos. In addition, students were given access to a textbook as well as a document containing a case-study for a ‘sit down test’, which was also conducted online. 

**Note: Providing access to resources prior to lectures ensure that students are prepared and able to effectively engage in class discussions and content. It also provides guidance in relation to preparing for specific assessment tasks.

Furthermore, the ‘Discussion Forum’ was used to allocate group work topics, and various questions were shared within the groups.  Each group posted responses accordingly and the lecturer was able to view and provide feedback.

**Note: Students are able to start their own discussions on the platform.  This enables the lecturers and students to engage and add comments. This eTool can also be setup for assessment activities.

Contact the CIECT Team to assist with the design and development of formative and summative assessments within your online environment.

Nursing Postgraduate students submit ePortfolios – final examination

School of Nursing lecturer, Katlego Mthimunye contacted the CIECT team to assist with the creation of ePortfolios for Postgraduate Nursing Education students.  The students were expected to design and development of an ePortfolio – for the submission of a summative assessment task (semester 2, 2017).

The students received an ePortfolio template that assisted them with the development of the final assessment task. It should be noted that the Nursing students (working adult learners) – were able to develop ePortfolios (with embedded evidence); and submit from various geographical settings.

The ePortfolio was divided into various sections, namely: Teaching and Learning Philosophy; Teaching and Learning Activities (included lesson plans, as well as peer and self-assessments);Reflective Practices (students were required to reflect on theory and clinical practice lessons, as well as reflect on the module and overall programme); and Evaluations.

The students also received training (face-to-face) before the final submissions which enabled them to:

–          Access and view structure (main and sub-pages)
–          Insert content and text,
–          Embed multimedia components,
–          Share links,
–          Embed evidence from Google Drive, and
–          Share ePortfolio with assessor/s.

**In addition the students were provided with instructional material (for self-directed learning) – which further provided guidance with regards to the completion and submission of the summative assessment task.

The design and development of an ePortfolio concurs with the work of Meeus, Questier and Derks (2006:136) – highlighting flexible assessment practices which enables authentic learning processes. The authors emphasise that: “ The student wants to use [a] portfolio to show his/her competence” and that “in the first place competencies are rooted in practical situations, also known as ‘authentic contexts’, and are linked to the professional practice for which the student is being trained”.

Contact the CIECT team to assist and guide with the implementation of an ePortfolio for both formative and summative assessment purposes.

Computer Science: eTools to Support Learning, Teaching and Assessment for Post-Graduates

Lecturer Bill Tucker, along with Tigist Hussen (Tutor/Teaching Assistant) – have been making use of various eTools within the iKamva platform to supplement learning, teaching and assessment practices for their COS 793 Honours students. This course introduces “theory, domains and critique of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D)”.The module incorporates the use of eTools namely, Course Resources, Lessons, Discussion Forum, Weekly Assignments and the Gradebook.

 

These eTools are used to assist with the iterationassimilation, consolidation for student learning and to extend learning:

 

Blended learning and teaching resources

The Course Resources and Lessons eTools are used to distribute readings, articles and lecture slides that are organised into weekly seminars, hosted by various guest lecturers. Students are expected to read these articles prior to attending lectures/seminars in order to effectively engage in class discussions. In addition, the Discussion Forum is used as a space where resources such as books and journal articles are shared with students.

 

Weekly assessments

This module is based on continuous assessment, incorporating both face-to-face (traditional) and online assessments; including individual assignments, participation in class, practicals, papers and presentations. Students are required to complete weekly assignments and submit online – these assignments are related to concepts and topics discussed in class. These assessments are graded online and students are provided with constructive feedback.

 

**Note: The Gradebook allows lecturers to store and distribute grades to students as well as retrieve and automatically calculate course marks based on weighting of each assessment.

 

Contact the CIECT Team to create a blended learning environment which supports your learning, teaching and assessment practices.

Computer Science: eTools to Support Learning, Teaching and Assessment for Post-Graduates

Lecturer Bill Tucker, along with Tigist Hussen (Tutor/Teaching Assistant) – have been making use of various eTools within the iKamva platform to supplement learning, teaching and assessment practices for their COS 793 Honours students. This course introduces “theory, domains and critique of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D)”. The module incorporates the use of eTools namely, Course Resources, Lessons, Discussion Forum, Weekly Assignments and theGradebook.

These eTools are used to assist with the iterationassimilation, consolidation for student learning and to extend learning:

Blended learning and teaching resources

The Course Resources and Lessons eTools are used to distribute readings, articles and lecture slides that are organised into weekly seminars, hosted by various guest lecturers. Students are expected to read these articles prior to attending lectures/seminars in order to effectively engage in class discussions. In addition, the Discussion Forum is used as a space where resources such as books and journal articles are shared with students.

Weekly assessments

This module is based on continuous assessment, incorporating both face-to-face (traditional) and online assessments; including individual assignments, participation in class, practicals, papers and presentations. Students are required to complete weekly assignments and submit online – these assignments are related to concepts and topics discussed in class. These assessments are graded online and students are provided with constructive feedback.

**Note: The Gradebook allows lecturers to store and distribute grades to students as well as retrieve and automatically calculate course marks based on weighting of each assessment.

Mathematics Department: eTools to Support Lectures, Tutorials and Assessment

The Mathematics Department recently contacted the CIECT team to discuss the use of various eTools within the iKamva platform for their 1st year students.  The recent upgrade to iKamva supports the incorporation of LaTex markup language, which enables lecturers to make use of mathematical and scientific notation within the Test & Quizzes eTool.

 

Lecturer Jon Swanepoel has used this opportunity by integrating this functionality – to assist in formative assessments. These assessments consist of weekly online tutorial tasks whereby students are required to solve various equations and mathematical problems. These tasks aim to consolidate students’ understanding of content and to monitor their progress.

 

Furthermore, Fatiema Karriem and Leila Adams are making use of eTools within iKamva to supplement their teaching practices. These eTools were used for:

 

 Content distribution:

–          Lecture notes

–          Revision notes

–          External resources (e.g. MATLAB)

 Online assessment purposes:

–          Practical tasks

–          Assignments & Quizzes

–          Worksheets

 

These eTools are used in conjunction with face-to-face lectures and aim to assist in assimilation and reinforcement of knowledge and skills required of the students.

 

Contact the CIECT Team to create a blended teaching-and-learning environment which supports your teaching practices.

 

Education Faculty: Blended Learning Approach to Support Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Lecturer Ronel Koch has made use of various eTools within the iKamva platform to supplement her teaching practice for 3rd year students. The module aims to prepare prospective Life Orientation educators with the skills and knowledge to become a Senior Phase Educator (Grades 7-9).

 

The lecturer has made use of the Course Resources and Tests & Quizzes eTool to create a blended learning environment to supplement her teaching-and-learning practices.

Online resources for prospective educators:

Resources were distributed to students which included Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) documents, weekly lecture slides, articles and an exam scope. In addition, students were provided with a document containing important contact information for organisations such as Childline, Safeline, hospitals and other child and youth protective services.  The lecturer also added a web link to an external site related to teacher tips for various issues that educators could encounter in the classroom such as bullying, autism and child abuse etc.

These resources aim to adequately equip students with relevant knowledge of their discipline; as well as information to prepare students for situations which learners and educators might face in the classroom.

Weekly online formative tasks:

Students were expected to engage in 5 weekly tasks which were designed within the Tests & Quizzes eTool. These tasks included the use of various question types such as True-and-False, Short Answer and Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs).

These formative tasks were used as a form of consolidation of course content; and also a space for reflection and goal setting. In addition, these tasks assisted with reinforcement, revision and preparation for examinations as well as their future careers as educators.

Contact the CIECT Team to create a blended teaching-and-learning environment which supports your teaching practices.

 

Education Faculty: eTools to Support Prospective Educators

Lecturer, Zainoenisa Allie made use of various eTools within iKamva to supplement her teaching practices for 3rd year Method of General Science(GSM 301) students. The module focuses on equipping students with skills and knowledge to become a Senior Phase Educator (Grades 7-9).

The lecturer has made use of the Course Resources, Lessons, Tests & Quizzes and Dropbox eTools for teaching, learning and assessment purposes.

Preparatory resources and reflective lesson space:

The lecturer created a structured space to provide students with resources to assist in the preparation for their compulsory micro-teaching andteaching practical. These freeware resources included Siyavula Science textbooks for Grades 7-9. In addition, the students were given access to Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and referencing guides for assignments.

Subsequent to the micro-teaching, students were required to engage in self-evaluation and peer evaluation activities. The Lessons eTool was used as a reflective space where students could provide the lecturer and their peers with this feedback.

Online assessment spaces:

The online test consisted of 29 multiple choice questions (MCQs), some of which required a student to provide a rationale for specific answers. The test incorporated negative marking of 0.5 points per incorrect answer.  Students were also provided with a data sheet and could use a non-programmable calculator.

Furthermore, students were required to complete an online evaluation of the test which provided the lecturer with an understanding of students’ experiences and their expectations. **The lecturer arranged for this online test to be conducted in a controlled environment on campus.

Moreover, students were expected to submit an assignment in their Dropbox folder on iKamva. The Dropbox eTool automatically creates a folder for each student allowing for sharing of documents between the student and lecturer.

The implementation of these eTools contributes to an interactive blended learning environment and assists students in preparation for assessment and teaching practicals.

Contact the CIECT Team to create a blended teaching-and-learning environment which supports your teaching practices.

Designing online MCQ assessments in alignment with Bloom’s Taxonomy

The iKamva platform can be utilised for both formative and summative assessments by making use of various eTools.  The Tests & Quizzes eTool allows for a variety of question types, including Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs).  The MCQ type can be used to assess students’ knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities by incorporating lower, middle and higher order thinking questions, as set out in Bloom’s Taxonomy. MCQs designed in this manner, should allow for effective evaluation of students’ assimilation and comprehension of course content.

MCQs require that students select one or multiple correct answers from a list of choices. An effectively designed MCQ test should challenge students’cognitive processes (levels of thinking); and can be further developed to allow for randomisation and the integration of question banks.

Question banks can be set up to differentiate between concepts, themes and sections; and a set number of questions can be randomly drawn from the pool. This will ensure that each student’s assessment varies. This form of assessment has been used by lecturers at UWC across disciplines as both formative and summative assessment.  If appropriately constructed, MCQs can assess performance at ‘higher order levels of thinking’. However, the onus is on the subject-matter expert to consider effective design aimed at targeting various cognitive levels as set out in Bloom’s Taxonomy (Tiemeier, Stacy & Burke, 2011: 1).

Contact the CIECT Team to assist in the design and development of online formative and summative assessments.

Nursing: Summative assessment – alignment with formative class and online assessment

Lecturers Delphine Sih and Jennifer Cornelissen makes use of the iKamva platform to support 46, Health, Development and Primary Health Care[HDP116] – Nursing students.

 

Formative and summative assessments were designed and developed, making use of eAssessment tools within iKamva.

 

Formative Assessment space:

Students were expected to complete an individual assignment. This assignment was developed and placed within iKamva, with clear instructions and expectations. In addition, a rubric was developed to guide student writing and improve the quality, focus and attention of the assignment. The rubric included the structure/outline of the assignment, as well as the mark allocation for each section.

 

Furthermore, the lecturer and students also engaged in other formative assessments such as class presentations, a class test and a group assignment.

 

Summative Assessment space:

The final examination was designed within the iKamva platform through the use of various question types. The exam was divided into four (4) sections and included, Matching and Short Answer/Essay type questions. Students were expected to list, describe, define and explain variousconcepts and models linked to the discipline; consisting of different mark allocations.

 

**Prior to the online exam, the lecturer also shared past question papers to assist students with preparation and revision.

 

Contact the CIECT Team to assist in the design and development of formative and summative assessments within your online environment.