The second year Occupational Therapy (O.T) programme requires students to engage in community based fieldwork on a weekly basis. Students are required to reflect about the fieldwork task and highlight what they have learned.
Following, lecturer Teneil Bell, encourages her students to make use of the Blogger tool to capture and reflect fieldwork experiences. Each student adds the lecturer and peers (workgroup team members) to their specific blog spaces, allowing others to comment and review blog posts.
Teneil Bell states that the purpose of the blog task is to facilitate the clinical reasoning skills of 2nd year O.T students. “These blogs will later become part of their assignment. I therefore want more than a class online discussion because I want each student to have their own unique space”.
Lecturer, Ganas Thaver of the EMS Faculty, makes use of his Analytical and Critical Thinking online environment to share valuable course material with his students. The lecturer has implemented the File Manager tool in which structured course material are placed in relevant folders. These include reader notes; test dates; debate topics; and videos.
These specific video clips further elaborates on key themes within the discipline. The lecturer also makes use of instructional type videos which are aimed at reinforcing (the) theory.
“Most teachers have come to understand that the best curriculum incorporates the medium that captivates students the most — video — to help translate abstract concepts or events into their reality … and to reinforce concepts and spark discussion” (Dyck,2011).
Lecturer, Dr Neil Henderson, has made use of the Online Worksheet eTool to setup the final examination for the fourth year Advanced Social Work Ethics students. The course has been online since 2006 and the online examination has been implemented for the past four years.
The lecturer and eLearning team members jointly planned the intervention which enabled students to engage in an online open book exam; and submit detailed reflective responses within the worksheet eTool.
The examination was setup online and activated on the morning of the exam. eLearning members were present in the venue to assist students with any technical problems.
Challenges experienced were related to campus wide connectivity issues. However, despite these challenges, the students were still able to complete and submit their online worksheets.
Turnitin (Tii) is an internet based plagiarism detection tool used to promote quality academic writing within the institution. The Turnitin database consists of the internet and student document repository.
We advise lecturers to make use of Tii as a development tool. Hence:
– students submit and get originality reports;
– students peruse/navigate report, discuss reports and identify errors with lecturer/tutor; and
– students rework documents and resubmit.
* This process continues until the learner is satisfied with the originality report.
Lecturers across various faculties have made use of Tii within their undergraduate and postgraduate modules. Below are comments of lecturers using Tii, specifically within the Arts Faculty:
“Turnitin was very useful to me with my post graduate students last year” (Zannie Bock Linguistics).
“Students submitted one assignment through Turnitin. Most students managed to get reasonable similarity indexes, those that didn’t I called in and we chatted about why it was high. A couple of those students appeared to have ‘light bulb’ moments, and that wouldn’t have happened without Turnitin” (Lindsay Clowes: Women & Gender studies).
Sandy Zinn of Library Information Science uses Tii as a developmental tool; especially as students improve their writing skills.
Mahmoud Patel of English for Educational Development (EED Law) ensures that students are given sufficient time to submit, review and re-submit their assignments on Tii.He also allows students the opportunity to consult with the lecturer and tutors during this time-period. Hence they are able to discuss the interpretation of the originality report. Mahmoud emphasises the need for students to reference correctly; as there are discipline specific terminology which will be used by all students.
Please consult our training schedule to book for a Turnitin (Tii) training session.
NB: Refer to attached online registration process document.
Lecturer Lorraine Fakude, Nursing Department enhanced her teaching methodologies by introducing the blogger eTool for Master’s students. The students were trained by the Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT – previously known as the eLearning Centre) to:
· set up their group blogs;
· allocate administrator and author roles;
· add content; and
· edit blogs
Lorraine intends to conduct content analysis of blogs and comments posted on a regular basis. These blogs entail pertinent teaching and learning topics. Students are expected to engage and debate weekly regarding specific assessment tasks; and facilitation within a higher education environment.
Lorraine quotes Delphi Report (1990): “Through blogs critical thinking is promoted and students are able to interpret, analyse, conceptualise, and form judgement.”
A Blog is an online journal and it provides a space where you can share your thoughts around a specific topic/theme (http://greatstartpage.net/)
Click on the link to view the latest blog: http://tinyurl.com/c6u3q8h
In 2011 the Centre for Innovative Educational and Communications Technologies (CIECT -previously known as the eLearning Unit) embarked on the design and development of a digital resource toolkit for a Grade 7 – 9 Life Skills learners. This eLearning project was conducted in collaboration with Professor Allen Christoffels from the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI) and Professor Patricia Struthers from School of Public Health (SOPH) at the University of the Western Cape. The project is aimed at the youth of our country, specifically to create awareness about the dangers of HIV / Aids and Tuberculosis (TB).
The digital resource toolkit enables learners to engage with content, self-directed activities and assessment tasks – related to serious health challenges and encourages a healthy lifestyle. The learners are able to engage with sensitive topics around self-esteem, human rights, decision-making and career pathways – through interactive eTools and multi-media components, namely: quizzes, puzzles, audio clips and videos.
View the interactive digital resource which was developed and packaged on DVD by the CIECT team. The SANBI team has recently placed the resource toolkit on the internet at: http://skill4life.org/.
Lecturer, Natalie Gordon of the Dentistry Faculty, created an online environment for her second year Oral Hygiene students to support their professional development. The aim of the module was to create a central space enabling students to access course material and external resources. Students were introduced to podcasting (creation of audio recordings) to enable them to peer review and further improve their communication skills.
Podcast training was conducted and included: recording of an interview using the MP3 Player device; editing the audio recording using a voice editing software; exporting as a MP3 file, uploading the exported podcast into the online environment. The first task required students to interview their peers to assess the level of knowledge around dental practices. Thereafter listened to the recorded interview and critiqued each other’s communication skills.
According to the Oral Hygiene lecturer, “Students found the session very useful and from the feedback today most of them are very clued up on using the MP3 players. Those students who are more able will assist those struggling.”
Michelle Van Heerden, of the Education Faculty, recently made use of the online worksheet tool within the eTeaching Platform. The online worksheet was used as an assessment tool. Michelle stated that the online worksheet task has allowed her “to gain some perspective on student understanding and interpretations regarding content, identifying similarities in relation to common errors and this allowed for a follow up session to address these”. Michelle is positively looking forward to further online endeavors.
The Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT) team can assist you should you wish to make use of the online worksheet tool. You will be able to mark the worksheet online; and your students will be able to view their marks and comments online.
The Programme Officer for the Centre for Student Support and Services (CSSS) -Office for Students with Disabilities (OSwD) – recently requested PDF Editor training; specifically a train-the-trainer intervention for their staff members who would be assisting users with varied disabilities.
OSwD is currently making use of programmes for students with varied disabilities (blind, visually impaired and learning disabilities); however these are not able to access PDF documents. Hence the training session by the eLearning team enabled the OSwD staff to convert documents into word format. Evadne Abrahams (OSwD) stated the following:
“…The programs that are used to do this cannot access documents that are in PDF (image) format; they need to be in a word format in order to Braille, enlarge and make accessible for the JAWS program and the Claro reading program. This means that we have often had to print, photocopy, scan and edit all PDF material before it can be used by any of these students. If the copies are not clear, material has to be retyped. As you can understand, with the increased usage of e-teaching and e-learning sites, and the increased need of post-grad students to do research, the workload is enormous.
If this program could convert PDF documents into word documents, it would enable our staff to facilitate access to more material in less time which would mean that students would have the same time to complete assignments, etc. as the other students in their class”.
Lecturers across different departments have made use of the online workgroup tutorial eTool within the Learning Management system.
The online tutorial workgroup in eTeaching allows lecturers to manage their online workgroups. Students can be divided into workgroups where they are able to discuss topics within a group discussion forum and share information. Students are able to share related articles and documents with group members. The online workgroup tool is private and students are only able to view and join the workgroup they have been assigned to. Lecturers can also assign tutors specific roles and responsibilities within specific tutorial student workgroups. Lecturers have access to all online workgroups as they are able to advise tutors and students monitor student progress.
Lecturer, Neil Henderson of the Social Work Department, has used the workgroup tool since 2005 for his fourth year Social Work students. Other lecturers from various departments namely: English, Social Work, Nursing and Management have made extensive use of the online workgroup tool for their tutorials.
Joint-lecturing as a collaborative effort seeks to promote sharing of knowledge and methodologies, thereby enhancing delivery and providing an opportunity to explore issues from different angles (Leigh, et al, 2002:209)