Monthly Archives: March, 2013

B.ED Honours lecturer makes use of Sakai/iKamva platform

Dear Colleagues,

Lecturer, Gasant Gamiet of the Education Faculty has made us of the eTeaching platform to enhance his teaching-and-learning practices. Gasant created his B.ED Honours modules online in order for his students to access and engage with:

-Course material;
-Online discussion topics; and the
-Submission of online assignments.

It should be noted that these online discussion topics are accessible via the mobile devices (cellphones; tablets; ipads). Students are also able to respond within discussion topics via their cellphones.

Gasant has also volunteered to participate in the Sakai (iKamva) pilot project. He is in the process of testing the pedagogical value of the eTools within iKamva for his B.ED Honours modules; as well as for a Mathematics and Science project.

The CIECT team will continue to support the eTeaching platform whilst lecturers migrate to the new institutional platform, iKamva.

** View the Training and Support Interventions for 2013 at the following link CIECT Calendar 2013 ( ).

Library Information Science lecturer makes use of Sakai platform (iKamva)

Lecturer Sarah Witbooi makes use of the Sakai (iKamva) platform to teach her first year Library Information Science students. Sally attended an eLearning workshop related to flexible learning provision. The workshop included discussions around:

– ePedagogy;
– eTools;
– Modes of delivery; and
– Instructional strategy (focus on alignment of outcomes, activities, content and eTools).

Hence, Sally’s Instructional Strategy informed the development of the online Library Information Science module. Sally structured her course into manageable units of learning:
– course outline; and
– course material.

The content is well-structured into a course resource folder which includes:
– Tutorials;
– Worksheets; and
– Presentations.

Announcements are also used to share important dates regarding venues, tutorials and test dates. The tutors were added to the online module in order to assist the students and lecturer.

** View the Training and Support Interventions for 2013 at the following link CIECT Calendar 2013 (

Chemistry lecturer uses Sakai Platform to enhance study units

Lecturer, Karen Wallace from the Chemistry Department created an online environment within the Sakai (iKamva) platform.  Karen has structured her course to allow:

  •  the uploading of course resources 
    –        lecture slides, 
    –        articles, and 
    –        exam archives (papers and tests).

The course is also structured to allow for:

  • a scaffolding approach (study units), and
  • the inclusion of related multimedia (images, instructional videos and links to other resources).

Karen makes use of the embedding capabilities of the iKamva site, which allows:

  • YouTube videos to be aligned to specific content, and
  • PDF articles to be viewed within related learning material.

The CIECT team encourages Departments to arrange for group training sessions related to the effective use of eTools within the Sakai (iKamva) platform.


Physics lecturer makes use of SAKAI platform to reinforce lessons

Lecturer Valentino Van De Heyde created a learning environment for Physics (PHY 113) module within the online SAKAI platform (iKamva). Valentino and 13 other lecturers have attended iKamva traning workshops during the period, 19-29 November 2012. These training workshops were facilitated by the Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT). It focused on the following:

• Develop a course using the best principles of instructional design,
• Create and navigate the online environment,
• Select eCommunication tools,
• Create 5 different types of assignments (eAssessments), and
• Create an interactive online course.

The Physics online module supports his face-to-face teaching-and-learning practices, specifically for undergraduates. Valentino makes use of relevant eTools to enhance the content and communication activities within his online classroom. Hence, the ‘Course Resources and Announcement’ tools are used to share important YouTube video links; and notices with students. This allows student to revisit videos to reinforce lessons discussed in class. YouTube videos shared within the iKamva environment include:

• Time and motion
• Thermal Conductivity
• Oral information
• Linear Expansion
• Graphs
• Fluid Mechanics
• Electrostatics
• Electricity


Lecturer Faculty/ Department
1 Nadia Mohamed Dentistry
2 Fatima Peerbhay Dentistry
3 Mahmoud Patel Arts, English
4 Sally Witbooi Arts, Library Information Science
5 Ntombizodwa Linda CHS Nursing
6 Gasant Gamiet Education
7 Nicolette Roman CHS, Social Work
8 Mohammed Redau Safodien CHS, Social Work
9 Lorraine Fakude CHS, Nursing
10 Karen Wallace Science, Chemistry
11 Valentino Van De Heyde Science, Physics
12 Ronald Arendse EMS, Accounting
13 Cherrel Africa EMS, Political studies
14 Garth Van Rooyen EMS, Political studies













Lecturers make use of Google Blogger to develop critical thinking and writing

Lecturers, Sharita Bharuthram (English Department); Teneil Bell (Occupational Therapy) and Lorraine Fakude (Nursing Department) makes use of the ‘Blogger eTool’ to enhance their teaching methodologies. The students were trained by the Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT):

· set up group blogs;
· allocate administrator and author roles;
· add content;
· edit blogs; and
. comment on peer posts.

English lecturer Sharita Bharuthram is currently using the blogger tool which allows students to work in groups. One blog space is created by a group leader who invites the group members. Each student writes individual posts regarding a specific case study. Students are able to comment and peer-review in a constructive manner. The lecturer will add the specific group blogs to a reading list within her blogger profile in order to oversee the activity.

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”.

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”.

Lecturers make use of eAssessment tools to enhance their teaching practices

Juliana Willemse (Nursing Department); Doreen Nchang (Education Faculty); and Jacques de Ville (Law Faculty) have made use of online Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) to support their teaching modules:

Doreen created an online test to evaluate the students’ knowledge on the use and application of specific referencing techniques for assignments.

Juliana makes use of the MCQ tool to test students’ knowledge related to course material; and specific topics. Juliana states that although there have been some challenges (slow internet response and time-outs) – the “students left the computer lab with a sense of accomplishment as they knew exactly how well or bad they did in the task. There is probably nothing better than immediate feedback on a task completed”.

Jacques created an online pre-reading test, whereby students were expected to prepare and actively engage during class-time.


Sakai pilot project: Integration of mobile devices

In May 2012, a decision was made to select and implement the Sakai platform as the institutional Learning Management System (LMS).
Phases 1 and 2 of the pilot project, which entailed installation and integration with the Student Administrative Systems Integration (SASI) system have been completed. Currently, the Centre for Innovative Educational Communication Technologies (CIECT) team is engaged in the socialisation and familiarisation phase of the project, which entails the training of fourteen (14) lecturers across faculties. The scope of the pilot project includes:

a. 2 lecturers per faculty
b. 4 Courses per lecturer
c. 1000 students per course
d. 7 faculties

The Sakai platform is interoperable, hence it allows users to access and fully engage with all the online tools via compatible mobile devices (i.e. smartphones, tablets etc.). This enables students to download notes; view videos; engage in polls and discussion forum; as well as complete tests.
“Students are already inventing ways to use their phones to learn what they want to know. If we educators are smart, we’ll figure out how to deliver our product in a way that fits into our students’ digital lives – and their cell phones” (Prensky, 2004).

Currently, the Sakai platform is being hosted off-campus by an external vendor OpenCollab. The Information and Communcation Services (ICS) department is in the process of  preparing the UWC environment in order for the Sakai platform to be hosted internally. This will enable the CIECT team to migrate all lecturers currently within the eTeaching platform to the Sakai platform. This process will take place during the course of 2013.


Education Practice: Online module for teacher-trainees

Lecturer Karen de Mink (Education Faculty) has created an online environment for the course, Education Practice.  The online modules support her face-to-face teaching practices – specifically for undergraduate teacher-trainees.

Karen makes extensive use of eTools to support content and communication. Hence, the ‘File Manager and Announcement’ tools are used to share documents and important notices with students. Documents shared include:

  • Learning guides
  • Articles
  • Material from text books
  • Lecture notes/slides
  • Course marks

Videos are also placed within the online course which demonstrate and guide teacher-trainees on how to evaluate lessons. These videos assist the teacher-trainees with setting up assessment tasks; and prepare students for the workplace.

Biotechnology online course to enhance access and communication

Lecturer, Dr Diane Rip of the Science Faculty, created an online environment for her second year Biotechnology students. The aim of the module was to communicate more effectively with students as well as to create a central space to enable access to lecture notes, past exam papers, tests as well as practicals.

Students are also informed of important notices via the announcement tool, which is linked to their email addresses; and accessible via mobile phones.

According to the Biotechnology lecturer, “The students seem to have no problem using the eTeaching platform to retrieve their course notes and general information. It’s an easy way of communicating important information to the students. However, the uploading and sharing of the material is sometimes problematic due to Internet connectivity challenges.”

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Physics lecturer creates interactive online modules

Valentino van de Heyde administrates various undergraduate Physics modules, which include both theory and practical. He conducts lectures for the Physics 152 Practical Course; and assists other Physics lecturers, specifically for the Honours and Masters Programmes.

The online courses within the eTeaching environment have been setup to include various elements, namely:
• Embedding Youtube videos; simulations; lab schedules; links to external resources and digital photostories within the content.
• Uploading oral/practical guidelines; open-source textbooks; guidelines on report writing and extra resources within the file manager.

Valentino plans on creating a ‘Physics Animation and Simulation Lab’ as well as an ‘Open Source Library’ for the different categories of Physics modules. He is also planning on recording physics lectures and will make use of Youtube to showcase these videos.

Valentino has attended CIECT’s ICT skills training programmes, namely:
– online course creation; and
– digital photostory.