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.

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