Monthly Archives: March, 2014

Digital Academic Literacy Programme for Foundation and First Year Students

The CIECT team recognises the need for basic computer literacy skills. A Digital Academic Literacy (DAL) Programme has been developed for Foundation and First Year students. In the first term of 2014, the team offered training to over 2 500 students across all Faculties. The DAL Programme (conducted over a period of a semester) is also customised according to Faculty needs.

 By the end of first term, students are able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Communicate with lecturers, using electronic mail;

  • Browse and navigate windows operating system, including managing files and folders;

  • Navigate the World Wide Web (WWW) and academic search engines; and

  • Create documents and assignments for academic purposes.

The following planning activities took place prior to the delivery of the DAL Programme:

  • Consultation with Faculties/Departments

  • Programme content

  • Team/ Facilitator’s preparation

  • Time-tabling

  • Student facilitation and consultation

**The graph below reflects the number of students who engaged in the DAL Programme, Term 1:


Academics / Departments who wishes to integrate the DAL Programme into the Academic curriculum are cordially invited to contact the team on below:

Mr T.F. Mokwele ( / 021 959 2966) or Mr F. Nkunge ( / 021 959 2966)

History lecturers co-facilitate: Interactive online course

History lecturers, Susan Newton-King, Andrew Bank, Bob Edgar and Riedwaan Moosage have created an online environment. These lecturers co-facilitate and share course material. This module focuses on the ‘historiography of the British campaign to end the Atlantic slave trade in all British territories’ – throughout the British Empire.

The course content is structured into chapters with:
–  links to external websites;
–  videos;
–  documents; and
–  biographies of some historians.

These lecturers have created announcements to notify the students about activities; and relevant reading material for class preparation and tutorials. These announcements are linked to students’ email clients (available via mobile devices).

Furthermore the students are currently engaging in Google Blogger training workshops which enables:
– collaborative writing; and
– sharing ideas around specific topics related to the course content.

NB: Please note that the eTeaching platform (Chisimba) will be phased out by the end of 2014. Hence lecturers are encouraged to make use of the iKamva (Sakai) platform.

Linguistics lecturers co-facilitate: Interactive online course within iKamva (Sakai) platform

Linguistics Professors, Charlyn Dyers and Bassey Antia have created an online environment. These lecturers co-facilitate and share course material within the iKamva (Sakai platform).
The course content is structured into lecture notes, readings and assignments. The module focuses on Multilingualism in Society and Education. Hence, these lecturers have created podcasts and related documents to translate and explain certain concepts in both Afrikaans and Xhosa. This enables the students to download the recordings and documents, irrespective of their geographical setting.
NB: It should be noted that this course was previously hosted on the eTeaching platform; and has now been migrated to the iKamva platform. Lecturers are encouraged to contact CIECT in order to migrate modules from eTeaching to the current iKamva site. The eTeaching platform will be phased out by the end of 2014, hence lecturers are encouraged to make use of the iKamva platform.

Foreign Language lecturers create interactive online environments

Lecturers, Sandra de Kock and Sandra van Reenen,from the Department of Foreign Languages have created interactive online modules for their respective German and French first-year classes. The CIECT team has assisted the lecturers with the structure and design of the online environments. The lecturers were also trained on how to create podcasts (voice-recordings) which were embedded within the presentations. Students are able to repeatedly access these audio-recorded presentations (which highlights correct pronunciation).

The courses have been structured into manageable units and interactive pages to:
– share content;
– embed digital resources (such as audio-narrated Powerpoints);and
– link to course resources.

The students are also expected to submit the podcast assignments online. They are also able to complete online self-assessment tests in order to test their knowledge and understanding of the language. Sandra de Kock states: “The objective for the podcast-homework assignments was to hear each course participant speak the language and concentrate on possible difficulties on pronunciation individually, and without pointing it out in class in front of all the other students. This is beneficial, especially for timid students, but ultimately for everyone, as mispronunciation is detected early; and students don’t get used to wrong pronunciation, which at a later stage is difficult to “unlearn”. Furthermore, speaking receives more attention and becomes an integral part in classroom activities and also assignments, thus students are not only evaluated on their speaking ability twice a year in formal oral exams, but throughout the year in fun activities”.
The CIECT team conducted demonstration sessions during lectures to show students how to access, navigate and upload online assessments within the iKamva (Sakai) platform. These demonstrations also equips the students with the basic ‘know-how’ of the creation of podcasts and vodcasts (video-recordings).

** View CIECT Training and Support Interventions for 2014 at the following link

4th Year – Social Work students: Online discussion workgroups

Social Work lecturers, Dr Neil Henderson and Marie Minaar-McDonald created online courses for 4th year students within the iKamva (Sakai) platform. They have setup specific discussion topics related to specific case-studies; assessment tasks and communication. Discussion workgroups enable students to post and share reflective tasks with other group members and lecturers.
The students engaged in a hands-on iKamva training session on the 5th of February 2014. This sessions enabled them to become familiar with the online environment; reflect within discussion forums and submit accordingly.
“Participation adds value to individual learning outcomes; group performance (especially with regard to knowledge construction); development in the amount and quality of social interaction among students; and between educators and students” (Lehtinen et al; 1999). “Participating in an online discussion forum also requires writing; and writing is considered as a fundamental tool of thinking…illuminating and articulating one’s ideas; and reflecting on and sharing ideas with others by making thinking visible” (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1994).
** View CIECT Training and Support Interventions for 2014 at the following link