Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Unit (ITLU): Lecturer creates a blended learning environment
Lecturer, Gerard Filies from the Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Unit (ITLU), consulted with the CIECT team to create an interactive online environment for the Professional Ethics and Practice Management module, within iKamva (Sakai platform). The lecturer is able to provide the Honours students with the following:
– lecture slides;
– online group discussion topics;
– online test; and
– polls (reflective of student feedback).
The online test (which contributed to their formative assessment tasks and related course material) consisted of various question types, namely: multiple-choice questions, true/false and matching. The lecturer stated that the online tests, “saves time in marking”; and that he could retrieve valuable feedback from student polls.
Furthermore, a Facebook group, Inter-professional World Cafe was created to supplement the online course- by enabling the students to share interesting links, articles and quotes related to the course. Gerard engaged with his students in a face-to-face workshop. Prior to the workshop he created this Facebook group and requested the students to share online postings and comments related to their group case-studies.
This blended teaching approach enabled the lecturer to retrieve valuable feedback from the Facebook group, which was presented in real-time to the students during the face-to-face workshop. Furthermore, the Facebook group enabled Gerard to bring together and easily facilitate a large group of students. Moreover, the lecturer made use of his iPad to track comments and challenges during the face-to-face group discussions. Gerard was able to comment on students’ postings in real-time. The lecturer observed how the students took initiative and posted relevant content, feedback and graphics related to their group case-studies.
Lecturer, Enayat Hamza from the School of Government (SOG) – has created an online environment, ‘Executive Leadership Development Programme (ELDP)’ – for working professionals (local Councillors). This blended learning approach consists of monthly face-to-face lectures, supported by an online environment.
This Short Course (endorsed by the South African Local Government Association as well as the Department of Local Government in the Western Cape) – is designed and offered to participants employed at the local government level: “The course forms part of UWC School of Government’s commitment towards capacitating councillors with the required skills, knowledge and competencies they require in order to face the challenges of serving the aspiration and needs of communities”.
The Programme is structured into five online modules, within the iKamva (Sakai) environment. These modules focus on specific topics, namely, ‘local municipalities; roles and responsibilities and relationships of elected and appointed officials; delegations of powers and duties in a municipality’.
The lectures are placed online to allow participants to view and retrieve the content regardless of their geographical space. After the completion of each module, participants are expected to complete and submit their assignments – online. The announcement tool is also used to inform and remind participants about the ‘open and closing dates of specific assignments and other course work notifications’. The announcements are directly linked to private email clients.
It should be noted that this Programme was placed online in 2011, after consultation with the CIECT team. Since of the start course, a number 134 students – [Councillors from various Municipalities throughout the Western Cape: West Coast, Matzikama, Stellenbosch, Saldanha Bay, Witzenberg, Central Karoo, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Breede Valley, Oudtshoorn, Cape Winelands, Langeberg, Drakensberg, Swartland, City of Cape Town] -have participated and engaged within the online environment.
Enayat Hamza states: “This training course forms part of UWC School of Government’s commitment towards capacitating councillors with the required skills, knowledge and competencies they require in order to face the challenges of serving the aspiration and needs of communities”.
A number of staff members in the Department of Physics will embark on the integration of emerging eTools, namely, Doctopus and Goobric – to enhance their current teaching and learning practices.
The Physics lecturers will be able to upload and share eAssessment documents within Google Drive. Furthermore, these documents can be distributed via Doctopus. The lecturers will customise the eAssessment documents according to specific needs (e.g. individual student; groups; or entire class). Feedback will be shared within this online document.
In addition, the Goobric eTool will enable the lecturers to grade distributed assignments online, via a rubric. Furthermore the Goobric also enables the lecturer to store assessment scores; comment and share feedback accordingly. Hence various data (rubric scores, comments and final scores) are processed, in ‘real-time’ – within the same document.
Students ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate mainstream Physics courses – will experience the benefits of these eTools which enable asynchronous and synchronous communication and feedback between lecturers and students. The online student can view the comments in ‘real-time’; or make an online appointment to discuss the feedback (i.e. a face-to-face session).
Students will also be able to monitor and track their progress online. A rubric will be included in the shared document. Thus, the student will be able to view rubric scores; and improve their assignments accordingly. This development approach will enable the Physics student to revise work after reviewing at least, two (2) rubric scores.
This pilot project will lead to joint research between the CIECT members and Physics lecturers.