Monthly Archives: February, 2015

Lecturers create formative and summative eAssessments within iKamva (Sakai)

Lecturers across the following Faculties: Arts, Education, CHS, Dentistry, Law and Science have enhanced their face-to-face instruction with various eAssessments. These online assessment types, include ‘uploadable assignments’; and ‘online test & quizzes’ (which include question types, namely MCQ’s, True/False, Fill in the Blank, Short answer and Matching).

The online tests are mainly used to assess the student’s knowledge related to course material; specific topics/content; and the application of specific referencing techniques. The format of the test can be set as formative evaluation (test students’ knowledge related to course content); or as summative assessment (term test and open-book exams). Some of the benefits of eAssessments, include automated grading and instant student feedback/results.

Furthermore lecturers have made use of the online ‘assignment’ tool which enables students to submit documents (essays, assignments); podcasts (audio-recordings); and vodcasts (video-recordings).

In terms of assessment, research indicates that “[i]n recognition of the limitations of traditional university assessment, there is a new wave of pedagogy advocating ‘alternative assessment’ in which assessment is integrated with learning processes and real-life performance as opposed to display of inert knowledge” (McLoughlin & Luca, 2001:421). This, it should be emphasised, constitutes a “form of authentic assessment [that] is solidly based on constructivism, which recognises the learner as the chief architect of knowledge building”.

As Vonderwell, Liang, and Alderman (2007) indicated, “assessment (whether formative or summative) in online learning contexts encompasses distinct characteristics as compared to face-to-face contexts particularly due to the asynchronous nature of interactivity among the online participants (the teacher and learners). Therefore, it requires educators to rethink online pedagogy in order to achieve effective formative assessment strategies that can support meaningful (higher-order or deep) learning and its assessment” (Gikani et al., 2011).

** Please view CIECT training and support interventions for 2015 at the following link:
** Bookings should be done via the iEnabler platform, 2 days prior to the workshop.

NB: All staff members, who currently have online modules within the Chisimba platform are strongly encouraged to contact the CIECT team regarding migration processes. Hence, the eTeaching platform (Chisimba) will no longer be in use, effective immediately from 01 March 2015.

Kind regards
CIECT team

Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT)
Our eLearning platforms:
Our Mobile platform
Tel: 021 959 3200

Exponential Growth of eTools adoption within iKamva platform across 53 Departments

Lecturers from 53 Departments (across the 7 Faculties of the institution) – are making use of various eTools within the iKamva (Sakai) platform. It should be noted that since the launch of the iKamva platform, May 2012, a number of 1405 modules have been created within the iKamva platform. Furthermore, it should be highlighted that 538 modules have been created within the first term of this academic year (2015). Face-to-face instruction is enhanced by the effective use of various emerging communication, content creation and assessment eTools. Lecturers, facilitators and co-facilitators are able to share online environments across disciplines.

NB: Lecturers have been informed (since 2013) – regarding the need to migrate from the eTeaching platform ( – to the current iKamva/Sakai platform,( Most of Semester 1 modules, within the Chisimba platform – have been migrated to iKamva. The CIECT team will not create any new modules within the old Chisimba system.

NB: All staff members, who currently have online modules within the Chisimba platform are strongly encourage to contact the CIECT team regarding migration processes. Hence, the eTeaching platform (Chisimba) will no longer be in use, effective immediately from 01 March 2015.

“The past decade has seen enormous growth in the use of learning management systems (LMS) in higher education institutions, with varying levels of support provided to staff and students during the implementation phases. This has, in theory at least, provided the potential for rich learning environments built on social constructivist theories and available to all students, both on campus and those studying at a distance” (Weaver et al., 2008).
Kind Regards
Tel: 021 959 3200/2501/3068

Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT)
Our eTeaching platform:
Our Mobile platform
Tel: 021 959 3200/2501/3068

English Department: Interactive online Language and Essay writing module

Project coordinator, Fiona Moolla of the English Department, contacted CIECT to assist with the creation of an interactive online environment within the Ikamva (Sakai platform) which will enable students to navigate content, focusing on basic skills of academic writing and effective language use.

The Project Coordinator worked closely with professional Language Consultants who were responsible to develop the content for each section.  Various blocks focus on correcting common language errors which occur in student submissions and interactively encourage the fundamentals of good academic essay writing. Each block presents the basic principles involved and thereafter tests students’ knowledge through a series of self-correcting exercises.

NB: Lecturers and tutors may refer students who are struggling with essay writing to the interactive online programme. It should be noted that students are able to access the programme asynchronously (independently, at their own pace and time).  Students are also able to engage in a particular test (linked to a block) – as many times as required. The system automatically grades the test and provides online results.

In the literature, Krause (2006:203) emphasises that “Although face-to-face contact with teaching faculty remains crucial in developing students’ academic writing skills, there is a place, too, for judicious use of online technologies to provide support in this area. Many studies exploring the use of Web-based programs as an adjunct to traditional forms of delivery have reported high levels of student satisfaction with online delivery (Ellis, 2000; Gluck, Vialle, Lysaught, & Larkin, 1998).” She also notes that “First-year students confirm that they appreciate online delivery as a very useful scaffolding device that in effect helps to induct them into the discipline and its writing conventions. However, they strongly argue for the need for social interaction with faculty and peers as they struggle to come to terms with the language of the academy and define its discourse” (Krause, 2006:217).