Monthly Archives: March, 2015

EED interactive online discussion assignment

Lecturer, Sharitha Bharuthram (English for Educational Development, CHS) created an interactive online environment within iKamva. The discussion forum was used as a communication and assessment tool. “The purpose of the assignment was to stimulate the students ability to participate in a meaningful discussion and share ideas in a way that promotes further debate”.

The Natural Medicine and Dietetics students engaged within the online discussion forum by responding to a specific topic related to their discipline:

– Obesity prevention and control should begin with the monitoring or even shutting down of fast food outlets;
– SA should have a body to control food prices;
– Since eating behaviours evolve during the first years of life, parents should be held directly responsible for the unhealthy eating habits of their children; and
– Schools should take on more responsibility in promoting healthy eating.

Furthermore students had to peer-review each other’s posts and comment constructively. These posts form part of their portfolio for the English for Educational Development module.

“Student discussion has been identified as a key component of interactive online learning environments; both instructors and researchers agree that this is where the ‘real’ learning takes place. Cunningham (1992) emphasizes the importance of interaction in online courses, noting that it is the dialog among community members that promotes learning. According to Lang (cited in Black, 2005), good discussion, whether online or face-to-face, engages participants in a ‘dialogical process that leads to increasingly sound, well grounded, and valid understandings of a topic or issue’ (n.p.). Whereas student discussions typically revolve around personal stories or descriptive content, at least initially, effective discussions progress to include both reflection and critical thinking. When content-specific discussions include these characteristics, they have the potential to motivate student inquiry and to create a learning context in which collaborative meaning-making occurs (Black, 2005)”.

** Please view CIECT training and support interventions for 2015 at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/ozxg3oy ** Bookings should be done via the iEnabler platform, 2 days prior to the workshop.

Kind regards
CIECT
Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT)
Our eLearning platforms:
http://eteaching.uwc.ac.za
http://ikamva.uwc.ac.za
Our Mobile platform
http://m.eteaching.uwc.ac.za
Email: elearning@uwc.ac.za
Tel: 021 959 3200

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EED interactive online discussion assignment

Lecturer, Sharitha Bharuthram (English for Educational Development, CHS) created an interactive online environment within iKamva. The discussion forum was used as a communication and assessment tool.  “The purpose of the assignment was to stimulate the students ability to participate in a meaningful discussion and share ideas in a way that promotes further debate”.

The Natural Medicine and Dietetics students engaged within the online discussion forum by responding to a specific topic related to their discipline:

– Obesity prevention and control should begin with the monitoring or even shutting down of fast food outlets;
– SA should have a body to control food prices;
– Since eating behaviours evolve during the first years of life, parents should be held directly responsible for the unhealthy eating habits of their children; and
– Schools should take on more responsibility in promoting healthy eating.

Furthermore students had to peer-review each other’s posts and comment constructively. These posts form part of their portfolio for the English for Educational Development module.

“Student discussion has been identified as a key component of interactive online learning environments; both instructors and researchers agree that this is where the ‘real’ learning takes place. Cunningham (1992) emphasizes the importance of interaction in online courses, noting that it is the dialog among community members that promotes learning. According to Lang (cited in Black, 2005), good discussion, whether online or face-to-face, engages participants in a ‘dialogical process that leads to increasingly sound, well grounded, and valid understandings of a topic or issue’ (n.p.). Whereas student discussions typically revolve around personal stories or descriptive content, at least initially, effective discussions progress to include both reflection and critical thinking. When content-specific discussions include these characteristics, they have the potential to motivate student inquiry and to create a learning context in which collaborative meaning-making occurs (Black, 2005)”.

EED: Online group activities using Blogger

Lecturer, Susan Ntete (English for Educational Development, EED) requested blogger training for her students. The students were tasked to post and comment to their group blog environment after reading a text on ‘The problem with Google+: Implications for Social Workers’ (posted by a US-based Social Work student).

They had to base their responses reflecting on the following questions:
– “Whether or not you can relate to the given topic (i.e. are you familiar with Google+? How do you think this is likely to impact you in your future role as a Social Worker who is not a ‘digital native’?);
– “the extent to which you agree and/or disagree with the points raised herein; the relevance or lack thereof of the given topic to your own context (SA);
– “which of the outlined ‘discoveries’ about Google+ you consider to be the most troubling and why; and
– “what role you think South African social workers could play in the given scenario, etc.

The CIECT team facilitated a workshop which enabled the students to: (i) setup a group blog; (ii) write a post; (iii) embed multimedia elements (images, youtube video); and (iv) comment on each other’s post.

Research highlights the benefits of creating online group spaces for students.

“Much of the pedagogic use of blogging is grounded in Vygotsky’s theory (Ferdig, 2004). Through social interactions mediated by language (but not restricted to language), edublogs offer students the opportunity to surface their ideas in a social plane. The ability to comment on these ideas enables individuals to participate in social construction of knowledge and meaning making. Blogging then supports the internalisation of knowledge by allowing students to look back at their archived posts and reflect on what they have written and the comments provided by their peers or teacher.” (Huann, John, Yuen, 2005)

** Please view CIECT training and support interventions for 2015 at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/ozxg3oy ** Bookings should be done via the iEnabler platform, 2 days prior to the workshop.

Kind regards
CIECT

Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT)
Our eLearning platforms:
http://eteaching.uwc.ac.za
http://ikamva.uwc.ac.za
Our Mobile platform
http://m.eteaching.uwc.ac.za
Email: elearning@uwc.ac.za
Tel: 021 959 3200

EMS lecturers make use of various communication, content and assessment eTools

Lecturers within the EMS faculty across Departments are making use of the online platform, iKamva (Sakai) to enhance their teaching-and-learning practices. A number of 93 modules (2015) have been created and are mainly used to:

– share resources (lecture slides, homework tasks, articles, etc.); and
– communicate with students through sending announcements.

Furthermore some lecturers have also made use of the eAssessment tools. This includes the use of online assessments for reflective and group assignments as well as online tests related to course content, referencing techniques and critical thinking.

In the literature, McLoughlin and Luca (2001:418) reflect on the importance of eAssessment: “Information and communication technologies (ICT) have the capacity to support a wide range of learning goals and are now integrated into teaching approaches of many higher educational institutions”. Some of the key impacts of this infusion of technology include: “self-directed learning and increased student autonomy”, “flexibility and diversity in assessment”, “increased information literacy, ensuring that graduate skills are in tune with those of employers”, and “increased productivity and efficiency in higher education” (McLoughlin & Luca, 2001:418).

** Please view CIECT training and support interventions for 2015 at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/ozxg3oy ** Bookings should be done via the iEnabler platform, 2 days prior to the workshop.

Kind regards
CIECT

Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT)
Our eLearning platforms:
http://eteaching.uwc.ac.za
http://ikamva.uwc.ac.za
Our Mobile platform
http://m.eteaching.uwc.ac.za
Email: elearning@uwc.ac.za
Tel: 021 959 3200

EMS lecturers make use of various communication, content and assessment eTools

Lecturers within the EMS faculty across Departments are making use of the online platform, iKamva (Sakai) to enhance their teaching-and-learning practices.  A number of 93 modules (2015) have been created and are mainly used to:

– share resources (lecture slides, homework tasks, articles, etc.); and
– communicate with students through sending announcements.

Furthermore some lecturers have also made use of the eAssessment tools.  This includes the use of online assessments for reflective and group assignments as well as online tests related to course content, referencing techniques and critical thinking.

In the literature, McLoughlin and Luca (2001:418) reflect on the importance of eAssessment: “Information and communication technologies (ICT) have the capacity to support a wide range of learning goals and are now integrated into teaching approaches of many higher educational institutions”. Some of the key impacts of this infusion of technology include: “self-directed learning and increased student autonomy”, “flexibility and diversity in assessment”, “increased information literacy, ensuring that graduate skills are in tune with those of employers”, and “increased productivity and efficiency in higher  education” (McLoughlin & Luca, 2001:418).