Monthly Archives: April, 2015

Education Faculty: Digital Storytelling to break Language stereotypes

Lecturer, Vuyokazi Nomlomo (Education Faculty), requested training for her Xhosa Education 3rd Year students, in order for them to create lesson plans. These students are expected to make use of stories to teach Languages, in this case specifically, Xhosa.

The lecturer conducts a scaffolding approach to highlight various concepts in relation to reading and writing skills. The use of digital storytelling to teach Languages enables the lecturer to begin to break stereotypes around African Languages. Furthermore, the student efforts have promoted the use of ICTs for teaching-and-learning. Moreover, the eSkills attained are used for broader application, including the creation of posters.

Verdugo and Belmonte (2007) argue that “at an early stage of language acquisition, stories can offer a valuable way of contextualizing and introducing new language, making it meaningful and memorable”, due to the fact that “they are associated with feelings and memories, as they are a distinctive manifestation of cultural values and perceptions. Besides, they present linguistic forms, grammar, phrases, vocabulary, and formulaic speech within a meaningful and structured context that supports comprehension of the narrative world”.

** 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.

Kind Regards,

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

Art Faculty: Exponential growth and use of emerging technologies

Arts Faculty lecturers across the eleven (11) Departments have created online environments within the institutional Learning Management System (LMS) iKamva/Sakai. A number of 140 online modules have been created during the first term of the academic calendar, 2015.

The exponential growth and use of emerging technologies (accessible to students from any geographical space) is aligned to the continuous training and support interventions; and one-on-one consultations by the CIECT team. Moreover, the lecturers across Departments voluntarily request assistance, indicative of their efforts and changing teaching and learning practices.

CIECT’s interventions enable lecturers to become familiar with various content, communication and assessment eTools for active online engagement; as well as for the management and delivery of learning content and resources to students.

Furthermore the Arts Faculty lecturers have also been introduced to the use of Personal Learning Environments (such as, digital stories, podcasts, narrated presentations); and Google Applications (such as ePortfolio, Drive and Blogger). It should be noted that lecturers integrate these PLEs and Google Applications into their iKamva environments.

**It should be noted that during the migration process (i.e. from the eTeaching platform to iKamva), a number of online modules have been designed and developed:

2012- 2013 – 9 modules (pilot project, Nov 2012)
2014- 149 modules
2015 – 140 modules (current)

“Learners perceive and process information in different ways (e.g. visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and tactile). Consequently, effective learning is promoted when instructors provide diverse teaching environments to accommodate this” (Stephenson, 2008).

** 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.

School of Public Health (SOPH) lecturer, Nikki Schaay, created an interactive online environment

School of Public Health (SOPH) lecturer, Nikki Schaay, created an interactive online environment, allowing students to “work through course material at a self-study pace guided by a study schedule”. The module focuses on “Health and Development and the history and value of a Primary Health Care (PHC) approach”.

Students are provided with online course resources which include:

A module guide;


Additional readings;

Study schedule;

Multimedia components (images and videos) and;

General resources.

Students are also expected to submit their formal assignments within the ‘online assignment tool‘. Furthermore the students are able to contribute and share within online group discussions. A blog tool is also used for student engagement.

It should be noted that these eTools are accessed via various devices (mobile and stand-alone).

“We are embedded in the information age and students spend their lives surrounded by technology and therefore it is of importance to recognise the nature and needs of today’s students and create a ‘student-centred learning environment’. Peer-to-peer interaction is a key feature in the use of pedagogical principles and allows for social constructive collaborative learning” (Stephenson, 2008).

“The combined interactivity and asynchronous nature of computer-mediated communication (CMC) should encourage students to reflect on their own perspectives […], express their ideas, and learn from the content of the interaction itself” (Hara, Bonk & Angeli, 2000).

** 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.

Kind regards


Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT)

Our eLearning platforms:

Our Mobile platform


Tel: 021 959 3200

EED for 1st year Law students: Online tests

Lecturer, Mahmoud Patel of the English Department set up an interactive online environment for the first year Law students (large class, 600 students). The lecturer requested CIECT to conduct class demonstration sessions to familiarise students with the online platform (iKamva/Sakai). These sessions took place during the first term of the academic calendar.

Recently the lecturer set up an online term test which students are able to complete during the vacation period.  The students are allowed to do the test a number of times until the due date. Students are able to engage in the test at any time regardless of their geographical setting. “Online assessments can be accessed at a greater range of locations than is possible with paper examinations, enabling learners to measure their understanding at times of their own choosing…” (Davis, 2010).

This method of “learning by reflection” enable students to engage with the learning material, stay motivated and test their own understanding of the subject. Mr Patel used a meta-cognitive strategy by planning and preparing ahead and allowing students to be confident independents and be aware of their own learning (Stephenson, 2008). “[O]nline assessment implicitly holds the promise of a number of […] substantial benefits. These include the ability to assess larger classes effectively […]; increase student motivation […]; increase feedback […]; increase flexibility […]; increase the objectivity and consistency of marking […] and increase administrative efficiency” (Byrnes et al., 2006).

“The principle goal of education is to create individuals who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done” (Jean Piaget, n.d.).