CIECT collaborated with the Directorate: Teaching and Learning and a team of lecturers, regarding the delivery of a Programme, namely, Towards the Professionalisation of Teaching and Learning. Lecturers from across Faculties (and disciplines) were selected by their Deans to engage in the first programme, consisting of 13 weekly topics. These included topics related to reflexive practice, technology-enhanced learning, and the evaluation of teaching, quality and standards.
During the planning phase, the Director: Teaching-and-Learning, facilitators, and Teaching-and-Learning Specialists were informed about the importance of an eTools ‘familiarisation and socialisation phase’, whereby critical stages of activities related to “access and motivation” in an online environment, influences student learning processes (Salmon, 2000). Hence, the facilitators and respective lecturers engaged in a critical eTools workshop, at the start of the Programme.
CIECT also proposed and showcased an eTool (platform) for the creation of an ePortfolio, as the participants were expected to submit a portfolio (summative assessment task reflective of an accumulation of all tasks). Following, the selected lecturers engaged in an eTools workshop, which included aspects of design, structure, eLearning models, student development, and effective online teaching and learning. They were introduced to the use of Cloud Computing eTools to support teaching and learning activities:
– Create a Google Survey
– Create an interactive document sharing environment
– Create an ePortfolio
– Access online environments via various modes of delivery
Based on the feedback received from the respective lecturers appreciated the interactive, hands-on eTools sessions. The lecturers also contacted the CIECT team after the scheduled sessions, to assist them with the completion of their ePortfolios.
“ICTs should…be useful in enhancing teaching and learning and university teachers should be on the fore of embracing ICTs in teaching and learning. Computers and other mobile devises as well as social network platforms are the tools that should be utilised to enhance and revolutionise teaching and learning” (Maphosa & Mudzielwana, 2014).
“The concept of the e-portfolio is known everywhere, and the need how to learn from it and how to integrate the e-portfolio in education systems is a major challenge for […] education institutions everywhere. As is the matter how to motivate the teachers. […]. The objective is to guide and counsel […] teachers to develop an own e-portfolio, an activity which may serve as the basis and the inspiration for an applied learning strategy to further their own professional growth” (Jans and Awouters, 2008).
In July 2015, the CIECT team will deliver the eTools workshop, as part of the “Towards the Professionalisation of Teaching and Learning” Programme (for the 2nd cohort of UWC lecturers).
The CIECT team offers support to lecturers who are engaged in the ‘Emerging Technologies for Improving Teaching and Learning’ Course (offered by The Cape Higher Education Consortium, CHEC). “This course provides a unique opportunity for academics from the four HEIs in the Western Cape an experience of how technologies can be used to enhance your own teaching and learning in higher education” (CHEC).
The CIECT team supports these lecturers with the design and development of their online portfolios. This support includes aspects related to structure, embedding of content (text and digital media), links to relevant resources, alignment of evidence-based learning experiences, and selection of relevant eTools (in this case, including ePortfolio platforms).
The CIECT team assists the lecturers to create a well-structured ePortfolio, reflecting teaching experiences, current projects, research publications and evidence-based blended teaching practices. This Life-Long Learning ePortfolio can be edited, reviewed and shared (internally and globally).
“[I]n the process of creating e-portfolios, lecturers’ reflection on teaching and learning provide opportunities to develop technical competencies along with changing their instructional practices” (Walcott and Grant, 2006).
“ePortfolios prompt learning in the context of a learning community and can help to foster reflection” (Walcott and Grant, 2006).
Teaching-and-Learning Specialist, Dr. Rita Kizito from the Faculty of Science has built a longstanding relationship of trust with CIECT over the last few years. She has approached the CIECT team on numerous occasions for advice on the use and implementation of eTools for teaching-and-learning purposes.
Collaborations between CIECT and Rita started in 2013, and included:
– The creation of an online programme, namely ‘Faculty of Science Teaching Assistants Development Programme’ (FSTADP), designed and developed for Science teaching assistants.
– The design and development of a database for the Extended Curriculum Programme by CIECT, in consultation with Dr Kizito.
The CIECT team has blogged regarding these teaching and learning interventions: (i) “Infusion of ICTs: Science TA Programme” (http://tinyurl.com/oy23ehy); and (ii) “Science Faculty: Database creation using Doctopus for Extended Curriculum Programme” (http://tinyurl.com/ne2yuqu).
It should be noted that these interventions, include extensive planning sessions, including: a conceptualisation meeting to discuss ideas; planning workshops regarding the implementation phases; and numerous one-on-one consultations (training and support) with the Teaching and Learning Specialist on the effective use of the eTools.
These steps formed the foundation for the longstanding and productive working relationship between Dr. Rita Kizito and CIECT. The CIECT team would like to encourage and invite other Faculty Teaching-and-Learning Specialists to work closely with the team regarding the infusion of ICTs for teaching-and-learning.