Monthly Archives: July, 2015

Social Work: Use of siteMaestro to manage an ePortfolio template (large class)

Social Work lecturer, Sandra Bredell consulted with the CIECT team regarding the use of the siteMaestro eTool, aligned to the design and development of an ePortfolio student template.

This siteMaestro eTool allows the lecturer to copy (bulk), share and manage an ePortfolio template. Additionally, the template is aligned to an online class-list. Hence, the lecturer is able to share the template (ePortfolio) via a link embedded within the online class-list.

This process enables effective time-management, as the lecturer spends less time with administrative tasks (including, locating and retrieving student emails; and related content for large groups of students). Moreover, the lecturer has more time to collaborate and reflect on the learning content and student development.

Lecturer, Sandra has already implemented the use of siteMaestro for the 2nd year Social Work students. Thus, these students have experienced the distribution of an ePortfolio template, prior to the examination period (June 2015). This enabled the students to:
§ focus more on the course content, rather than eTools; and
§ focus more effectively on collaboration and communication with the lecturer regarding challenging concepts.

“With the proliferation of portfolios in higher education, it is important for educators and other stakeholders to understand the perspective of the primary users of portfolios, the students. Portfolios are student-centred devices and the ways students view, use and implement portfolios are revealing elements to aid educators in the successful implementation of portfolios systems in their learning environment” (Lorenzo and Ittelson, 2005).

Contact the CIECT team to create your ePortfolio template aligned to siteMaestro.

UWC and University of Florida: Design of an interactive, collaborative online environment (EESA)

Lecturers from UWC (School of Business and Finance) and the University of Florida (Warrington College of Business Administration) have created a collaborative online environment, namely, Entrepreneurship Empowerment in South Africa (EESA). Students from both institutions, engaged in this Programme, aim to become professionals in the field of Entrepreneurship (especially to contribute meaningfully to historically disadvantaged South African Entrepreneurs).

The online environment has been structured to enable group activities, whereby the diverse students consult and meet regarding and including: professional consultation approaches; challenges and opportunities for clients; analysis of the environment; and tangible deliverables according to clients’ needs.

Lecturers from the School of Business and Finance plans a face-to-face fieldwork experience (6 weeks) for students from both institutions. The learning experiences attained within the field enables the lecturer to structure an interactive online environment. Lecturer, Michael Morris structures the related course material (articles, lecture slides, consulting tips, team solutions) according to weekly activities.

For example, students are expected to journal fieldwork experiences in a form of an online diary over a period of time. Furthermore, the student engages in a daily writing activity and is expected to contextualise experiences within specific case studies and the broader Entrepreneurship landscape.

The overall design of this collaborative initiative reflects careful selection of eTools, alignment of content and related weekly practical activities; and not mere ‘dumping’ of content within an online Learning Management System (LMS).

This Programme aims to produce students as Michael Morris (EESA Director) states, who are able to “build a relationship of trust, credibility and integrity”.

Please contact the CIECT team to design a structured interactive online environment.