Physics team creates a blended learning environment

The Department of Physics (specifically, Physics 118/218) in collaboration with the CIECT team created a blended learning environment (including an online course within iKamva). This environment was first structured in 2013; and is regularly updated with relevant content and assessment tasks. This Physics course hosts lecturers, tutors and students (large classes) across disciplines within the Health Profession (Nursing, Natural Medicine and Occupational Therapy.

Students receive a course reader (hard-copy) at the start of the course, including information related to course notes, tutorials, weekly exercises and past exam papers. It should be noted that this course-reader is summarised into manageable units of learning (in this case, weekly lecture themes and assessment tasks). These summaries are further supplemented with online videos, applets and interactive simulations.

For example: The weekly theme, ‘Heat and Temperature’ was summarised and structured. The students (divided into 4 groups) met face-to-face with their lecturers to engage with the content. This group intervention was aligned to online videos, applets and simulations related to reinforce the specific theme. Furthermore, the students had to complete an exercise (face-to-face). This was supplemented with an online assessment task (which could be completed asynchronously over a period of time). It should be noted that the lecturers guided the students by providing “demo questions” in order to prepare them for online engagement.

The Physics lecturers (118/218 team), in collaboration with the CIECT team, have built and developed this environment over a period of three (3) years to support traditional teaching and learning methodologies. Hence, they slowly introduced new tools as they progressed through the content. Recently, they have introduced the students to assessment eTools. In addition, various digital media components have been reviewed and upgraded.

The iKamva platform also enables the lecturers to embed student surveys (course evaluations). The students and lecturers are able to complete surveys within their specific online course, without having to log into another application.

“Blended learning is not new. However, in the past, blended learning was comprised of physical classroom formats, such as lectures, labs, books, or handouts. Today, organizations have a myriad of learning approaches and choices.  The concept of blended learning is rooted in the idea that learning is not just a one-time event—learning is a continuous process. Blending provides various benefits over using any single learning delivery medium alone” (Singh, 2003).

Please contact the CIECT team to create your online environment.

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