Monthly Archives: March, 2018

Science Faculty: Blended Teaching-and-Learning practices across disciplines

A total number of 197 blended learning environments were created across disciplines, within the Science Faculty. These environments have enabled students to access various learning material such as lecture slidesreadingspast exam papers and links to YouTube videos. In addition, students receive communication from lecturers via the announcement tool.

Various lecturers in the Faculty have incorporated the use of weekly tutorial quizzes within the Tests & Quizzes eTool, which forms part of the formative assessment component. These tutorials enable students to monitor their weekly progress and enhance self-directed learning.

A number of modules require students to perform practical tasks such as lab experiments. These were supplemented with instructional sheets, as well as videos. Practicals were reinforced through the use of video demonstrations. Students were able to access the learning material, prior to attending class sessions.

Lecturers also conducted their Course Evaluations via iKamva, through the Tests & Quizzes eTool. This mode of delivery also reduced the administrative load, whereby lecturers were able to easily retrieve collated student information, in ‘real-time’.

The Lessons eTool was effectively used for a Computer Science Honours module.  Students attended weekly seminars hosted by various guest lecturers. Furthermore, the structure included readings related to the weekly seminars. In addition, students were expected to complete weekly assignments, which entailed a constructive summary.

Lecturers are encouraged to attend and commit to the design workshops, hosted by the CIECT team. It is important for lecturers to focus on the effective design and development of interactive online environments; and not mere dissemination of notes and lecture slides.

Economic Management Sciences (EMS): Blended environments for learning and teaching purposes

A number of 277 online environments have been created for the 2017 academic year. Lecturers across the EMS Faculty, within the various departments have engaged in blended activities to supplement their learning-and-teaching.  They have consulted and attended various training workshops offered by CIECT, to seek advice regarding the design and structure of online environments to support student learning.  The iKamva platform was used in conjunction with face-to-face lectures and tutorials, to extend the classroom experience and assist with authentic learning.

These online environments included the following blended practices:

  • Structuring learning material through the use of the interactive Lessons andCourse Resources eToolsThe learning content was structured and integrated digital media components (images, audio, pdf documents and PowerPoint slides) in order to support and reinforce various concepts and topics taught; and to accommodate diverse learning styles. Students were able to view the interactive videos at their own pace and from various geographical locations. This blended mode of teaching allowed both full-time and working professionals to engage in the teaching regardless of space and time.
  • Enabling students to sign-up for tutorials according to their timetables;
  • Communication activities that included posting of Announcementsand setup of online discussion topics. The Discussion Forum was used to allocate group work topics, and various questions were shared within the groups;
  • Creating different assessments includingreflective individual online tests and group assignments.  The assessments were directly aligned to the course outcomes and formed part of the final continuous assessment mark. In addition the memos of the tests were translated into different languages.

Furthermore, the School of Business and Finance (SBF) Department has been engaged in projects that included the:

– Development of an Application server (designed by CIECT development team); whereby prospective students were able to apply for specific Programmes that are offered through the Business School.  Prospective students were able to engage in writing the online admissions tests within iKamva, which are designed to test numeracy, critical thinking, reading and comprehension skills.  These results were captured online and the administrators were able to retrieve the results and approve prospective student applications accordingly. This online project was setup in an attempt to streamline administrative tasks and application processes.

**A pilot project to design, develop and implement a distant/‘Purely Online’ Programme is currently underway and includes various stakeholders. These stakeholders include collaboration among UWC Departments from the DVC Academic office, SBF lecturers, CIECT and ICS team members, and the Higher Education Partners- South Africa (HEPSA), an international educational partner.  A specific EMS Programme has been identified and the roll-out of this pilot is scheduled to take place during the second semester of 2018. This online programme will be designed and implemented in consultation with the CIECT team, specific lecturers and HEPSA.

Education Faculty: Designing blended learning and teaching environments

Lecturers in the Education Faculty created a number of 78 online modules within iKamva, for the 2017 academic year. Various eTools have been used, such as the Course Resources, Tests & Quizzes, Discussion Forum, Lessons, Dropbox, Turnitin and Microsoft Word – to support teaching, learning and assessment practices. In addition, Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) such as Digital PhotoStories and ePortfolios were used for assessment purposes.

  • Course Resources: Lecturers created a structured environment to provide students with resources such as videos, PowerPoint presentations, articles, and documents etc.
  • Tests & Quizzes: Lecturers designed and developed online assessments; making use of various question types. Some tests incorporated negative marking (i.e. 0.5 points deducted per incorrect answer). In addition, this eTool was used to conduct online Course Evaluations.
  • Lessons: Students were also required to engage in self-evaluation and peer-evaluation activities. The Lessons eTool was used as a reflective space, where students could provide the lecturer and their peers with this feedback. Furthermore, this eTool includes a variety of other functionalities (embedding videos, documents, external links and polls etc.).
  • Dropbox: Students were also expected to submit an assignment in their Dropbox folder on iKamva. **Note: The Dropbox eTool automatically creates a folder for each student allowing for private sharing of documents between the student and lecturer.

The track changes’ functionality within Microsoft Word was used to enable the tutors to provide appropriate feedback for assignments. The specific assignment, including the feedback, is returned to a student – in order for the student to improve their academic paper.

Turnitin (anti-plagiarism platfom) was used for students to develop their academic writing. Turnitin was also used to monitor and track student submissions; as well as incorporating the GradeMark, Peer-Review and Rubric eTools. Students were able to submit assignments and hereafter each student (who submitted), received an anonymous student paper which they were required to review. The review process entailed the constructive feedback related to grammar, spelling, sentence structure; and relevant content/topic.

It should be noted that a collaborative Digital Storytelling Project was discussed and conceptualised between CIECT and Education lecturers. This project enables the 2nd and 3rd year Education students to create and plan digital stories to deliver their lesson plans during fieldwork practicals. **NB: Students received the mobile devices to develop their lesson plans. Each semester a specific student group will receive the mobile devices on loan which is returned after submission.

Lecturers are encouraged to attend and commit to the design workshops, hosted by the CIECT team. It is important for lecturers to focus on the effective design and development of interactive online environments; and not mere dissemination of notes and lecture slides.

Please contact the CIECT team to assist with the effective design and development of your online environment.

Law Faculty: Blended learning and teaching to support traditional practices

Lecturers across departments in the Law Faculty have created a total of 86 blended learning environments, for the academic year, 2017.  Lecturers make use of various content, communication, and assessment eTools within the iKamva platform. These include:

Announcements: Lecturers and tutors relay pertinent course information to students.

Course ResourcesStructured into weekly folders containing documents, journal articles, PowerPoint presentations and other information relevant to weekly lectures.

Tests & Quizzes: Lecturers have made use of a number of question types as part of their formative assessment such as Multiple Choice, True/False and Short Answer/Essay type questions.

In addition, these question types have been used to create weekly ‘eTutorials’, consisting of a question banks.  Each eTutorial entails specific time-frames, topics and assigned marks. These ensure that students consistently engage with and reflect on topics and concepts covered during face-to-face classes.

Some lecturers have also included Podcasts within their blended learning environments. These audio-recordings expand on topics covered during face-to-face lectures and aim to further reinforce students’ understanding of course content. These podcasts can be downloaded and listened to through a PC or mobile devices from any location.  A variety of multimedia content also ensures that the different learning styles of students are taken into account.

Lecturers are encouraged to attend and commit to the design workshops, hosted by the CIECT team. It is important for lecturers to focus on the effective design and development of interactive online environments; and not mere dissemination of notes and lecture slides.

Please contact the CIECT team to assist with the effective design and development of your online environment.

Geography lecturer and students apply video production skills to develop stories

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, Environmental Studies and Tourism, Dr Suzanne Grenfell – recently used video as a medium for students to capture the effects of the drought, currently being experienced in the Western Cape.

Post-graduate students from the department went on a fieldtrip to the Theewaterskloof Dam where they captured images and video footage to develop their stories.

Dr Grenfell attended CIECTs Multimedia: Teaching Tools for the Digital Age Workshop, in February. This workshop enabled her to edit images, create audio (narration) tracks, compile media into a video and upload to an online platform.

Dr Grenfell gave feedback in relation to the development of videos, created by her students. She states that sharing these skills with students, has provided her with a new and creative way of accessing their knowledge of the situation.

Dr Grenfell also provided feedback related to the facilitation of the workshop. She states: “I think the department was blown away, thanks for a great course!

Contact the CIECT team to actively engage in the Multimedia workshop. You will be exposed to a variety of tools; and will be able to develop teaching and learning material, using a device and software of your choice.

Contact: Clint Braaf; Andre Daniels; and Marion Hermans

CHS Faculty: Blended learning & teaching practices across disciplines

The CHS Faculty has created a total number of 277 online modules within the iKamva platform, in the 2017 academic year.

Lecturers teaching the Post-Graduate Programme in Nursing Education, as well as Undergraduate modules for Social Work and Dietetics, made use ofePortfolios. The students were able to apply the eSkills in order to embed and share digital components (evidence) related to their competencies achieved.

The Announcement tool has been used across disciplines to keep students updated on administrative and content related tasks and activities.

Various assessments, specifically class and group assignments were structured online for student submissions.  The Tests & Quizzes eTool has been used across disciplines for formative as well as summative assessments.

The Discussion Forum was used as a communication tool for group engagement, supervision activities and overall class discussions.  In addition, Tutors in the Psychology Department have made use of the Discussion Forum as a means of assisting students who have queries related to course content. Posts in the discussion forum are visible to all students.  Hence, students registered for this module were able to view and respond to the questions.  The platform thereforeencouraged peer-to-peer interaction.

Furthermore, an eDocumentation web-based system was designed and developed by CIECT, in collaboration with the Nursing Department – to enable Clinical Supervisors to monitor and capture student activities. This project is still in progress. The Supervisors were also introduced to communication and assessments activities within their online environments (iKamva), in order to monitor students engaged in fieldwork activities at different placements.

Dentistry Faculty: Blended learning & teaching practices across disciplines

Lecturers across the Dentistry Faculty have created 63 online modules during the 2017 academic year. Dentistry lecturers contacted the CIECT team to assist with the selection of eTools; and the design and development of their online environments.

eAssessments were designed and developed for formative assessments within various undergraduate modules.  The ‘Tests and Quizzes’ is a popular eTool, as it enables the use of different question types.  In turn, various tests (making use of these question types) were set-up, to reinforce knowledge; and assess competencies and skills acquired. *It should be noted that the CIECT team is often requested to assist with the monitoring of online controlled tests (students seated within specific venues, such as pre-clinical lab settings).

Lecturers have also embedded related video clips, in order for students to view practical examples. These aim to assist with reinforcement and preparation for tests and practical tasks.

In addition students were able to access structured learning material (text and digital media components) – within the ‘Course Resources’ eTool.  This eTool is also used effectively for co-lecturing purposes (lecturers across disciplines, teaching collaboratively in a particular module).

The Expanded Functions Course 2, is a multi-modal short course offered to practicing Oral Hygienists. This blended course was created within the iKamva platform and used to disseminate learning material. In addition, students also actively engaged with various activities. *Pre-reading material was shared online, two weeks prior to the start of the course.  Hence, participants were expected to engage with reading material prior to the 5 day face-to-face course. The students engaged in group discussions related to various topics. Thereafter, they proceeded to the clinical laboratories to apply the theory, within the practical sessions. **It should be noted that this course also enabled Professionals, to attain Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points.