Lecturers within the Department of English aim to provide students (across year levels) – with authentic learning experiences; and extend their teaching-and-learning practices through online environments. The lecturers employ various eTools within iKamva to supplement the process of student consultations; scaffolding of lesson topics; and avoiding plagiarism.
Sign-up eTool: Lecturer, Roger Field has utilised this eTool to create time-slots for student consultations. Various slots are created according to his consultation times, whereby students sign-up for 20 minute consultation periods. Through clear guiding processes, lecturers are able to clarify and confirm student attendance for further discussion and consultation.
Lessons eTool: This eTool was used to structure and scaffold content (lesson topics). The lecturer scaffolds the relevant content by providing an introduction to the topic/specific theme; supported by embedded YouTube clips; and related article/reading.
**This scaffolded approach follows principles of instructional design and learning theories, in order to reinforce the assimilation of the lesson topic.
Turnitin: This platform is widely used across the department as academic writing is an important component. This anti-plagiarism software is used as a developmental approach to assist students with referencing, paraphrasing and overall improvement of writing abilities (i.e. crafting ideas). Often, if students’ similarity index is too high, students are able to refine and edit their work and resubmit – to avoid plagiarism.
**It should be noted that in some year levels, there are a large number of students. Therefore, Tutors are able to provide students with constructive feedback on their assignments. Feedback is imperative, as students should be guided on how to improve their writing skills.
Lecturers are encouraged to attend and commit to the design workshops (eTools and Assessment & Turnitin), hosted by the CIECT team. It is important for lecturers to focus on the effective design and development of interactive online environments; and not only dissemination of notes and lecture slides.