Life Sciences: Expanding and consolidating student learning experiences within an online environment

First year Life Sciences lecturers and practical facilitators created a blended online environment to supplement their teaching, learning and assessment practices for a large number of students. The module is structured according to lectures, tutorials, and practical lab sessions.

Weekly topics & homework activities (formative assessment/quizzes)

Students are provided with the opportunity to expand and consolidate their learning experiences, as they progress through weekly topics and presentations; and homework activities. These homework activities (formative quizzes) cover concepts such as:  Photosynthesis, Respiration, Mitosis, and Meiosis. The students are provided with grades upon submission. Furthermore, the students are able to view the memo, in order to reflect on learning progress related to each topic.

 

Practical test to improve scientific writing

An online practical test has also been setup to assist students with the basic principles of scientific writing.  The students are expected to peruse a journal article and answer questions related to research skills; and referencing methods.

Gradebook reduces administrative tasks

The Gradebook eTool was used to record the marks of all online activities/tests. This allows lecturers to easily collate and export marks, and view the combined average course grade of all students.  Students are able to view the gradebook and monitor their learning progress.

Course resources enhances self-directed learning

In addition, the course resources are structured and include:

  • Theory and practical guides;
  • Past test papers and memos; and
  • Weekly lecture material.

Students are also able to access resources (videos, skills guide and presentations) related to the practical component of the course; allowing students to reinforce knowledge and skills, andextend their learning experience beyond the classroom.

**Did you know? 20 887 users (students and staff) accessed iKamva during the month of March 2018.

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