Monthly Archives: May, 2018

EMS: Blended Learning Approach to Support 2nd Accounting Students

Lecturer, Lydia Uys is currently making use of the iKamva platform to supplement a year module, for Accounting 2nd year students. The online module consists of two lectures per week encompassing both a theoretical and practical lecture. The lecturer has adopted a blended teaching and learning approach. Hence, the lectures are supported by a range of online interventions, namely: the creation of screencasts aligned to practical assignments; the reinforcement of content; assessment; communication; and resource distribution.

Creation of screencasts aligned to practical assignments

The lecturer makes an effort to create screencasts aligned to each practical assignment.

Reinforcement: Previous question papers

Students are provided with past question papers and memorandums, enabling them to test their knowledge – by completing previous questions and comparing their answers.

**These resources aim to reinforce content taught and to ensure that learning outcomes are met as well as to prepare students for formative and summative assessments.

Assessment

Students are expected to engage in formative online assessments.  During Semester 1, the students completed a number of six (6) online tests.

**The iKamva platform allows for a range of question types; which assists in the effective design of online tests and aims to assist in acquiring higher order thinking and problem solving skills. 

 

Communication

The Announcements eTool is used extensively for communication related to: study materialassignmentstest venues and test results.

**Announcements are sent directly to students email accounts which enables lecturers and students to avoid confusion and provide transparency in the classroom; which is critical in order to promote a productive and effective course delivery.

Resource distribution

The lecturer distributes a variety of resources, structured within the Course Resources eTool, Admin, Assessment, Theory, Practical and Chapters. These are shared and clearly organised – allowing students to navigate resources with ease. These folders consist of relevant learning materials, such as videos, class notes, manuals and solutions.

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.

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Oral Medicine & Periodontology: Use of Gradebook – Assessment, Categories, Weighting & Monitoring

Dentistry lecturer, Dherendra Dhaya has made use of a blended online environment to support learning and teaching practices for his 4th year Oral Medicine and Periodontology (OMP 400) students.

Various assessment activities are set-up online for students to engage in. These assessment activities include submission of assignments and online tests. Theresults of these assessments are linked to the Gradebook where all marks are recorded and can be adjusted accordingly and downloaded into one spreadsheet.  The online environment further enables students to access and download relevant learning material; view important announcements, as well as keep track of submission dates via the Calendar eTool.

 

Online Assessment activities

The assignments are related to Oral Medication Case studies and students were expected to submit written assignments (Word format), including a reference list as well as their PDF Turnitin plagiarism report.

Two online tests were conducted which related to various topics such as: Periodontitis and smoking, gingival disease, and pathogenesis. These tests made use of varied question types such as Multiple-Choice, Short Answer/Essay, and True/False questions. In addition, the questions were drawn from a pre-createdQuestion Pool. The question pool allows for randomisation of questions, ensuring that the test differs slightly from one student to the next in order to prevent academic dishonesty.

Furthermore, an anonymous 5 minute survey was created. This allowed students to give feedback regarding the learning value of the assessment; and if it actually allowed for better understanding of the course content. The survey also posed a question asking where students took the test (at home, on campus, hostel etc.); and what students preferences are in relation to the venue when doing an online test. Students’ feedback and concerns are important in this regard, as infrastructure and internet access can be a concern for some students. Hence the lecturer is able to take this information and prepare accordingly, depending on the needs of the students.

Gradebook for monitoring student marks

The Gradebook tool has been extensively used by Dr Dhaya in order to record, calculate and distribute marks to students. The categories included in the OMP 400 Gradebook course are: Assignments, Tests, Final Examination, and Clinical Skills. By organising the Gradebook into various categories, the lecturer is able to provide weighting for each assessment or activity, and thus makes it possible to auto-calculate an overall course grade.

 

Students are only able to view their own grades for the course. Furthermore, the lecturer is able to restrict which grades will be visible to students, such as those pertaining to the final examination. Students are further able to monitor their own progress, plan and prepare accordingly for assessments using the Gradebook.

As all marks can be recorded in the Gradebook (even for offline activities), lecturers can export the marks into a spreadsheet, which can be further captured within the institutional Marks Administration System (MAS).

Please contact the CIECT team to assist with the effective design and development of your blended online environment and the further explore the possibilities that exist.

EED (Law): ePortfolios for student development and tutor monitoring & tracking

Lecturer Mahmoud Patel [Module Coordinator, English for Educational Development (EED)], has incorporated the use of ePortfolios for teaching-and-learning purposes, specifically for Law students.  He contacted the CIECT team to assist with the implementation phases of this large-scale student development project (conceptualisation to delivery). In addition, the students received the necessary training and actively engaged in the delivery of nineteen (19) ePortfolio workshops.

The CIECT team collaborated with Mahmoud to design and develop an ePortfolio template, according to the specific needs of the course. This predefined template contained a specific structure, with relevant sections and sub-sections. Furthermore, the template was used to mass-generate ePortfolios for a large group (between 500-600 students). This predefined structure enabled students to embed documents and images related to discipline specific tasks. It also simplified the evaluation process for the lecturer and tutors; and conformity was ensured across all ePortfolios.

The ePortfolio is currently being used for formative assessment purposes; and the monitoring-and-tracking of students’ development and competencies over a period of time. The ePortfolio also allows students to reflect on their progress and take ownership of their learning.

The tutors within the programme are able to continuously monitor and assess their specific groups of students; and advise with regards to submissions.

The CIECT team planned in advance for this large-scale student project, which included logistics related to venues and tutoring time-slots. The Computer Lab was booked in advance for a 3 week period.

ePortfolio student workshops entailed:

  • Access and view structure – main-pages: Introduction, Lecture tasks, Tutorial tasks, Assessments and Self-initiated pieces;
  •  Insert content and text:

o   Embed multimedia components,

o   Share links,

o   Embed evidence from Google Drive, and

o   Share ePortfolio with tutors.

**It should be noted that lecturers within the Dentistry, Dietetics, Social Work, and Pharmacy Departments have also made use of ePortfolio development for their respective students across year levels.

Please contact the CIECT team to assist with the effective design and development of ePortfolios for teaching-and-learning.

Computer Science lecturers jointly teach: Scaffolded online approach

Lecturers, Michael Norman, Mehrdad Ghaziasgar and William Tucker jointly teach a 3rd year Computer Science module (CSC 312), which focuses on Human Computer Interaction, Databases and Software Engineering.

A blended learning and teaching environment has been created within the iKamva platform, and enables lecturers to create interactive lessons. This environment also enables students to submit assignments and engage in online tests. The Announcements eTool is used to communicate relevant information to their students related to assessments and feedback.

Students are further provided with a Discussion Forum, where they are able to communicate with their lecturers, tutors and peers regarding the various course topics and chapters.

  • Interactive Scaffolded Lessons

The lecturers used the Lessons eTool to scaffold resources into sections over 14 weeks of the first semester. The sections consisted of a range of components such as articles, videos, and external resources (websites). These components were used, not only for dissemination purposes – but to further assist in assimilation anditeration of content discussed in face-to-face lectures.

In addition, weeks 8 – 12 (first semester), consisted of chapters which were shared and directly linked to group work assignments. This allows students to engage with each other in critical discussions and to consolidate their understanding.

**Lectures and tutorials (face-to-face) focus on specific chapters/sections. These are further aligned to assessment tasks, which enables the lecturers to engage in continuous monitoring and tracking.

  • Formative Online Assessments

Students were required to submit 4 group assignments. Hence, the lecturers created ‘Groups’, which allows students to upload a single assignment submission for their group. The ‘groups’ feature can also be used to assign assessments, announcements and discussion topics to specific student groups. Hence, tutors are able to post relevant information – to their specific groups.

Furthermore, students were expected to complete formative assessment tasks in the form of ‘Pop Quizzes’ which were set up via the Tests & Quizzes eTool. These pop quizzes consisted of a number of Short-Answer/Essay type questions. Students had 15 minutes to complete each quiz, and were able to submit (unlimited submissions). Hereafter, the students were able to view feedback for each question; reflect on their learning progress and revise accordingly.

Please contact the CIECT team to assist with the effective design and development of your blended online environment and the further explore the possibilities that exist.

Pharmacy Department collaborates with external partners in blended environment

The Pharmacy Department is currently engaged in a collaborative project with external  stakeholders from the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town. These stakeholders are mainly Pharmacist Preceptors that work within the communities (hospitals and clinics), assisting Pharmacy students. Preceptors are expected to provide constructive feedback to students whilst they are engaged in their fieldwork at their respective placements.

These Preceptors engage in an online environment, within iKamva – whereby they are able to improve and enhance their professional skills. In order to provide constructive feedback and further develop Preceptors’ skills,  face-to-face workshops were conducted.  However, challenges such as time and capacity for the sessions existed; therefore a blended online environment was designed within iKamva to assist with this.

Lecturer, Renier Coetzee contacted the CIECT team and requested assistance with the design and development of an online blended space. The online environment namely, Pharmacist Preceptor Development Portal was created (a project site within iKamva). This allowed Preceptors to: communicate effectively; establish a framework for student learning; and provide guidelines for the alignment of activities and objectives. Ultimately, the online environment is used to supplement the face-to-face workshops and address the aforementioned challenges.

In addition, as this is a collaborative project, the CIECT team created accounts for Preceptors to access the iKamva platform and engage within the blended environment. This online space is used by the Preceptors to ensure that the students have meaningful learning experiences at their respective facilities (clinics and community centres).

It should be noted that the iKamva platform has a variety of eTools which focuses on communication (synchronous and asynchronous), content distribution and assessment. As is evident through this communication, the iKamva Platform is a flexible system and is not only used for internal staff and students. It also provides a space for collaboration between UWC and external partners.

Please contact the CIECT team to assist with the effective design and development of your online environment and the further explore the possibilities that exist.