Monthly Archives: August, 2018

CHS Faculty: SRES – Authentic Weekly Formative Assessments (via Smartphones in class)

Lecturer, Lloyd Leach has created an interactive blended-learning environment for 2nd year Sports, Recreation & Exercise Science (SRES) students. The module (SRE 217) teaches students about the functions of human physiological systems related to health and well-being under various conditions.  The online environment features a range of eTools which aid teaching-and-learning strategies for both the lecturer and student. The lecturer makes extensive use of online assessments within the environment, which forms part of students’ continuous assessment grades.

Weekly Review Questions

At the start of each week, students are given access to an exercise consisting of ‘Weekly Review Questions’. These exercises are posted to students via the Announcements and Course Resources eTools. Hence, students are notified via email as soon as it becomes available. The formative assessments focus on concepts and topics discussed during the week, allowing students to consistently engage with course content beyond the classroom. Furthermore, it aims to reinforce knowledge and understanding.

Students access iKamva (MCQ weekly tests) via Smartphones: Pre-&-post class time

The Test & Quizzes eTool is used to engage with students on a weekly basis.  These include both pre-&-post tests. It should be noted that the students takes at least 5 – 10 minutes (prior to the face-to-face lecture), to access the specific online test. They make use of their smartphones in class to access iKamva. Hence the lecturer is able to guide them through the test (in class), which is accessible via a secure, stable wifi connection.

Furthermore, after the actual lecture, the students are provided 5 minutes to engage in another online test. They also access the test via their smartphones (in class). The lecturer is cognisant that not all students have access to smartphones. Hence, students are sharing. We (CIECT) have observed how a Community of Practice unfolds within Lloyd’s class.

Moreover, this assessment intervention allows students to engage with key concepts prior and post the actual face-to-face lecture.

Assessment intervention enables lecturer to identify high-risk students

Making use of the Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) type, tests are designed and developed to engage the students’ cognitive levels regarding the subject. This helps the lecture to observe how the students are coping with the subject matter; and applies support interventions accordingly.  This assessment method also helps to identify students that is at risk and may require remedial work.

The purpose of a MCQ is to measure a student’s ability in relation to the subject knowledge. The lecturer used strategic questions to gain information regarding the recall, interpretation or problem solving.

Arts Faculty: LIS – Online Environment Supports Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Library and Information Science lecturer, Sandra Zinn implemented a blended learning approach to supplement learning, teaching and assessment practices for 4th year students (INF 411). The module aims to provide students with “insight into aspects of information and communication technologies (ICTs) that will prepare [them] for the world of work in the field of information science”.

structured online environment was created within iKamva for students to access from various geographical locations to support face-to-face lectures and tutorials. The environment aimed to supplement learning outcomes by scaffolding learning material and conducting online assessments.

Scaffolding Approach: Reinforcement & Self-directed Learning

The Lessons eTool was used to scaffold the themes of the module, these included themes such as: Social Media; Mobile Web; Open Access; Digital Library; and Net NeutralityEach theme consisted of various concepts which included a range of presentations, articles and websites. Scaffolding is used to assist in assimilation as well as reinforce face-to-face lectures.  In addition, scaffolding enables self-directed learning and may promote engagement in lectures.  Through an enhanced understanding of content, learners will be able to better prepare and complete formative and summative assessments.

Online Assessment

The Assignments eTool was used as a space for students to receive instructions and upload their specific assessments. Six (6) assessments were developed which included tutorial exercises, literature review, draft essay, and their completed essay. Furthermore, the Announcement eTool was used to communicate with students regarding their assessments as a reminder to upload.

**The lecturer also embedded an Arts Faculty referencing booklet to assist with academic writing (paraphrasing and referencing techniques).

Lecturers are encouraged to attend and commit to the design workshops, hosted by the CIECT team. Please contact the CIECT team to explore the possibilities that exist within an online environment aligned to your discipline.

Arts Faculty: An interactive History online environment for 1st year students

Lecturers, Bianca Van Laun & Koni Benson have jointly created a blended-learning environment to support traditional teaching and learning practices for 1st year History students. This module focuses on the ‘changes that took place along the eastern coast of Africa between the eleventh and the nineteenth centuries’.  The students are taught to identify and understand different interpretations of the same historical events. Furthermore, the module aims to equip students with the necessary skills to structure a historical argument for essay purposes.


The online environment primarily makes use of the Lessons eTool, to structure and scaffold content. Students were instructed at the start of the course, regarding effective navigation of the environment and how to access resources.

Online preparation for face-to-face class

The content was divided into two sections, namely Weeks 1-7, and Weeks 8-14. These were further broken down into subsections for each week. This allows students to easily access relevant course material such as journal articles and lecture slidesprior to attending the face-to-face lectures and tutorials. Hence, students are able to come prepared and can engage accordingly.

Information sharing: Writing and research skills

This space was also used in order to highlight any important events taking place in the week, such as  Information Literacy Training Sessions (which aim toenhance students’ academic writing and research abilities); and relevant assessment submissions.

Preparing for Summative Assessment: Essay

Furthermore, students were provided with a comprehensive guideline for submitting their major assignment. This included assignment (essay) instructions, as well as a plagiarism declaration; and a grading rubric. Students are given access to the rubric in order to ensure that they understand and are aware of what is required of them.

Lecturers are encouraged to attend and commit to the design workshops, hosted by the CIECT team. Please contact the CIECT team to explore the possibilities that exist within an online environment, aligned to your discipline.

Arts Faculty/Linguistics: Content Creation, Online Assessment and Tutorial Preparation

Linguistics lecturers, Amiena Peck, Rivalani Maluleke, and Mooniq Shaaikje co-lectured a 1st semester module (LCS 111). The lecturers used the iKamva platform to create an interactive blended approach for teaching, learning and assessment – for 830 registered students.

Various eTools enabled lecturers and students to receive an authentic experience. The lecturers created content, conducted online assessments and shared weekly tutorial preparations.

Content creation

The lecturers created content and shared it using the Course Resources eTool which enabled the lecturers to provide lecture slides that assisted students to reinforce important content. In addition, podcasts were recorded during lectures for students to support different learning styles.

Furthermore, articles were provided to help students prepare and engage with the content for discussions in lectures and tutorials. These materials could be downloaded, allowing students to listen to the podcasts and read materials offline.

Online Assessment

Using the Tests & Quizzes eTool, students were expected to engage in a formative semester test. This allowed lecturers and students to gauge an understanding of knowledge acquired by students.

In addition, the lecturers conducted course evaluations, namely: early course; mid –course; and end of course online surveys This was used as a technique to evaluate aspects such as student’s context of living, expectations of course, and how students felt about the course.

Tutorial preparations

Each week students were provided with a PowerPoint presentation, depicting clear expectations with regards to the tutorials. Hence, students were able to prepare readings, written responses and tasks.


Communication is a vital aspect in an online environment and also promotes transparency. Hence, the Announcement eTool was used extensively for the purpose of tutorials, assessments, consultations, examinations information as well as supplementary examinations.

Lecturers are encouraged to attend and commit to the design workshops, hosted by the CIECT team. Please contact the CIECT team to explore the possibilities that exist within an online environment, aligned to your discipline.