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.

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