Monthly Archives: February, 2019

CIECT advises Faculty Teaching and Learning Specialists on blended and distance learning practices and curriculum design

The Centre for Innovative Education and Communication Technologies (CIECT) Instructional Design team advises and supports both Faculty Teaching-and-Learning experts and lecturers to design and develop effective online environments. Lecturers attend scheduled workshops and consults Instructional Designers on the effective use of eTools within the institutional Learning Management System, iKamva. The Teaching-and-Learning Specialists also contact the CIECT team to seek advice around the interactive engagement within an online environment.

Hence, Teaching-and-Learning Specialists from Arts, Education and Dentistry Faculties have engage in the training workshops, consultations and advisory sessions- to familiarise themselves with the eTools and Personal Learning Environments (PLEs). Furthermore, the CIECT team focuses on the pedagogical value of the selection of eTools for learning and teaching purposes.

In addition, the CIECT team contributes to curriculum design whereby a Teaching-and-Learning specialist were advised around the development of an instructional strategy [alignment of outcomes, assessment activities, content and eTools]. This instructional strategy is applied to the design and development of an online environment and interactive guides. This example, specifically of collaboration with the Dentistry Faculty depicts the importance all stakeholders to work together from the start when designing and developing curriculum.

Support for the Teaching-and Learning Specialists by CIECT has extended to email, telephonic, face-to-face workshops and consultations. Furthermore, Teaching-and-Learning Specialists also collaborate with CIECT around special projects. These advisory and support interventions enable the Specialists to further advise the lecturers in alignment with their specific topics.

CIECT & Physics collaboration (vacation period): Students engage in computational modelling & eTools workshops

Physics lecturer Ian Schroeder and some of his first-year students presented at the 11th Annual eLearning Colloquium in 2018. During this presentation, the students and lecturer presented on their learning experiences obtained during the Computational Modelling workshops offered during the vacation period. These workshops also entailed engagement in an online environment.

Aligned to the 4th Industrial Revolution, the Physics Department piloted the interactive computational modelling workshops in the September and November vacation periods (2018), which focused on the semi-formal co-curricular experiences. Students applied to participate in the workshop and through a selection process was accepted into the Programme. During the 3 day workshop, students dealt with different problem-based scenarios. They were tasked with solving the specific problems by troubleshooting existing development code and developing their own code.

The workshop further included engagement within the online environment, iKamva. The online space was used by both the lecturer and students as it provided a structured space for the sharing of information as well as the development of reflective practices through blogging exercises.

In addition, the collaboration with CIECT enabled students to design and develop their ePortfolios. Students reflected on their accomplishments, competencies and eSkills attained – during the three day workshop.Watch the video showcasing the learning experiences shared by students and lecturer:

CIECT offers Digital Academic Literacy (DAL) to first-year students across Faculties

The CIECT Team has designed and developed the Digital Academic Literacy (DAL) Programme. This basic computer literacy programme is offered to first-year students at UWC (novice users). The CIECT Team collaborates with Faculty to identify student needs.

The programme is integrated into accredited modules across various faculties including EMS, Education, CHS, Dentistry, Law and Arts. The DAL Programme is offered over a semester to participating faculties. In addition, some departments engage with CIECT to design customised lessons.

Due to a lack of training venues and the increasing student numbers, the Programme is offered over two semesters within the Education Faculty.

Should you wish to contact the Programme Coordinator to plan and discuss in advance, call ext. 3147 or 2966.


Did you know? Google Sites can be used for academic, personal and community events

Google sites allow you to easily create websites, without any knowledge of HTML or other programming languages. It features a drag-and-drop interface, and a hosting service, making it simple for anyone to create a website and publish it online:

  • Google Sites enables collaborative editing, meaning that multiple people can add and edit content on the site simultaneously and from different geographic locations.
  • It allows for the integration of other Google applications, such as Google Docs, Maps, Calendar, YouTube etc. which can all be embedded within your site.
  • Furthermore a user is able to setup of ePortfolioswhereby academics and students document and present their academic journey.
  • Moreover, it can be used to design an interactive website, to share information about services and eventswhich makes it a useful marketing tool for business and community institutions.

**Google Sites features customisable privacy settings meaning that it can be made public on the World Wide Web, or kept private for your personal use.


EED (Law): Reflective ePortfolios as a teaching methodology (1st Year Student Development)

Lecturer Mahmoud Patel [Module Coordinator, English for Educational Development (EED)], implemented the use of ePortfolios in his teaching practice for first year Law students. This decision was made after a conceptualisation meeting with CIECT Instructional Designer. The lecturer in collaboration with CIECT implemented the large-scale student development project during the 2018 academic year. Lecturer Mahmoud co-presented with two tutors and presented their findings during the annual eLearning colloquium in 2018. Please view the video recording on our CIECT YouTube channel:

The CIECT team conducted the necessary training with students and actively engaged in the delivery of nineteen (19) ePortfolio workshops. A predefined template with a specific structure was created and shared with the students. This allowed for a more simplified evaluation process for the lecturer and tutors; and conformity was ensured across all ePortfolios.

The interactive ePortfolio student workshops entailed:

  • Accessing and viewing structure – main-pages: Introduction, Lecture tasks, Tutorial tasks, Assessments and Self-initiated pieces,
  • Creating content,
  • Embedding of multimedia components,
  • Sharing relevant resources,
  • Embedding evidence (academic journey) and,
  • Sharing of ePortfolio with tutors.

The ePortfolio is 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 student progress, assess specific groups, and advise with regards to formative assessment submissions.

Mr Patel will continue with this teaching methodology in 2019 and first year students will develop and share their reflective ePortfolios.

Did you know? ‘Markup’ Text feature – enables bulk question pool setup [text and numerical responses]

The term ‘Markup’ refers to the sequencing of characters or symbols inserted within a text or word processing file to describe the document’s logical structure; and how the file appears when printed or displayed.

You are able to setup online Tests & Quizzes within iKamva using the Markup Text method. This enables users to easily transfer an entire question paper formatted in this markup language, into a test or quiz. A basic template is provided within the Tests and Quizzes eTool to guide users with the creation of assessments using this method. You have the option of saving the assessment as a question bank or a single test. This saves time when creating online test environments, as questions and answers do not have to be authored individually.

The screenshot below illustrates the template when setting up a Markup Text assessment:

pasted image 0

Basic guidelines need to be adhered to when setting up this type of assessment. Instructions are available when inputting the information.
Contact the CIECT team for assistance with the creation of a Markup Text assessment.

Digital Storytelling: Postgraduate Geography students create group digital stories reflecting on drought

Lecturer Suzanne Grenfell recently presented at CIECT’s 11th annual eLearning Colloquium. Her presentation was centred around a digital storytelling project which she initiated with Geography post-graduate students (Honours and Masters) in 2018.
This project formed part of a field trip to the Theewaterskloof Dam, whereby students could observe and document the effects of the drought experienced in the Western Cape last year. Students were then required to capture their findings, and present it in a digital video format.
Students were assigned into groups, consisting of both Masters and Honours students. The purpose of the group assignment ensured that the Masters students act as mentors for the other group.
Suzanne noted that students seemed to be comfortable working with technology, based on the quality of the content produced and also the level of independence displayed by students in finding their own means to produce the end product, in a digital format.
After the field trip, students had one week to produce the final product. A departmental seminar was held thereafter, in order for students to present their videos. The best videos were selected to be presented on the University website and can be viewed at
The lecturer noted that “students spoke about how much they enjoyed the technology, and indicated that they wished they had been able to use it more in their undergraduate studies”.