Information Systems lecturer engages students beyond the face-to-face classroom

Information Systems Lecturer, Fazlyn Petersen, presented at CIECT’s 11th Annual eLearning Colloquium in 2018. She presented alongside, three (3) students, who reflected on their experiences. Her approach to teaching and learning is guided by her belief in using “practical application of theoretical knowledge to improve workplace integration and performance”. The lecturer has extensive practical experience and this has guided her teaching practice.

The lecturer has incorporated the use of online learning technologies, in order to accommodate a large number of students. She states that the decision was also guided by the notional hours required to complete the module (300 hrs). Thus, she has made use of the iKamva learning platform in order to engage students beyond the traditional face-to-face classroom. This was done through the use of various eTools such as:

  • Chat Room: Whereby students are able to engage, discuss and pose questions relating to course content.
  • Discussion Forums: Guided/structured forum topics or questions, whereby students post their answers, and can comment on their peers’ answers. The lecturer is also able to provide constructive feedback to each post.
  • Course Resources: Structured folders for students to access resources such as lecture slides, assignments, videos, case studies etc.

In addition, the lecturer embedded a “Business Simulation” game (developed by MIT) into the online environment. The MIT website states that, “Management simulation games bring an experiential aspect to learning about complex systems. This type of action learning has more impact on students than simply listening to a lecture or engaging in a case study discussion”. Thus, students had the opportunity to practice what they learned in the classroom, in a safe environment that has no real-world consequences.

The feedback shared by students reflected on the engagement of the lecturer; as well as the dedication required from students to be successful in this module. Students gained valuable experience whilst engaged in the field and during lectures. Furthermore, these students reflected on the fun they had managing their virtual business in the Business Simulation, and seeing how different management strategies produced different outcomes.

To view the Colloquium presentation, click the following link:

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