Monthly Archives: March, 2020

Dentistry lecturers design and develop interactive online lessons

Dentistry lecturers attended interactive Instructional Design workshops, conducted by the CIECT team. Prior to attending the workshop, the lecturers engaged with the Faculty Teaching-and-Learning Specialist to plan their curriculum. During the interactive workshops, lecturers within the Dentistry Faculty were able to design and develop their online environments within the Learning Management System, iKamva.

They were also introduced to the elements of an instructional strategy/plan to develop clear outcomes for a lesson; structuring of lessons and sub-units; embedding of learning material; and linking lessons to activities (forums, assignments and tests).

The online environments include the following aspects:

  • Structured lessons aligned to specific learning units of work,
  • Embedding an interactive learning guide,
  • Structuring of sub-pages for each topic within the specific learning unit,
  • Introductions and learning outcomes for each section,
  • Embedding learning material (documents, multimedia); and
  • Polls and other activities.

The design, development and quality assurance is a continuous process, whereby the lecturers relook at the way in which their content is presented; and how students interact according to their various learning needs. The lecturers discuss, peer facilitate and engage with each other, as well as consult with the Instructional Design team.

lesson 1lesson2lesson 3

Education Faculty: Lecturer makes use of the ‘Flipped Classroom’ approach for 2nd Year Students

Education Faculty Lecturer, Dr Nosisi Dlamini has been making use of the Flipped Classroom approach to teach her 2nd Year ELT 211 students. The Flipped Classroom approach is conducted in three (3) phases: pre-, during, and post- lecture:

  • Students receive PowerPoint lecture slides or notes, videos and other multimedia course materialto engage with before the lecture.
  • During the lecture, the students’ understanding is deepened through activities such as material developments, problem-solving, presentations, role play, inquiry-based learning, and simulations.
  • After the lecture, students engage in scenario-based activities.

Phonics Activity

Students were required to create a Phonics activity for their Foundation Phase learners. This exercise was based on Jolly Phonics, a Phonics Programme used in Foundation Phase classrooms. Prior to the lecture, students received  notes, a video and an action sheet on Jolly Phonics, via the iKamva platform. During the lecture, they collaboratively created Jolly Phonics resources in preparation for a microteaching session. After the lecture, students were given a scenario-based activity relating to phonics instruction and the South African context.



Storytelling exercises with embedded rubric

  • Pre-lecture: Students created their own story for their Grade 1 learners for practical verbal story-telling sessions, using the provided rubric. This exercise allowedstudents the opportunity for experiential learning, relevant to a South African Grade 1 classroom context.
  • During: Story-telling sessions were conducted in class. Students toldtheir individual stories, while the rest of the class conducted a peer-marking using the rubric provided.
  • Post-lecture: Students developed final versions of their stories, including the new information and feedback from the live story-telling sessions.image1 (1)

CHS Faculty: Interactive online lesson design & development – for 4th year Dietetics students

Dietetics lecturer, Jill Wilkenson has collaborated with the CIECT team – to design and develop an interactive online environment for students currently engaged in the 4th year Module (Applied Community Nutrition, 402). The online environment has been carefully structured making use of iKamva’s Lessons tool.


Structured Lessons aligned to Module Topics

The course content was organised into various Lesson pages, which students are able to access throughout the academic year. The structured lesson begins with a module introduction, giving students an overview of the module content, teaching-and-learning approach (including self-directed learning); as well as a glossary of key terms. The module content was broken down into 7 key sections according to module topics.


Clinical Practicals: Alignment of specific practical outcomes & broad module outcomes

A section was structured for Clinical Practicals. Each section consisted of learning objectives, enabling students to see the alignment between activities and the overall module outcomes. This section gave students a breakdown of each of the 8 required practicals, including: practical session outcomes, time-frame, guidelines; and clear instructions for a reflective task at the end of each section.DIE402

Did You Know: 24 811 users accessed iKamva from computers and laptops [Jan – March 2020]

Did you know that 23 538 users accessed iKamva from mobile devices [Jan – March 2020]?

Did you know that 24 811 users accessed iKamva from computers and laptops [Jan – March 2020]?

The institutional Learning Management System (LMS), iKamva/Sakai – is built using responsive web design principles, allowing users to access the platform from multiple devices (with internet connectivity) at any geographical location. The graph below reflects the total number of unique users that logged in – from their:

  • mobile devices (not using the app),
  • computers / laptops, and the
  • iKamva Android application.


Law Faculty: First online lecture [‘Live lecture’ within iKamva] – extensive planning

Lecturers Ratula Beukman, Roger Ronnie and Education Administrator, Tenille Constance from the Law Faculty (engaged in Postgraduate Diploma in Labour Law Programme),  requested an online advisory meeting with the CIECT Instructional Design team to discuss how classes can be taught online, in ‘real-time’.

The online meeting was conducted, making use of the BigBlueButton eTool in iKamva.  During the online meeting the staff members joined the session to familiarise themselves with the functionality and effective use of the BBB eTool. Lecturers could see each other, as they all logged in using their web-cameras.

This 55 minute online session was recorded; and can be viewed at any time by all the participants. The Lecturers and the CIECT team discussed the affordances of the eTool for online teaching purposes. Tips were provided, including:

  •  Keep sessions short; and
  •  Request that students engage in pre-reading; or watch a relevant video prior to joining the online ‘live session’.

The CIECT team member facilitated the online advisory session and all were able to:

  • View the shared presentation,
  • Discuss and ask questions related to the specific settings of the live lecture,
  • Engage in public chat which is visible to all users in class, and
  • Send private messages to the facilitator,
  • View shared showcase on how to set-up an online lecture (within their specific modules),
  • Identify roles/rights within online lecture (showcase, present, mute others, lock participants)


Way-Forward: Planning for first online class (48 students)

The lecturers will conduct their first online class on Saturday morning from 09:00- 10:30. Currently there are 48 students enrolled in this class.


Challenges: Need for sufficient data

It should be noted that the CIECT team member/Facilitator made use of Telkom Network Provider and used 435 Mb of data during the 55 minute session.

**NB: It should be noted that the University is negotiating with various Service Providers regarding zero-rate policies (free access to sites such as iKamva; and BigBlue Button).


EMS Faculty: Interactive Online Space for 1st Year Industrial Psychology Students

Industrial Psychology lecturer, Tolulope Balogun has created an interactive online environment for her 1st Year Industrial Psychology (IPS 131) students. After advisory sessions with the CIECT Instructional Designer, the ‘Interactive Space’ was collaboratively developed using iKamva’s Lessons tool.

The Lessons tool was scaffolded into sections according to the Chapters of the prescribed textbook. Learning Outcomes were provided at the start of each section, in order for students to familiarise themselves with the required objectives. This was supplemented with a checklist, which students could use to monitor their progress for the activities in each section. Multimedia resources such as YouTube Videos, reading material, and lecture slides, were embedded with each section.

In addition, students were expected to complete an online quiz at the end of each chapter of the textbook. The quizzes consisted of 10 Multiple-Choice questions, and students had 30 minutes to complete. Furthermore, students received feedback at a specific date after the test closed, whereby they were able to view the memorandum for the quiz against their own answer selection. Regular formative assessment such as this, allows both lecturers and students to monitor their learning progress, and also identify gaps in knowledge.

Contact the CIECT team to assist in setting up your Interactive Online Environment.

Science Faculty: Lecturer explores the use of BigBlueButton (BBB) – preparing for ‘live online lectures’

Science Lecturer, David Holgate has experimented with the use of BigBlueButton (BBB) which has been integrated within iKamva. This eTool has been named ‘Meetings’ within the iKamva system.

In order to familiarise the lecturer with the functionality of the Meetings tool, an online ‘Meeting’ was created in order to test and experiment with the functionality. During this session, the CIECT Instructional Designer uploaded and shared a presentation to showcase during the meeting.

The lecturer was able to moderate participants’ interactions; upload and present lectures (PDFs, PowerPoint slides); use annotation features on live presentations and documents; and highlight key sections within a document/article. During this exploratory meeting, the two members were able to engage through a live chat, which is visible and available to all participants.

Furthermore, the lecturer engaged in an exploratory session by himself and experimented with the features and functionalities within the eTool. Subsequent to this activity he shared some comments.

Feedback/ Comments from the lecturer after engaging in testing with CIECT and on his own:

“Well done for getting this going.  I was also experimenting this morning and it seems to work really well.  I am not sure of the band width restrictions, but if Science gets going fast in using this it will be great.” 

“I am setting up an iKamva page for us to use for T&L in the Faculty.  Using this tool is one thing that I hope people will share there.”

Lecturers are invited to contact the CIECT Instructional Design team to set up a familiarisation session for using BBB within iKamva.

Arts Faculty: Geography lecturer creates interactive online environment for 1st year students

Lecturer Dr. Bradley Rink, has created an interactive online environment for his 1st year GES (Human Geography) 111 students. The online environment, created within the iKamva platform, makes use of several eTools to structure and embed relevant resources, and to assess students on course content.

Structured Lesson topics

The Lessons eTool was structured into 4 Parts, which were further divided according to weekly topics (scaffold approach) . The parts were released to students on a periodic basis. The weekly topics consisted of an introduction/overview and summary of key concepts and ideas. Students were also provided with links to required pre-lecture readings.

Online Assessments and Gradebook

Students were expected to complete a timed online assessment for the term. Prior to this assessment, students were provided with a practice test, created by the lecturer in order for the 1st year students to familiarise themselves with taking online assessments.

Grades for practical tasks and the online assessment were captured & calculated using the Gradebook tool. This allows students to view & monitor their individual and overall CAM during the course of the semester.

Announcements & Google Forms for surveys

The announcements eTool was used to communicate relevant course information to students. Furthermore, the lecturer created surveys using Google Forms, which were then provided as links to students via Announcements.


English 1st year students share opinion pieces and critically reflect on peer writing

Students engage in discussion forum: ‘Opinion pieces’

Arts Faculty lecturer, Susan Ntete in collaboration with the CIECT team have discussed the value of the Discussion Forum as a communication and assessment eTool. The English lecturer set up a discussion forum topic for the discipline, whereby first-year students were required to read a specific article and formulate opinion pieces.


Respond critically to a peer’s opinion piece

In addition, once students had shared their opinions, they were required to read their peers’ posts and select one post to which they would respond critically.

Structured task entails clear instructions: Instructional Design Principles

This specific task was structured within iKamva making use of basic Instructional Design principles. The task was broken into two manageable sections with detailed instructions discussed by both the lecturer and instructional designer prior to the task going live within the discussion forum.


Students require training on how to engage within the discussion forum

The Thintana Walk-in computer lab was booked in advance and the CIECT team guided the first-year students through the process of accessing, navigating and familiarising themselves with the iKamva online environment, with specific focus on the discussion forum. During the 45 minute hands-on session, students typed their own opinion pieces related to the article and then posted it within the discussion forum. As students shared their responses, the specific time and date of their response was recorded in iKamva.


Nursing lecturers design interactive online lessons: Instructional Design

Nursing lecturers [Foundation and First year levels] engaged in an Instructional Design workshop, focusing on the design of interactive online lessons. The CIECT team facilitated the workshop which enabled the lecturers to plan, design and develop online lessons in relation to their specific subjects:

  • Develop an Instructional Strategy to plan specific topic/theme; and related outcomes
  • Structure the topics/themes using a scaffolded approach
  • Embed learning material (readings, presentations)
  • Embed digital media components (video and news feeds to support content)
  • Develop clear checklist for students to assist with self-directed learning
  • Linking of discussion topics to specific content
  • Linking assignments and quizzes to specific topics

Effective online design supports learning and teaching practices.

Contact the CIECT Instructional Design team to create an interactive online environment.