Monthly Archives: May, 2020

iKamva Self-Help Videos for Tutors

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Tutors are engaged in assisting lecturers with the use of various content creation, communication and assessment eTools within the institutional Learning Management System (LMS), Sakai/iKamva.

NB: CIECT has prepared a series of self-help instructional materials (screencasts) which will assist Tutors to engage in an interactive online environment, add content, digital media components and assessments. In addition, they will be able to grade from home and your students will be able to access from any geographical setting.

View and learn how to engage within a basic interactive online course with student groups. The video playlist entails ‘How to’:

3 Multimedia teaching tips: Reducing file sizes of Rich Media content

Inserting Rich Media (Images, Sound, Video) content into documents or presentations will increase the file size of the document. It is recommended that Rich Media elements be optimized prior to insertion into documents to ensure smaller file sizes. It should be noted that viewing Rich Media (Video, Sound, Conferencing) streaming from websites such as  YouTube, Vimeo and Slideshare will still incur data charges when viewed in iKamva.
The following multimedia teaching tips were sent out to the campus community in March 2020
Tip 1. Understanding and optimizing images
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Physical size refers to the space an image occupies on your screen when opened. In some applications you may be able to zoom in and out on an image. In applications such as MS Word or PowerPoint you are able to drag and make images smaller. Both of these practices alter the appearance of the image but not the file size.
File size refers to the number of space that an image occupies on your storage device measured in bytes (KB, MB, GB, TB). To reduce the file size the image needs to be taken into an image editing application. The file size can be reduced by resizing, cropping or reducing image quality.
  • Use an image editing application to optimize images before inserting them into documents
  • Recommended programs: MS Paint, Pixlr and Gimp
See video tutorial for resizing images using Pixlr:
Tip 2. Recording and Optimizing Digital Audio
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Podcasts (Audio files) should be considered when the information being relayed does not rely on visual content and demonstration. Audio files are significantly smaller than video files, however extensive audio recordings can also generate large file sizes. MP3 and M4A are compressed audio formats which are relatively small with acceptable sound quality. Other sound formats such as WAV, AIFF, WMA can be converted to MP3 and M4A using an audio converter.

Recording and reducing audio file sizes can easily be completed with the use of Audacity, free, Open-source software. Audio files should be saved as .mp3 format which will allow most devices (pc, mobile devices and audio players) to playback the sound.

Typical File Sizes from Bit Rate in mp3’s

Below is a list of typical recording bit rates and file sizes:

10-minute recording
64 kbps ~ 5MB
96 kbps ~ 8MB
128 kbps ~ 10MB
30-minute recording
64 kbps ~ 15MB
96 kbps ~ 23MB
128 kbps ~ 30MB
1-hour recording
64 kbps ~ 30MB
96 kbps ~ 45MB
128 kbps ~ 60MB

See video tutorial for recording and editing audio:

Tip 3. Embedding and Compressing Video content

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Through the advances in cloud computing, videos can now be uploaded to platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo and embedded in other websites (Learning Management Systems, Blogs and Social Media) using embed codes. Unfortunately embedded content is not free to view on Zero rated websites as it is streaming from a different source. Another way of making video more accessible is by compressing it so that the files size is reduced to an extent that makes it easy to share via email or directly embedded on Zero rated websites with file limitations. Handbrake and iWisoft are free and Open-source applications that can be used to compress and convert video content.
See video tutorial for compressing video footage:
Please contact CIECT’s Multimedia team should you require assistance with optimizing your media content.

Online Tutoring Workshop: ‘An eTools Kit for Tutors’

The CIECT Team has designed and developed an Online Tutor Workshop, namely: ‘An eTools Kit for Tutors’.  It forms part of the broader institutional Tutoring Programme (for students employed as Tutors).

The Online Workshop will focus on familiarising prospective and current Tutors – within the Learning Management System (LMS), iKamva. The Tutors engaged in the workshop will gain access to an online environment and set up specific student groups for teaching-and-learning practices.

The Tutors should be able to:

  • Create specific student groups and export of student group rosters;
  • Communicate with dedicated student groups;
  • Structure and share learning material; and
  • Create consultation and meeting sessions.

 The CIECT team encourages Departments to contact us at – in order to arrange workshops for your specific Tutors.

The team will be communicating a series of dates for the workshops.

5 Online Teaching Tips: Simple design, asynchronous communication, low-tech methods

Teaching Tip 1: Sequencing & scaffolding of learning content (Lessons eTool)

Lecturers should aim to make use of the Lessons eTool, and even a basic structure can be effective for the student. The Lessons eTools can be used to organize learning activities, course resources and digital media on a single page. The Lessons eTool should be structured using a scaffolded approach, whereby the instructor organises learning content into manageable units of work with clear guidelines and instructions for the student. Hence, each section or unit should aim to provide students with:

  • Introduction to the topic

  • Learning outcomes

  • Checklist of learning activities

  • Required readings or learning material (Journal articles, textbook chapters, YouTube videos, Narrated PowerPoint)

  • Additional supplementary material [optional]

  • Assessment activities linked to specific learning outcomes

These interactive lesson pages will allow students to see clear links between learning activities, assessment and outcomes; and provide students with opportunities for self-directed learning.


 Figure 1. Lesson Page design

See video on how to get started with basic lesson page creation:  

Teaching Tip 2: Be visible online

As an online facilitator, it becomes even more important to maintain regular contact with students, as face-to-face classes and consultations are simply not possible.

  • One way in which you can easily maintain contact with your students is through iKamva’s Announcements eTool. This tool will allow you to send Announcements directly to the students enrolled for your particular module, including relevant attachments such as readings, presentations, and links to websites, etc.

  • Online facilitators are encouraged to send out weekly announcements at the beginning of each week, introducing students to topics, activities, and assessments that can be expected. This ensures that students remain motivated and that they are aware of what is expected of them.

  • Aim to provide as much instruction and feedback as possible, and let your students know the best methods and times in which to contact you.

  • Tutors are also able to send Announcements to their specific groups [a tutorial group should have been created prior to sharing information]. See instructional material attached on how to send announcements and set up groups.

**Students will receive an email to their student Gmail account, to which they will be able to reply (this will bounce back to your staff email, where you may engage with the student personally if needed).

**See video on how to get started with sending announcements:

Teaching Tip 3: Student Interaction & Knowledge Building

Without the benefit of face-to-face interaction, Discussion Forums can serve as a bridge between the gaps.

  • Discussion Forums will give students the opportunity to interact with the lecturer; and with their peers.

  • Discussion Forums can be used as a Q&A space, whereby students can pose questions related to concepts or topics that they are uncertain of, and these questions can be answered by the facilitator, a tutor, or even another student in the class.

  • Discussion Forums can be a great way for students to express their opinions (student voices), and actively participate in the process of knowledge-building and sharing.

  • Group discussions: The facilitator can create multiple forums and limit it to a specific pre-defined group, meaning that only students in the group are able to interact in the forum. This can be used for collaborative work such as group assignments; or for Tutors to interact with their Tutorial Groups.

  • Discussion Forum can be used for assessment purposes: Students are required to post their responses to a topic or question. Students can then critique other student’s posts, and give their own opinion if they agree or disagree. In some circumstances, it is better to grade students on their time and effort; rather than whether or not the response is correct. This will help to promote interaction and students will not feel apprehensive about sharing their responses.

**See links below on how to create effective & engaging Discussion Forums:

Teaching Tip 4: Formative & Summative Assessments linked to each learning unit (Test Quizzes, Assignments eTools)

The iKamva platform can be utilised for both formative and summative assessments by making use of the Assignments or Tests & Quizzes eTools. These assessments can be linked in a Lessons page, allowing students to test their knowledge in each learning unit in a meaningful sequence (Teaching Tip 1). Regular formative assessment (zero or low stakes) can help the student identify gaps in their knowledge, allowing them to revise content more meaningfully. Pre-quizzes at the start of each learning unit can also give students an indication of important areas to focus on. Furthermore, this gives the facilitator insight into the students’ prior knowledge which can be used to adjust the pace of the course.

Question pools can be set up to differentiate between concepts, themes and sections; and a set number of questions can be randomly drawn from the pool. This will ensure that each student’s assessment varies from one to the other. This form of assessment has been used by lecturers at UWC across disciplines as both formative and summative assessment. It is advisable to set up all question pools in advance, allowing you to easily create the assessment when necessary and draw a set number of questions from the pool. Question pools are saved to your iKamva profile, meaning you will be able to use it in any module, and you will be able to re-use your question pools each year.


Figure 3. Multiple Choice Type Questions with Rationale

Teaching Tip 5: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Interaction (Discussion Forums, Chat Room, Meetings/BigBlueButton)

There are two kinds of online interaction that can take place, both with their own benefits and limitations. Try to include both types of interaction in your online environment in order to accommodate a wider range of students.

Synchronous interaction & learning takes place in real-time, meaning that students are able to receive immediate responses and/or feedback. Examples of synchronous learning include the use of video conferencing tools such as BigBlueButton or Google Hangouts/Meetings. This is essentially a virtual classroom environment, but it can incur high data costs; and not always the most viable option for students.

Asynchronous interaction does not have to take place in real-time. This has benefits for the student such as giving them time to formulate their responses without interruption. It is generally less data-intensive, and the student can interact at their own pace or when they have the means to do so. Discussion Forums are an example of asynchronous interaction and can be utilised on the iKamva platform.

NB: These 5 Teaching Tips were sent out to  the campus community in April 2020

Students can save & view lesson pages offline: iKamva Mobile App [new offline repository feature]

Download lesson pages, save it on your smartphone and read it off-line

Students will be able to save data by making use of the iKamva mobile application; especially the new offline feature. A student will be able to download all their lesson pages and view/read it off line, by making use of the iKamva Mobile Application. The pages will be stored locally to your mobile device, and you will not incur data costs when saving and reading the lesson page. Furthermore, you will be able to read/view your pages multiple times, without incurring costs.

How to save a lesson page on my mobile device

  • Login with the iKamva mobile application with your UWC login details

  • Navigate your lesson page (specific module).

  • Press and hold on an empty space within the page for three (3) seconds to save the page.

NB: The page will be stored locally to your device; and you will not incur data costs when saving the lesson page.



How to view/read a lesson page that has been stored offline

  • Logout of your user account to access the login screen.

  • Select the ‘Offline Files’ button to launch the various offline navigation tools.

  • Select ‘Offline Browser’ to launch your local browser (Google Chrome is the preferred browser).

NB: Various devices may require students to paste the URL (file:///sdcard/Download/ or file:///sdcard/Download/iKamva/) within the URL address bar as illustrated .


Instructional video: How to download lesson pages and read/view offline

Click on this link to view an instructional video on how to download pages for offline viewing.

**If you have not downloaded the iKamva Mobile App, view the following instructional video

Click on this link to view an instructional video on how to install the iKamva Mobile Application:  **The iKamva Mobile Application (Android devices only) can be downloaded from the iKamva platform ( The iKamva Android application acts as a dedicated browser for iKamva.

Technical Tips

1. Phone Security: Certain devices may not allow the offline view feature , moreover some devices will not allow the iKamva app to create the offline folder due to security on the device which blocks folder creation. This will require you to manually create the iKamva folder inside the ‘Download’ folder on your device.

**Click on this link to view an instructional video on ‘How to create the iKamva folder manually’

2. Allow storage access:  In addition to granting access to the iKamva Mobile app, you may be required to allow storage access to the app. Click on this link to view an instructional video on ‘Allow storage access to the iKamva Mobile App’.

**We would like all staff and students to explore this new feature. Here follows a table with regards to recent testing of iKamva Mobile App – New Offline repository feature.


Device Name

Challenge during testing


Samsung A9

No issues

I could test everything and it worked fine

Save offline pages

View it afterwards


HUAWEI P20 lite

Unable to view offline browser

I had to enable all permissions, including location and phone permissions in order to access offline browser

Samsung Note 2

No issues experienced


Xiaomi Redmi Note 8

No issues experienced


Huawei Honor 7A

The application was efficient and effective



No issues


Huawei P20

No Issues


Huawei Y5 Prime

No Issues


Huawei P8 Lite

I was able to get as far as saving the pages on the app, but I struggled when I had to open the pages on “Offline Browser”. Instead my browser read “Your file was not found – it may have been moved or deleted”.

CIECT contacted me via Whatsapp and explained how I should go to my internal storage settings > go to downloads folder > and create a new sub-folder called ‘ikamva’.

Secondly, the video that Mr Nkunge sent on the DAL group (How to create the ikamva folder manually) was very direct and helpful. My initial issue with locating my offline files was resolved.

Infinix x4

No issues


Huawei Y7 2018

The issue was the permission which was not granted

I went to settings and turned on storage permission

Patience worked for me

Samsung Grand Prime

At  first I did not have the offline files option

I then uninstalled the app and installed it again and I found the option so I was able to save and go to my browser and view it successfully with my data disabled.

Samsung Grand Galaxy Prime

No issues experienced


Huawei Nova 5T

No issues experienced


e-IPE World Café Success Story: Collaborative online interactive session via iKamva

The Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU) hosted the first e-IPE World Café on 8 May 2020 via iKamva. As a result of the lockdown due to Covid-19, this event called for creative intervention to ensure that no student is disadvantaged due to a lack of data. Lecturers, Luzaan Kock-Africa and Dr. Gérard Filies with the assistance of the CIECT team, were responsible for the design of the platform on iKamva for the event.

UWC and Stellenbosch University students from Dietetics and Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Social Work, Natural Medicine, Biokinetics and Medicine engaged in a 2 hour session via iKamva. The following activities took place during the online engagement:

  • The Chat Room was used to give students instructions and used as a medium for communication throughout the event as well as introductions from students.
  • The Lessons tool was used as a guideline for students to navigate through the different activities for the event and once they completed each activity they could tick off each activity.
  • Narrated PowerPoint presentations were embedded including a welcome presentation (to explain how the World Café would progress); and a presentation on the background around the discipline of interprofessional education and practice.
  • The Course Resources folder for students to find administrative and other resources.
  • The Discussion Forum where students engaged and had to explain the role of each discipline in their group to each other. The groups were given a case study where they had to discuss the intervention as an interprofessional team.
  • Staff members from the Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU) were assigned as facilitators to each group to prompt students and facilitate further discussion around the case study.
  • The Assignments tool was used toupload their feedback for assessment purposes.

The event was concluded by an online evaluation with an embedded link to the Google Form.

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Law Faculty: Formative assessment [Randomisation; Revision & Reinforcement]

The Tests & Quizzes tool allows instructors to create online assessments (i.e., tests, exams, practical quizzes, and surveys) for students or particular groups. Online assessments can be marked automatically when certain question types are selected; and questions can be randomised per student.

Application of Test and Quizzes eTool [Randomized Questions]

Law Lecturers Yeukai Mupangavanhu and Cherith Sanger have created online tests making use of the Tests and Quizzes eTool within iKamva.

Cherith Sanger created a formative test and drew random questions from different question pools which was created in the ADV 301 module. The questions focused on different themes namely: Client Relationship, Consultation skills, Legal Profession and What is Advocacy. Students received a number of days in which they could complete the tests.

Prior to the formative test, a tutorial exercise task was also created to enable students to familiarise themselves with the process of engaging with the Tests & Quizzes eTool. Hence this test did not count towards marks.

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Application of Test and Quizzes eTool [Revision & Reinforcement]

Law Lecturer Yeukai Mupangavanhu has created an online test making (IPL 431) use of the Tests and Quizzes eTool. Students were able to complete the test linked to the specific learning content within 15 minutes. The lecturer also migrated the same test to the IPL 831 module to assist students as they prepare for revision and to reinforce learning.

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Faculty of Law: Lecturers Create Formative Assessments [GLAs support tasks]

Law lecturers are actively making use of iKamva for their formative assessment activities. They have used both the ‘Assignment’ and ‘Tests and Quizzes’ eTool within iKamva.

The iKamva platform can be used to set up formative assessment activities via the Assignments eTool, which allows students to upload and submit their work accordingly.

Application: Tutorial Exercises and Assignment tasks

Lecturer, Ashraf Booley created short 10 minute video and audio recording lectures related to the lesson content (CNT 301). These recordings were structured in different parts according to specific lesson themes and distributed within the ‘Course Resources’ eTool in iKamva. These lecture recording file sizes do not exceed 10 MB.

A tutorial exercise and two assignment tasks were also developed within this online module. Students were required to complete these assessment tasks and submit it online.

The Graduate Law Assistants (GLAs) Talumbe and Charne both were assigned to specific tutorial groups. Both GLAs who have access to the specific online environment have assisted the lecturer with the partial grading of assessments. The specific assignments have been downloaded by the lecturer and assessed. The graded assessments have been shared with students online after the lecturer has spent time to ‘Download All’ submissions, grading it offline and uploading the marks to students within the Assignment eTool.


Grading has been problematic for the GLA’s who have limited access to Data.

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Create a Custom Report: Select ‘Events’ to retrieve data in relation to student activity [Statistics Tool]

“The Statistics tool allows authorised users (typically instructors or site owners) to view site usage statistics and user activity events”


When retrieving statistics for users/students within an online environment in iKamva, it is best to create a ‘custom report’. ** It is best to select the ‘Events’ tool, reflecting student activity within the module.

Follow the steps below to create a custom report:

  • Click the Statistics toolin your module site,
  • Click the Report tabat the top
  • Under ‘My Reports’, Click ‘Add’ to create a custom report
  • Insert Title of Report
  • Under ‘What’:  make sure to select  ‘Events’ from the drop-down list
  • Tool Selection must be set to ‘All’
  • Select time period
  • Under ‘Who’: Select ‘Role’

○       Selecting ‘None’ you can retrieve students with no activity,

○       You can also select specific roles or individual students (Custom)

  • Under ‘Role’: Select ‘Student
  • Save Report
  • Click the custom title to generate the Report.


Application: EMS Lecturer creates custom report

EMS Lecturer (Management Department), Lucian Pitt was able to retrieve information of daily student activity. The lecturer was able to retrieve information: names, student numbers, event (‘content opened’); date; and total number of times the students accessed the folder.

In addition, the lecturer could view details regarding the student access of specific resources (course content).

Example, the lecturer is able to viewspecific resource (pdf document); access date; number of times the student accessed the resource [‘read’].


Science Lecturer: Multimodal approach to reach students – iKamva, Narrated PPT, WhatsApp & Simulations

Lecturer Gavin Maneveldt has been making use of various teaching methodologies to enable his students to actively engage online.  These compromises of the following:

  1. Narrated PowerPoint Presentationsof lectures were uploaded to the course resources within iKamva.
  • The lecturer is cognisant of file sizes; hence his presentations were structured into manageable chunks. Students are able to download easily.
  1. Structured online environmentwith interactive lesson pages.
  • Weekly activities/tasks
  • A checklist per weekly activity that guides students through content and tasks
  • Embedded Learning Science simulations
  1. Dropboxfor student for to upload and share activities, within iKamva (private file sharing space between lecturer and student)
  1. Use of Cmap eTool for ‘practical’ tasks
  1. Rubricaligned to assignment/task submissions
  • Each submission will automatically be aligned to the rubric
  • Rubric guides the tutor in terms of grading; and the grades are saved
  • Total marks are calculated within the assignment against each criteria
  • Comments for each criteria can also be inserted to give student overall feedback for each section


6.  WhatsApp groupas an additional line of communication for any queries/questions related to the lecture content, for one (1) hour each day, immediately following the scheduled lecture times.

  1. Assignment linked to Turnitin featurewithin iKamva. Students are able to submit their essays, and receive generated Tii similarity reports (checking for plagiarism).
  1. The lecturer also intends to send a questionnaire to his students to ascertain whether they would prefer live online lectures; or pre-recorded lectureswhich they can watch in their own time.


 During this planning phase of remote teaching, learning and assessment, Lecturer Gavin Maneveldt has taken the time to explore modes of delivery; and especially taking note of file sizes, data usage, and access. ** Lecturer Gavin’s file sizes are not larger than 23.6 MB