Monthly Archives: May, 2020

Science Faculty: Test & Quizzes translated from English to isiXhosa and Afrikaans

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: Translation of weekly pre-practical quizzes from English to Afrikaans and IsiXhosa

Chemistry Practical Coordinator, Suzanne Grove focused on practical tests that 1st year Chemistry students were expected to complete on a weekly basis, in preparation for practical tutorials. Hence, students are not able to enter the practical tutorial, if they have not completed the online test hosted on the iKamva Platform.


The Weekly preparatory tests were opened for a specific time period (one week only). A student was able to attempt a test multiple times and the highest mark was recorded. It should also be noted that the tests/quizzes accounted for 15% of the Continuous Assessment Mark (CAM). Suzanne translated the online tests (both question and answers options) from English to isiXhosa and Afrikaans. The students received their results immediately upon submission.


Science Faculty: Formative Assessments applied within blended online environments

Science lecturers have made use of different assessment types over a period of time. This blog is a reflection of the implementation of assessment methods in different disciplines. Assessment types used by lecturers include the use of the Assignments; and Tests and Quizzes.

Assignment eTool: ‘Groups Feature’

The ‘groups’ feature within iKamva can be used to assign assessments, announcements and discussion topics to specific student groups. Hence lecturers and tutors are able to post relevant information – to their specific groups.

Application of Group Assignment

Lecturers Michael Norman, Mehrdad Ghaziasgar and William Tucker jointly taught a 3rd year Computer Science module (CSC 312) in 2018 and 2019, which focused on Human Computer Interaction, Databases and Software Engineering. Lectures and tutorials (face-to-face) focused on specific chapters/sections. These were further aligned to assessment tasks, which enabled the lecturers to engage in continuous monitoring and tracking. The lecturers requested that their students submit 4 group assignments. Hence, the lecturers created ‘Groups’, which allowed students to upload a single assignment submission for their group.

Test & Quizzes eTool [MCQs, True-and-False, Short Answer]

The Tests & Quizzes tool allows instructors to create online assessments (i.e., tests, exams, 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 Tests and Quizzes eTool: ‘Pop Quizzes’, Feedback & Reflection

Various lecturers in the Science Faculty have incorporated the use of weekly tutorial quizzes within the Tests & Quizzes eTool, which forms part of the formative assessment component. These tutorials enabled students to monitor their weekly progress and enhance self-directed learning. A number of modules required students to perform practical tasks such as lab experiments. These were supplemented with instructional sheets, as well as videos. Practicals were reinforced through the use of video demonstrations. Students were able to access the learning material prior to attending class sessions.

Students (Module CSC 312) were expected to complete formative assessment tasks in the form of ‘Pop Quizzes’ which were set up via the Tests & Quizzes eTool. These quizzes consisted of a number of Short-Answer/Essay type questions. Students had 15 minutes to complete each quiz, and were able to submit an unlimited amount of times within the specified time-frame. Hereafter, the students were able to view feedback for each question; reflect on their learning progress and revise accordingly.

Science Faculty: Use of Statistics eTool to assess student online activity

The Deputy-Dean of Science, Prof David Holgate makes use of the ‘Statistics eTool’ to monitor and track student activity within his Mathematics module (MAM115).  He has shared his recent statistics around student visits retrieved from the iKamva site.

  • Over 90% have visited the site, but more encouragingly about 75% have visited at least 4 times with the median number of visits over 7 in the 10 day period”.

The lecturer has commented with regards to the encouraging statistics. However he emphasises the fact that some “students are falling through the cracks”, as they have no access.

**All lecturers have been advised to add the ‘Statistics eTool’ to their online modules. The statistics tool will enable them to track user activity within each module. Hence, they will be able to identify active and inactive students.

The Statistics eTool within iKamva records user activities. It allows authorised users (typically instructors, lecturers or site owners) to view site usage statistics and user/student activity events. These summary reports present a quick overview of site usage. The Statistics eTool initial overview page allows the lecturer to view a summary of user/tool activity information (e.g. Visits; Activity; Resources; and Lesson Page).