Monthly Archives: February, 2021

Law Faculty: Blended Learning Arrangements [planning, design, development prior to Covid-19 pandemic/national lockdown]

Law Faculty lecturers across departments created a total number of 95 blended learning environments for the academic year, 2020. Lecturers in collaboration with the CIECT team have made use of various content, communication, and assessment eTools within the iKamva platform. These include structured weekly learning materials, readings, PowerPoint lectures and multimedia. Communication tools include the use of announcements to post notices and discussion forum topics. The lecturers share course resources, structured lessons; and set-up online tests. 

Scaffolding, alignment and self-directed learning activities

Lecturers across the Faculty have also designed interactive online environments which included the scaffolding of structured learning content, assessment activities and podcasts for review of lecture concepts, themes, and readings. This has been structured making use of the ‘Lessons eTool’. Students are able to navigate the content, track their progress and complete activities for reinforcement and self-directed learning.

Tests and Quizzes: Randomised question pools, revision & reinforcement purposes

The Tests & Quizzes tool – has been used for formative assessment activities. Formative tests were created and random questions were drawn in from different question pools for each student, to ensure the integrity of the assessment. Tests, as well as weekly quizzes, were linked to the specific learning content and outcomes.

Audio-recordings (podcasts) aligned to lesson themes

Some lecturers have also included Podcastswithin their blended learning environments. These audio-recordings expanded on discipline-specific topics and aimed to further reinforce students’ understanding of course content. These recordings were structured in different parts according to specific lesson themes and distributed within the ‘Course Resources’ eTool in iKamva.

Live- lecture recordings (Hangouts/Meetings)

Lecturers have also made extensive use of the ‘Meetings’ tool to conduct live lectures for their students. These recorded online lectures were available for students to view in order to reinforce learning. Students were also able to review the recorded lectures in preparation for the exams.

NB: It should be noted that lecturers have collaborated with the CIECT team to design and develop their interactive blended environments, prior to the national lockdown (Covid-19 pandemic).

Tutor Training 2021: ‘An eTools Kit for Tutors’ Programme

CIECT has designed and developed an online tutor workshop, namely: ‘An eTools Kit for 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 setup specific student groups for teaching-and-learning practices. 

See Tutor programme and online training date (sessions links) below:

 Access & Navigate iKamva   Platform Access and navigate online environmentEngage with structured learning content10 min
 Create and manage tutorial   groupsCreate tutorial group (name)Add students to groupExport of student groups15 min
 Communicate with dedicated   student tutorial groups Create announcement to tutorial group/ studentsSetup of discussion topicsEngage (respond) to student feedback on topics/forumsSetup of academic eventsCreate consultation sessions20 min
 Assessment and GradingCreate Tutorial Assignments (uploadable)Grade assignments online Submit feedback and marks (online)Showcase and discuss Gradebook functionalitiesView student activity within online environmentExport statistics and reports20 mins
Thursday, 25 February 13:00-14:30Click on link to join session:
Monday, 08 March 15:00-16:30Click on link to join session:
Friday, 12 March 10:00-11:30Click on link to join session:
Thursday, 18 March 10:00-11:30Click on link to join session:
Thursday, 25 March 14:00-15:30Click on link to join session:

Contact the CIECT Team to book an online workshop session for your Tutors.

Student Orientation 2021: Live/Synchronous Demonstrations [List of Demo dates and timeslots]

Welcome to all students, parents, extended families and guardians. Some of the exciting features of studying at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) is that lecturers and tutors make use of blended teaching and learning approaches, making use of both online and face-to-face teaching methodologies. Students are able to engage in content, communicate and complete assessments, and exams online (from any location), by making use of the institutional Learning Management System (LMS), known as iKamva.

Please join the live orientation sessions to familiarise yourself with the Online Learning Platform from 01- 12 March 2021.

Live/Synchronous Demonstration Sessions via Google Hangouts: Familiarisation of the Online Platform (iKamva)

Monday, 01 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session:
Tuesday, 02 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session:
Wednesday, 03 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session:
Thursday, 04 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session:
Friday, 05 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session:
Monday, 08 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session:
Tuesday, 09 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session
Wednesday, 10 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session
Thursday, 11 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session
Friday, 12 March 13:00-13:45Click on link to join session

All sessions will be recorded and shared accordingly with attendees.

This message will be placed on our UWC website for all prospective students and their families.

**It will also be sent to the current UWC students in order for them to refresh their skills.

Science Faculty: Blended Learning Approaches & Arrangements during national lockdown

The Science Faculty has collaborated with the CIECT team to design structured, blended teaching and learning approaches and arrangements during the national lockdown. Lecturers have embedded an array of learning materials, simulations, worksheets, and activities within their online environments to enhance their teaching practice. Lecturers have made use of various teaching applications such as Narrated PowerPoints, Documents, WhatsApp, Google Meet, Zoom, Cmap software, and learning simulations to enhance the student learning experience.

Blended Learning Approaches & Arrangements: Interactive Online Environments

ContentRelevant content, contextualisation, discipline-specific
Integrated pre-lab simulations: Pre-lecturepre-lab safety simulations were embedded in online environments to familiarise and prepare students regarding the safety protocols, specific labware, and dress code they need to adhere to work safely within any physical or virtual lab spaceDuring the lecture: The embedded simulations arranged within the structured environments enabled students to interactively engage and practice experiments to weigh out sample solutions and collect material. Through this process, students were able to accurately engage with lab equipment, explore different options and understand the consequences of their choices. Immediate feedback was provided at any stage about specific elements that may be unclear to them. Post-lecture: The interactive simulations were accessible to students throughout the entire duration of the module and they could review and revisit the experiments at any stage to reinforce their learning processes. 
Integrated ‘Smart’ worksheetsTheSmart worksheets (aligned to the pre-lab simulations) is a collection of customised worksheets preloaded with auto-generated data, which enables students to analyse and complete calculation activities. These worksheets include a broad range of disciplines across bioscience, chemistry, and mathematics.
Structured units of workLecturers were able to structure units of work for students to actively engage in related content and activities. Lectures were structured according to weeks and lecture topics/themes which included:■        Learning outcomes for each lecture■        Narrated Powerpoints lectures■        Printable PDF notes■        Pre-lecture quizzes setup as polls■        Manageable snippets of learning materials■        Embedding of external resources such as Pearson’s Mastering Visual Anatomy & Physiology* The lecturers were cognisant of file sizes. Hence, the presentations were structured into manageable chunks which students were able to download easily.
Online TutorialsTutorials were structured with related resources and learning activities.
FeedbackFeedback is provided to students via various eTools and modes of delivery. In addition, a downloadable version of the tutorial solutions was shared via iKamva in order to accommodate those students who could not join the live sessions.
ChecklistA checklist aligned to weekly activities, guiding students through the content and required tasks were included. This allowed lecturers to monitor student progress and engagement.
Assessment ActivitiesStudents were expected to complete a number of assessments using iKamva’s Tests & Quizzes tool. These assessments consisted of theory and practical tests, as well as smaller quizzes to reinforce knowledge of learning content. Structured weekly tutorial exercises and practicals were also created within the ‘Assignments’ eTool. Students were required to submit their Tutorial activities biweekly, after engaging in the online tutorial session.Grades were recorded and released to students via the Gradebook. It should be noted that marks from tools such as Tests & Quizzes, and Assignments are automatically captured within the Gradebook.
Engagements with students (discussions)Weekly online consultation sessions were created for students to engage with the lecturer regarding specific questions related to the tutorial topics they are required to complete. During these sessions, the lecturer guided students through the tutorial questions and shared the model answers with those who were able to join. The discussions were recorded so students could view it after the class to reinforce their learning of the topic.

Contact CIECT to assist with the design of your interactive blended environments

Flexible & Multimodal Teaching and Learning Approaches: Staff Orientation Interventions

The Centre for Innovative Education and Communication Technologies (CIECT) has designed and developed various support interventions and online workshops in order for lecturers to make effective use of various innovative communication, content creation, and assessment eTools within iKamva.  Various Multimedia and ICT resources have been developed which can be accessed by lecturers as well. iKamva ispredominantly used by academics in order to design and develop their interactive online environments. Students access the space in order to retrieve and effectively engage with the learning content. The platform is critical as it hosts approximately 26 992 users [1700 users access the LMS per hour].  

Access ‘Self-Help’ Instructional Material [via CIECT’s YouTube Channel]

CIECT has prepared a series of self-help videos (instructional material/screencasts) – to enable academics across disciplines to work remotely. **Staff will be able to access the Institutional Learning Management System (LMS) – from any geographical setting. 

Staff Orientation Interventions                                   Description Available at
iKamva: Technical RequirementsiKamva runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, & Android or any other device with a modern web browser. Recommended Browsers to access iKamva:●        Google Chrome●        Mozilla Firefox*Please avoid using Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari as there are compatibility issues with the iKamva siteOther Browser Requirements:Adobe FlashJavascript EnabledSkill Requirements:●        Stable Internet Connection●        Microsoft Office OR OpenOffice Suites (Word,Excel, PowerPoint)●        Basic Computer Literacy knowledge (Copying, pasting, attaching/uploading of documents).View screencasts demonstrating how to access and login to iKamva on our CIECT YouTube Channel  
‘How to access the LMS, namely iKamva’:As a staff member you will be required to login to iKamva with your Network ID username and password. Username: Network ID (vmakahula); and Password: as provided by ICS ServicedeskView screencasts demonstrating how to access and login to iKamva on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
iKamva: NavigationThis unit introduces you to iKamva, the Learning Management System (LMS) used at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and its navigation in order to become familiar with various content, communication and assessment eTools. The various eTools and how to use it are further explained in the instructional videosView screencasts demonstrating how to navigate the iKamva Platform on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
iKamva: Create interactive courseThe tool enables you to create an online module linked to the specific module code as displayed in Student Administration System Integration (SASI). You are able to select the appropriate eTools within the online environment.View screencasts demonstrating how to setup the homepage of the course  on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
iKamva: Setup course homepage/overviewThe Overview is the landing page for a course or project site. It is the first information students will see when they access the online environment.Note: lecturers have the option to customise which tool is displayed as the course landing page, so in some cases users may see a different tool upon first entering a site.View screencasts demonstrating how to setup the homepage of the course  on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
iKamva: Create calendar eventsLecturers can use the Calendar to post important course events dates related to assessments, tasks, homework and lecture webinars dates.View screencasts demonstrating how to create calendar events on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
iKamva: AnnouncementsAnnouncements tool allows you to post messages to the entire class, to groups, or to specific sections within the class. These messages can be set to show immediately, or to show during specific dates. Email notifications can be sent to alert participants of the Announcement message.View screencasts demonstrating how to create announcements on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
iKamva: Course ResourcesCourse Resources eTool allows you to structure learning resources (files and folders) such as powerpoint lecture presentations, videos, course outlines, spreadsheets, audio recordings. You can organise these files and links into folders and subfolders making it easier for students to locate and access items. Folders and files in Resources can be moved or reordered within a site or copied from one site to another.View screencasts demonstrating how to upload and structure course resources on our CIECT  YouTube Channel:
iKamva: Discussion ForumsDiscussion Forum eTool allows lecturers to create an unlimited number of forums and related topics.This enables lecturers and students to start conversations and post contributions linked to specific topics. Student contributions can be assigned a point value and graded accordingly. Forums and topics can be released according to specified dates.View screencasts demonstrating how to create discussion forum topics and tasks on our CIECT  YouTube Channel:
iKamva: Tests and QuizzesTests and Quizzes allows lecturers to create online assessments (i.e., tests, exams, quizzes, and surveys) for delivery within the module. These assessments are created question by question, or through already prepared text, and question pools.View screencasts demonstrating how to create tests and quizzes on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
iKamva: LessonsLessons eTool allows lecturers to structure and organise resources, activities, and media on a single page. You can have as many Lessons pages in your site as needed. With Lessons, you can organise the course by unit, module, week, topic, or any other grouping that makes sense for the online course environment.View screencasts demonstrating how to create structured lessons on our CIECT YouTube Channel: 
iKamva: AssignmentsThe Assignments tool allows lecturers to create, distribute, collect, and grade online assignments. Assignments are typically private; student submissions are not visible to other users of the site. Assignments can also be linked to Turnitin in order to generate originality reportsView screencasts demonstrating how to create online assignments on our CIECT YouTube Channel: 
iKamva: Publish course siteThe ‘Publish’ option allows lecturers to make the online course site available to all students registered for the module. Lecturers can choose to work in draft mode while developing the online course.View screencasts demonstrating how to publish your online course site on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
‘How to use and create Google Hangouts’Instant messaging service with video conferencing; available for computers as well as portable devices.View a screencast on how to use Google Hangouts on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
‘How to use Google Drive’Dedicated online storage repository for documents, files and multimedia content. View a screencast on how to use Google drive on our CIECT YouTube Channel:    
‘How to create a Podcast’Podcasts are sound clips that are recorded, edited and saved as audio files and made available onlineView a screencasts on how to record and edit audio on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
‘How to create a Concept Map’Concept maps are tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclosed in circles or boxes of some type, and relationships between concepts or propositions, indicated by a connecting line between two concepts. Words on these lines can be used to specify the nature of the relationships between different concepts.View a screencast on how to create a Concept Map on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
‘Basic video editing’Video editing is the process of enhancing raw video footage. Basic techniques applied to video include: Effects, Transitions, Titles and Background music. Video clips created and edited within software are saved in snippets (collected data and findings)View a screencast on how to edit a video on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
‘How to create a Narrated PowerPoint’Lecturers are able to record and add audio to their powerpoint presentations. The narrated presentations can be embedded in your interactive online environment. This enables access to all students and supports different learning styles. Narrated PowerPoints can be saved as a video file which will allow it to play on any mobile device such as Android, IOS etc.View a screencast on how to edit a video on our CIECT YouTube Channel:
ePortfolio design and developmentLecturers are able to design and develop an ePortfolio with related evidence of achievements, future plans and other activities related to teaching-and-learning activities. Lecturers are able to think about their teaching and learning strategies and how ePortfolios can be used for their teaching practice.View a screencast on how to design and develop ePortfolios on our CIECT YouTube Channel:  

Refer to the attached document to contact CIECT for support.

‘Test & Quizzes’: Used for Summative & Formative Assessments [Carefully observe settings prior to publishing online]

iKamva consists of various Assessment eTools. NB Please take note of the ‘Test & Quizzes eTool’ (application) – prior to setting up an online exam.

Tests and Quizzes: Description and Application 
Inserting Images to TestsWhen adding images to tests, it must be placed into a hidden folder in the course resources with settings to allow it to show contents. 
Short Answer Essay Question TypesWhen using short answer question types it is important that students type out their response in an offline document editor first and when ready paste in the text box provided online.
File Upload Question Types
It is advised to make use of ‘File Upload’ question types within Tests and Quizzes that provides a student time to type it out on a text editing document; and upload it in the system. The test is still timed and requires students to complete within a specific time-frame. 
Timed- tests/exams/assessments
If a timed test is created, you should allow the student to have sufficient time to access and settle. Hence an extended ‘open and close time’ setting is advised.Do not tick the Autosubmit saved students’ work after the latest date option if a test is timed. 
Auto submit feature on exams/assessments
Please note that the Autosubmit setting does not save student work before submitting. Students are advised to save their progress as often as possible.
Settings for assessments and examsAll Tests settings and configurations need to be set before publishing as editing the test settings after it has been published can and will cause unforeseen issues. Avoid modifying the settings of a published assessment while testing is in progress. Instead, wait until the final submission date has passed. Warning: You should ONLY use the “Stop Accepting Now” option if you are sure that students are not currently working on the assessments in progress. Stopping and automatically submitting an active assessment will submit it immediately without warning; the student will not be able to save their work before it submits. Late Submission setting should be (Due Time + Test Duration + 20min. e.g. 12:00 + 1hr 30min + 20min = 13:50
When students engage in online tests:-The ‘Save’ button must be clicked to record each answer
– Multiple devices should not be used.  Using different devices to access iKamva will affect the submission and the recording of the specific assessment. Log out first from one device before logging into another device/browser
-Always use Google Chrome (Version 83); OR Mozilla FireFox (Version 77). Use the latest versions of the Internet Browsers

Contact CIECT to advise and assist you with the setup of your online examinations

iKamva is Zero-rated: How can I embed YouTube videos and avoid data costs?

CIECT has been in communication with the Information Communication Services (ICS) Department, who have confirmed that iKamva is zero-rated.

The South African Government has negotiated with the four (4) leading Mobile Network Operators (namely Vodacom; MTN; CellC; and Telkom) in order to zero-rate all institutional Learning Management Systems (including iKamva) for as long as the national lockdown is in place.

NB:  However, please note if you link/embed YouTube videos and other external websites from your iKamva module, students will require data (incur data costs). The zero-rate only applies to content and media that resides on the iKamva servers (e.g content uploaded to iKamva).

How can I embed a Youtube video within iKamva and avoid data costs?

If lecturers download a Youtube video OR create their own videos; Upload it into the ‘Course Resources’ section (iKamva); and insert (embed) video in the ‘Lessons eTool’, the students will not incur data costs.

ICT Training Sessions: Various Software Packages & Google Applications

The Centre for Innovative, Education and Communication Technologies (CIECT): ICT Skills Training & Development Team cordially invites all interested staff members to our training taking place virtually (Google Hangouts). The main purpose of these training sessions is to assist all UWC Staff members (Academic and Non-Academic) to refresh and improve their ICT skills.

Training Package                                                     Description Training Dates
Basics to ComputersThis course aims to provide basic skills for manipulating files and windows in the Windows environment. On completion; you will have covered the basic features of Windows and computer components. You will have practiced using the Windows Desktop and features including opening, closing, maximising, minimising, and restoring windows as well as how to organise files and folders.Date: 2 February 9:30am – 1pm
Word Processor (MS Word)Microsoft Word is a word processing software application that enables you to easily create text/word documents. The application tools enable you to enhance your written information with graphics and text formatting. Date: 9 February 9:30am – 1pm
Multimedia Presentation Software (MS PowerPoint)PowerPoint is a presentation creation software package. It provides you with enhanced tools that will assist you in creating a professional-looking presentation. Date: 16 February 9:30am – 1pm
Google Applications (GAPPS)GAPPS are free web-based applications launched by Google which integrates into various cloud-based online tools. Logging into your Gmail account automatically gives you access to Google’s cloud computing service. Google DriveDedicated online storage repository for documents, files and multimedia content. UWC staff members have unlimited access to data storage within this cloud-based repository to store, share and collaborate (documents, audio, videos, files and folders). Google DocsGoogle Docs provides users with enhanced tools that will assist you in creating professional looking documents. The software will allow you to insert graphics and text to enhance your completed documents. A Google Doc can be shared within Google Drive, with multiple users who will be able to update the document simultaneously; as well as at their own convenience. Google SlidesGoogle Slides is a presentation creation software package. It provides you with enhanced tools to create professional presentations. The software will allow you to insert graphics, sound and video to enhance your presentations. A Google Slide (Presentation) can be shared within Google Drive, with multiple users who will be able to update the slideshow simultaneously; as well as at their own convenience. Google SheetsAllows one to enter numerical values or text into a spreadsheet. These numerical entries can be used for calculations, graphs, and statistical analysis. Sheets are used to retain data that can be updated. A Google Sheet can be shared within Google Drive, with multiple users who will be able to update the spreadsheet simultaneously; as well as at their own convenience. Date: 23 February 9:30am – 1pm

**Colleagues wishing to participate in these interventions are encouraged to apply on-line. Find the attached online application process.

** iEnabler Link:

Email: for queries related to scheduled training sessions. Looking forward to seeing you in our training sessions.

Tel: 021 959 4101

Fax: 021 959 2031


Venue: Google Hangouts

TIPS for Lecturers: What to consider when setting up online examinations

It is important that you consider the following tips when you develop online exams.

Setting up and selection of exam question types     

 TIP 1: Use ‘Upload File’ Question Type

  • It is advised to make use of ‘File Upload’ question types within Tests and Quizzes that provides a student time to type it out on a text editing document and upload it in the system.
  • The test is still timed and requires students to complete within a specific time-frame
  • This allows for a file upload question to be added to a new or existing assessment. This question type presents a question or assignment that requires the user to upload a file.

TIP 2: Short Answer Essay Question Type

Please note that the ‘Short Answer Essay’ type requires students to be online for a specific time-frame. Should they lose connection they will lose their answers if they have not saved.

**To avoid many student requests to re-open tests and students losing their typed submissions, it is advised to avoid this question type.

** If you choose to make use of this question type, the students are advised to

·        Type answers in a text document first; and

·        Copy and paste it within the text editor in iKamva.

 TIP 3: Assignment Submissions

·        The Assignment eTool enables students to view and download the exam paper which can include short and/or long answer questions.

·        Students are able to formulate their responses and upload the saved document within the specific time-period.

·        This enables assignments to be checked via (Tii) automatically

·        You are able to bulk-download the submissions, mark it offline (using track changes in Word) and upload graded assignments with feedback comments to students.

TIP 4: Take- Home Exams linked to Turnitin (Tii)

·        A ‘Take-home’ exam can be created making use of the ‘Assignment’ eTool

·        Make use of the ‘Single File Upload’ submission type

·        Turnitin only generates a report from a single file  

TIP 5: Timed Assessments/Exams

  • If a timed test is created, you should allow the student to have sufficient time to access and settle. Hence an extended ‘open and close time’ setting is advised.
  • Example: If a test is 45 minutes, the opening and closing time-period should be set for at least 60 minutes. This gives students with different access and data capabilities enough time to login and begin the assessment 
  • Do not tick the “Autosubmit save students’ work after the latest date” option if a test is timed.

Please contact CIECT to discuss and advise with the creation of your online examinations in advance.