Asynchronous Teaching supplemented with Synchronous/LiveSessions: Cognisant of student access, environments and experiences

Students are accessing iKamva from various geographical regions. All students are exposed to different home environments; and experience different technical and connectivity issues. Hence it is important for lectures to continue to teach effectively via asynchronous methods (students access at different times across various regions). You are able to supplement your online environment with ‘live/synchronous’ sessions. However we have to remain cognisant of the different user experiences and challenges.

During the national lockdown, CIECT shared examples of good practices whereby lecturers were able to teach remotely. The CIECT team advised on Asynchronous teaching methodologies, supplemented with synchronous/live sessions:

Below are some examples of good practices shared with the campus community:

Lecturers Clement Nyirenda and Louise Leenen, in collaboration with their Tutors have created an online structured module for the 2nd year students. Pre-recorded videos (structured presentations) were uploaded into the ‘Course Resources’ eTool. In addition, Tutorials; and Practical exercises and solutions were added to the eTool.

Lecturer Carole Bloch from the Faculty of Education, teaching English Home Language (ELT 311) makes use of social learning via WhatsApp and iKamva to support her students. This format of learning embraces the #NoStudentWillBeLeftBehind campaign. The lecturer schedules synchronous meeting times with each group of students which consists of eleven groups. Information is shared with the students that have challenges connecting to the internet and that have no devices.

Lecturer Gavin Maneveldt has been making use of various teaching methodologies to enable his students to actively engage online:

o   Narrated PowerPoint Presentations of 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.

o   Structured online environment with interactive lesson pages: Weekly activities/tasks; A checklist per weekly activity that guides students through content and tasks; Embedded Learning Science simulations

o   Dropbox for student for to upload and share activities, within iKamva (private file sharing space between lecturer and student)

Education Lecturer Intisar Etbaigha hosts structured lessons for first year module (FAL 101), which were segmented according to weekly discipline specific topics. A reading corner was developed in the online space, which is aimed at motivating students to read different literature pieces and then share their feedback within the Discussion Forum. In addition, Narrated PowerPoint Presentations were developed and embedded for each lecture.

Sociology Lecturer, created discussion topics for student and tutor engagement and online assessments. The discussion forum has been structured to allow for the following engagements: Content related discussions; Tutorial submission and discussion; Discussions with other students; and Administrative Questions.

Industrial Psychology lecturer, Tololupe Balogun enabled her 1st Year Industrial Psychology 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.

EMS Faculty Lecturer, Salo Moodley has created an online environment to support teaching, learning and assessment practices for her 1st year Academic Literacy for Business students (ALB 131). A number of assessments were conducted via iKamva’s Assignments tool, allowing students to submit their work remotely and enabled immediate tracking of non-submissions. Major assignments were checked for originality using the iKamva’s Turnitin integration, which enabled students to resubmit their work up to 4 times in order to develop their writing and referencing skills.

Lecturer Dr. Bradley Rink, has created an interactive online environment for his 1st year GES (Human Geography) 111 students. Structured Lesson topics were divided according to weekly topics (scaffolded approach). Students were also provided with links to required pre-lecture readings.

Science lecturers have embedded the Learning Science Simulations for each term within their online structured environment. Students can access Pre-Lab Simulations from any geographical location: Safety Features and Hazards Dressing for the Lab Graduated Cylinders, etc. The CIECT team advised the Department regarding the design and development of a structured online environment, rather than mere uploading resources into an online space. Hence, this module entails: Overview; Course Outline; Prelab Simulations; Announcement; Discussion forums; Assignments and Tests and Quizzes.

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