Dentistry Faculty: Blended Learning Arrangements [planning & design prior and during Covid-19 pandemic/national lockdown]

Lecturers across the Dentistry Faculty have created 87 online modules during the 2020 academic year. The CIECT team engaged in various sessions with the lecturers and offered departmental training and presentations to the Dentistry lecturers on the effective selection of eTools; the design and development of interactive online environments aligned to their specific module learning outcomes

 ‘Lessons eTool’: Structured and scaffolded approach

Lecturers were advised and skilled to effectively make use of the ‘Lessons’ tool to develop and structure learning content according to specific topics/themes; required readings and lecture presentations. This design promoted a scaffolded learning approach which aims with preparation for tests and practical and theoretical tasks.

Instructional Strategy & Alignment

The CIECT team shared the template for the development of an ‘Instructional Strategy’, whereby a lecturer is guided on the alignment of content, outcomes, assessment; and the selection of eTools. The CIECT team also shared the guide in relation to the design of a basic, interactive online environment; and show-cased a well-designed online environment (March 2018).

The team assisted lecturers to design and develop their interactive online modules, including: overview, units, outcomes, content, prescribed readings, assessments and reflections. Thus, the students are able to work through the learning content systematically as each learning unit described what the students were expected to do. 

Reflection sheet

Students were required to complete a ‘reflection sheet’ at the end of each learning unit via an embedded Google Form, where they could discuss any issues; illustrate achievement of learning outcomes. The ‘reflection sheet’ allowed lecturers to easily access and analyse students’ responses; and therefore, could identify student learning needs in real-time.

Formative Assessments and Question Pools

Lecturers continued to make use of the ‘Tests and Quizzes’ tool to create eAssessments for formative assessments. The tests can be set up making use of question pools, which allows for the random selection of test questions and answers. Assessment activities are linked to the Gradebook where students are able to view all grades achieved for online assessments.

Instructional videos: Student orientation

CIECT’s Instructional YouTube videos were embedded within the online environments in order for students to become familiar with the online platform: access, navigate and engage within the Learning Management System, iKamva.

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