Centre for Learning Technologies
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Research

The Centre for Learning Technologies promotes an evidence-based approach in terms of the integration of learning technologies in learning and teaching practices.  The following academics are currently involved in blended learning projects within their faculties:

ECONOMIC & MANAGEMENT SCIENCES

Title: Transforming Economics 144 away from traditional teaching towards student centred learning: A teaching and learning innovation

Faculty: Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences

Department: Economics

Short abstract: The aim of this project is to pilot a reshape of the Economics 144 module to become truly student centred and aligned with the graduate attributes of the university. We aim to show that cooperative problem-based learning is possible (and in fact more successful than the traditional approach) for large class groups in economics by flipping the classroom (of two of the six lecture groups) in 2014 – incorporating high and low technology in a blended learning approach to facilitate and enhance engagement and monitoring attendance, participation and progress of students.

Project Leaders

Dr L Nieuwoudt (lnieuw@sun.ac.za)
Ms O Ezeobi (olivia@sun.ac.za)  

EDUCATION 

Title: Utilising the e-portfolio during teaching practice as a reflection strategy within a blended learning approach: Reflections from a case study within a South African context

Faculty: Faculty of Education

Department: Curriculum Studies 

Short abstract: The team is experimenting with the notion of an e-portfolio to try and achieve a narrative of regular reflections of student teachers in schools during their 12-week teaching practice. The purpose of the e-portfolio is to enable education students to reflect on the various elements of their experiences in a structured way and to collaborate online by developing a community of practice. Twelve students were identified to participate and were provided with tablets and data bundles. They were placed in different school contexts, namely both rural and urban settings.

Project Leaders

Prof A Carl (aec2@sun.ac.za)
Prof PAD Beets (padb@sun.ac.za)
Dr SC Strydom (sonjas@sun.ac.za)   

 

Title: An investigation into the use of an online subject dictionary for the Faculty of Education in undergraduate studies.

Faculty: Faculty of Education

Department: Curriculum Studies

Short abstract: The project focuses on initiating a pilot project to develop an online subject dictionary for the faculty's undergraduate students. A questionnaire focusing on the needs and perceptions of BEd I students regarding such a subject dictionary has been completed by 100 students via their cell phone. Currently the data is being analysed.

Project Leaders

Dr M van der Merwe (michelevdm@sun.ac.za)
Prof C van der Walt (cvdwalt@sun.ac.za)

 

Title: The impact of a process and competency-based e-portfolio project for isiXhosa exit level modules: A preparation for accountable service.

Faculty: Faculty of Education

Department: Curriculum Studies

Short abstract: This study explores the impact of process and competency-based e-portfolios as an exam project for two isiXhosa exit level modules. Twenty students participate in the project throughout the academic year through a guided practice where explicit integrated outcomes and assessment criteria are explained right from the onset. In addition, technical support is provided for effective manipulation of technology. This is an endeavour to craft teacher-trainees that reason deeply about what knowledge is relevant and the rationale for choices of activity for isiXhosa first/second language instruction.

Project Leaders

Ms P Kese (phumla@sun.ac.za)
Dr SC Strydom (sonjas@sun.ac.za)

 

Title: WhatsApp® as tool to support blended model teacher professional learning short courses:  A pilot study

Faculty: Faculty of Education

Department: Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP)

Short abstract: The team is experimenting with the notion of using WhatsApp groups to establish collective, supportive, communities of practice in their blended learning Teacher Professional Learning programmes where facilitator-participant support evolves into peer-peer support between participants. Participants in the programmes are in-service teachers.  WhatsApp was chosen as data costs are minimal and the teachers were already comfortable with using it socially. One group of 31 students was identified to participate and their four SUNCEP facilitators as well as their Curriculum Advisor from the WCED, was added to a WhatsApp group.

Project Leaders

Ms PW Hanekom (pwh@sun.ac.za)
Ms E Hoffman (ehoff@sun.ac.za)
Mr AG Fair (affair@sun.ac.za)
Ms DC van Graan (danelda@sun.ac.za)
Dr M Ndlovu (mcn@sun.ac.za)

 

Title: Improving opportunities for feedback and sharing: Experiences of Mathematics Education students during school practicums and the Count-Me-In service learning project through the use of wiki's & Animoto

Faculty: Faculty of Education

Department: Curriculum Studies

Short abstract: The aim of the project is to improve opportunities for feedback and sharing of experiences of Mathematics Education students during school practicums and the Count-Me-In service learning project for 4th year students through the use of blended learning. Wiki's are used as tools to foster student reflection through feedback, questions and discussion. Reflections of fourth year students on how their experiences in the Count-Me-In service learning project influenced their planning and lesson presentation during school practice are shared with. On completion of the project, students present reports of their work at a debriefing meeting attended by the sponsor, principals, teachers, subject advisors, students and staff. The presentations include short videos using photos, video clips and music to demonstrate skills, and give evidence of specific teaching strategies during the service learning project. 4th year students gained self-confidence and a better understanding of learners' development of counting skills and number concept.

Project Leader

Dr H Wessels (hwessels@sun.ac.za)

LAW

Title: Investigation into the use of Turnitin as developmental tool

Faculty: Law

Short abstract: The Law Faculty has recently focussed on how Turnitin can be used as developmental tool to support an ethos of academic integrity from first year onward.

​Project Leader

Prof J Coetzee (jcoet@sun.ac.za)

MEDICINE & HEALTH SCIENCES 

Title: The use of technology in the teaching and learning of procedural skills in Health Professions Education

Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Science

Department: Medicine/ Centre for Health Professions Education

Short abstract: The Clinical Skills Centre component of the Early Clinical rotation module was revised in 2014. Our research focuses on the staff and student perceptions of one of the components of the new format as well as student learning with regard to the module. This project aims to train staff to provide individualised, verbal feedback on student-generated videos of a procedural skill and explore the perceptions of staff and students of a blended learning approach as well as their motives and strategies for learning a procedural skill.

Project Leaders

Ms L Keiller (lkeiller@sun.ac.za)
Ms E Archer (elizea@sun.ac.za)

 

Title: Enhanced Podcasting the MBChB Lectures

Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Science

Department: Health

Short abstract: This project, funded by SURMEPI, allows students to use recorded lectures both on and off-campus for revision and to increase understanding of materials. We are currently using Camtasia Relay to capture what is displayed on the screen as well as record the lecturer's voice for most MBChB lectures. This gets converted into a video file which we make accessible to students via a dedicated content management system that is available to all students in the faculty. There are currently over 3,500 podcasts which cater to all 2,600 medical and allied health students. The potential benefit for students, and the funding provided by SURMEPI has allowed us to employ support staff and the technology needed for this project.

Project Leaders

Dr S Walsh (walsh@sun.ac.za)

Prof M de Villiers (mrdv@sun.ac.za

MILITARY SCIENCE  

Title: Key Concepts Vidcasts 

Faculty: Faculty of Military Science 

Department: Educational Technology 

Short abstract: The FMS is one of a number of Faculties with both residential and distance students.  One of the challenges in learning design is therefore to develop materials which are beneficial to both groups of students.  The use of short vidcasts which are created by lecturers to explain key concepts in courses was piloted during a recent FINLO project in the FMS.  In a 2013 survey conducted as part of a different FINLO project, the student response to the use of these vidcasts was overwhelmingly positive.    Once the vidcasts have been created, edited and digitised they are uploaded to SUNLearn as well as YouTube for student access.  This enables students to watch these videos in their own time and go over them as often as needs be in order to understand concepts correctly.

Project Leader

Noelle Cowling (noelle@ma2.sun.ac.za)

 

Title: Faculty of Military Science Open Education Resources Web Portal 

Faculty: Faculty of Military Science 

Department: Educational Technology 

Short abstract:  This project is the first step is towards creating the FMS Open Educational Resources web portal which is an exciting project to showcase our work and make teaching resources available to a wider audience. It is an initiative which supports the DHET OER goals and seeks to improve the quality of the FMS teaching material through its public nature.  The portal will support teaching and learning from first year level through to doctoral level.  It will also act as a curation platform for key presentations by lecturers as well as podcasts, video clips and other material will be archived and curated on this portal for use by students here and elsewhere. 

Project Leader

Noelle Cowling (noelle@ma2.sun.ac.za)

 

Title: Clicking to improve student participation in class.

Faculty: Military Science 

Department: Language and Culture and Military Management

Short abstract: The purpose of the project is to improve student participation in class. Activities range from opportunities to develop argumentative skills, uploading arguments to SUNLearn and identifying areas that need improvement. This is followed by a clicker exercise where students grade sampled arguments provided by the lecturer. Students then submit their improved version of their own arguments on SUNLearn.

Project Leader

Lt Col Monnanyane (a_monn@ma2.sun.ac.za)

Dr G van Zyl (gerhard@ma2.sun.ac.za)

Ms Mhaka Khoza (lindiwe.khoza@ma2.sun.ac.za)

 

Title: Enhancing student engagement through feedback and feed forward.

Faculty: Military Science

Department: Military Management and Language and Culture

Short abstract: The lecturer provides individual feedback on students' first submission of their assessment activities and vodcast the generic feedback without allocating grades. In the second stage, students will use Blog to explain how they used feedback on the first stage to improve their work. In pairs, students will share their experiences by indicating the important lessons that they have learned and what they would like to carry forward in improving their assignments. In those pairs they comment on each other's lessons.

Project Leaders

Lt Col Monnanyane (a_monn@ma2.sun.ac.za)

Dr G van Zyl (gerhard@ma2.suna.c.za)

Ms Mhaka Khoza (lindiwe.khoza@ma2.sun.ac.za

THEOLOGY 

Title: The integration of learning technologies and alignment of graduate attributes 

Faculty: Theology

Short abstract: The faculty of Theology are busy with a systematic enrichment of their MDiv Programme with a focus on innovative uses of learning technologies as well as a focus on aligning their programme outcomes with SU's Graduate Attributes project. A lot of focus is on SUNLearn and how the tools can be utilised to improve student engagement as well as aspects of assessment (more variety and quicker feedback).

Project Leaders

Prof I Nel (ianell@sun.ac.za)

Dr JP Bosman (jpbosman@sun.ac.za)

CENTRE FOR LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES

Title: An exploration into the use of mobile technologies for learning: a senior student perspective

Short abstract: The study explores the practices and experiences of senior students at Stellenbosch University in terms of mobile technologies in learning. Particular emphasis is placed on student learning strategies and their existing levels of digital literacy.

Project Leaders

Dr JP Bosman (jpbosman@sun.ac.za)
Dr SC Strydom (sonjas@sun.ac.za)