Centre for Learning Technologies
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Launch of a new e-book on the development as a digital learnerhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8672Launch of a new e-book on the development as a digital learnerGermaine Tahor<p>A new open access book,  written by Prof Wim van Petegem, Dr JP Bosman, Miné de Klerk and Dr Sonja Strydom, looks at what it takes to become a digitally agile scholar. The manual explains how academics can comfortably navigate the digital world of today and tomorrow. It foregrounds three key domains of digital agility: getting involved in research, education and (community) service, mobilising (digital) skills on various levels, and acting in multiple roles, both individually and interlinked with others.<br></p><h2>Overview</h2><p>Aft​er an introduction that outlines the foundations of the three-dimensional framework, the chapters focus on different roles and skills associated with evolving as a digital scholar. There is the author, who writes highly specialised texts for expert peers; the storyteller, who crafts accessible narratives to a broader audience in the form of blogs or podcasts; the creator, who uses graphics, audio, and video to motivate audiences to delve deeper into the material; the integrator, who develops and curates multimedia artefacts, disseminating them through channels such as websites, webinars, and open source repositories; and finally the networker, who actively triggers interaction via social media applications and online learning communities. Additionally, the final chapters offer a blueprint for the future digital scholar as a professional learner and as a “change agent” who is open to and actively pursues innovation.<br></p><p>Informed by the authors’ broad and diverse personal experience, Evolving as a Digital Scholar offers insight, inspiration, and practical advice. It equips a broad readership with the skills and the mindset to harness new digital developments and navigate the ever-evolving digital age. It will inspire academic teachers and researchers with different backgrounds and levels of knowledge that wish to enhance their digital academic profile.”</p><p>Access the book at <a href="https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/50918">https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/50918</a><br></p><p>​<br></p>
Digital multitasking sends our brains into overdrivehttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8599Digital multitasking sends our brains into overdriveSonja Strydom, Elmien Sinclair & Christa Koch<p>​Increased pressure being placed on our cognitive abilities and continuous exposure to digital technologies affect employees’ attention span. ​<br></p><p>The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and how we communicate with our colleagues. Many people around the world were forced to work remotely at some point or another making use of different digital technologies. It is well documented that online platforms paved the way for immediate access to institutional resources and knowledge as well as constant interaction with colleagues.</p><p>Despite the affordances and many positive outcomes associated with the ability to be in constant contact with colleagues, the potential problems of the increased ubiquitous nature of digital technologies should be critically considered. The notion of digital wellbeing is coming to the fore as a subject of possible concern and renewed focus. Ironically, the rapid rise and sophisticated development of digital technologies can contribute to our general health and wellbeing, but the opposite is also alarmingly evident. </p><p>Digital wellbeing asks employees to be aware of their personal relationship and work-life balance in an all-encompassing digital environment. Aspects such as our ability to successfully negotiate information overload, digital workload and continuous digital distractions are some of the attributes that are expected of well-rounded employees. Digital wellbeing furthermore speaks to individuals’ understanding of the potential risks associated with being constantly connected. </p><p>One of the activities that we are increasingly involved in because of numerous hours in front of computer screens, is multitasking. Although we often equate such practices to sufficiency and good organisational skills, some scholars argue that the ability to multitask effectively does not really exist. </p><p>For example, in <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/za/blog/creativity-without-borders/201405/the-myth-multitasking" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">The Myth of Multitasking Nancy Napier</strong></a> makes the point that we actually switch between activities within a very short time span, which equates to increased pressure being placed on our cognitive abilities and resources. Another worrying aspect is that continuous exposure to digital technologies could potentially have an effect on employees’ attention span. </p><div class="advads-dc047247c60a281013a8ad2a36b2234f advads-para-5" style="box-sizing:border-box;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;color:#222222;font-family:georgia, times, "times new roman", serif;font-size:18px;background-color:#f0f0f0;"></div><p>The fast-paced, just-in-time environment inhibits our ability to concentrate and focus on single tasks in the necessary depth and detail. Access to laptops, smart devices, email, the internet, social media and so forth, contribute to our brains working in overdrive. </p><p>Furthermore, those employees that spend excessive time in front of their devices start to experience side-effects such as neck and back pain, strain on the eyes and disrupted sleep patterns. Productivity could be impacted due to constant interruptions and distractions of notifications and could influence the work-life balance of employees. Although social media was a mediating tool in connecting us with colleagues and loved ones during prolonged periods of isolation and lockdown, these platforms could also result in continuous access to marketing campaigns, disturbing news and withdrawal from physical contact with loved ones. </p><p>The continuous bombardment with information through digital device use could potentially lead to what Larry Rosen calls an idisorder. In his book,<a href="http://drlarryrosen.com/books/idisorder/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" style="text-decoration:underline;"> <strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us</strong></a> (2012), Rosen argues that an idisorder is not a demarcated diagnosed disorder with a list of clearly indicated symptoms. Rather, it is “something fluid enough to be unique to every particular person”. The assumption is made that overexposed digital technology use could potentially trigger or manifest psychological symptoms that are latent in individuals.</p><p>Employees who experience flourishing wellbeing, however, manage to focus on personal growth, meaning making and drawing on mindful daily encounters with our digital devices. They manage to create a carefully crafted balance between regular exercise, balanced meals and quality sleep patterns. </p><p>Given all the dire warning signs, organisations should try to raise a sense of awareness of the importance of finding a balance between employees’ engagement with digital devices and practices, and a life void from such distractions and interventions. One such way is to underline the importance of flourishing. </p><div class="advads-708c9fc078ddce87dbf2685bbc6ccbee advads-paragraph-10" style="box-sizing:border-box;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;color:#222222;font-family:georgia, times, "times new roman", serif;font-size:18px;background-color:#f0f0f0;"></div><p>In the APA Dictionary of Psychology (2015), Gary VandenBos explains that flourishing refers to a state of optimal wellbeing and denotes good mental and physical health. This state can be reached by focusing on the areas of mental health, physical health, productivity, relationships, general wellbeing and digital citizenship. Employees should be encouraged to prioritise these different aspects in order to aim for a state of flourishing in a digitally mediated world. </p><p>Clearly, many of the above-mentioned aspects remain the responsibility of the individual and require a level of agency to be constantly aware of the positive and negative effects of the digital in our lives and work spaces. Raising awareness of the potential dangers and the necessity to objectively and carefully consider employees’ relationship with digital devices and its effects, could enhance our general sense of wellbeing, encouraging us to manage information and disruptions and to also connect as far as possible beyond the digital screens. It is all about the right relationship with our digital devices.​<br></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0" style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;font-size:13.3333px;background-color:#ffffff;"><a href="https://mg.co.za/opinion/2021-09-21-digital-multitasking-sends-our-brains-into-overdrive/" target="_blank"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0" style="">Source: Mail & Guardian,​ 21 September 2021</strong></a></span>​<br></p><p><br></p>
The CLT: Guidance and support in the integration of learning technologieshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8544The CLT: Guidance and support in the integration of learning technologiesElzette le Roux<p>​​​<br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">South African higher education teaching, learning and assessment in the digital age creates both opportunities and challenges. At the Centre for Learning Technologies (CLT) we strive to inspire the meaningful, innovative and socially just use of digital technology for student learning at Stellenbosch University (SU). Read more to find out what guidance and support the CLT offers in the integration of learning technologies at SU.  ​<br></p><h2>The CLT: Guidance and support in the integration of learning technologies</h2><p> <span style="text-align:justify;">Teaching, learning and assessment in the digital age within the South African higher education context create both opportunities and challenges. One example of an opportunity is the ability to continue with the academic project at Stellenbosch University (SU) amidst the emergency and/or augmented teaching and learning circumstances. During ERTLA, we had to draw on pedagogies relating to a fully online mode of delivery – a not so familiar space in the SU context. During these times, and especially now in ARTLA contexts, many lecturers could draw on knowledge gained from previously engaging in </span><a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/Modes-of-delivery.aspx" target="_blank" style="text-align:justify;text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">blended learning</strong></a><span style="text-align:justify;"> as mode of delivery at SU (i.e., the pedagogically sound utilisation of digital learning technologies, combined with the integration of a variety of learning and teaching methodologies and the best features of face-to-face interaction) to navigate the unfamiliar terrain of fully online learning. Another example of an opportunity created by the digital age within the South African higher education context, is </span><a href="https://hybridlearning.sun.ac.za/" target="_blank" style="text-align:justify;text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">hybrid learning</strong></a><span style="text-align:justify;"> as a mode of academic delivery at SU. This mode of delivery makes higher education accessible to students for whom the cost of full-time residential studies is unaffordable.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Despite rapid exposure to online learning during the pandemic, it can remain an unfamiliar and even daunting space for students and lecturers alike. Often, students in higher educational institutions are mere passive receivers of information and not active creators of knowledge (Nilsen, 2018). Some lecturers might have experienced students refraining from participation when lecturers push for more active engagement and collaboration. Students refraining from engagement in such circumstances could be due to feelings of anxiety and/or feeling too stressed out to take part (Nilsen, 2018). The use of learning technologies can potentially lead to feelings of disconnect, fear and anxiety amongst students and lecturers. These feelings often result in lack of engagement by students or asking for help, feeling alone or lonely, anxiety of failure, looking stupid or missing out (Nilsen, 2019). In return, lecturers could experience their own anxiety or doubt their own teaching abilities when students don't engage in the digital learning spaces, drop out or just “disappear" from our digital teaching and learning spaces. It also highlights the importance of <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8487">digital wellbeing</a> (Koch, Sinclair & Strydom, 2021), and collaborative engagement on creating safe spaces that allows for academic and social integration by students in their multidimensional contexts (Do Carmo Nicoletti, 2019) where students (and lecturers) can learn, develop and transform.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">At the Centre for Learning Technologies (CLT) we strive to inspire the meaningful and innovative use of technology for learning at Stellenbosch University (SU). This implies <em>inter alia </em>strategic leadership, guidance and support in the integration of learning technologies at SU to ensure that lecturers are supported to critically engage with learning technologies in the curriculum. At the CLT we provide <a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/Professional-Learning-Opportunities-%26-Resources.aspx" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">professional learning opportunities</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">, </strong><a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/Professional-Learning-Opportunities-%26-Resources.aspx" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0" style="">resources</strong></a> (provided by the <a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/ADR.aspx" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">Academic Development & Research</strong></a> [ADR] offering at the CLT) and <a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/LTS.aspx" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">learning technology support</strong></a> (offered by the <a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/LTS.aspx" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">Learning Technology Support</strong></a> [LTS] offering at the CLT) that could guide and support lecturers in the integration of learning technologies in their teaching, learning and assessment practices. In addition, lecturers can also make use of <a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/Operations.aspx" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">services</strong></a> provided by the CLT such as streaming of interactive lectures / tutorials, video productions or multimedia services provided by the <a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/OTP.aspx" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">Operations</strong></a> (OTP) offering of the CLT.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Visit the <a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">CLT webpage</strong></a> for further information on guidance and support in the integration of learning technologies, contact the <a href="https://learn.sun.ac.za/mod/page/view.php?id=1444359" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">Blended Learning Coordinator</strong></a> in your faculty or contact any of the CLT <a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/Consultations.aspx" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">advisors</strong></a> for a consultation.</p><h2>References</h2><p style="text-align:justify;">Do Carmo Nicoletti, M. (2019). Revisiting the Tinto's Theoretical Dropout Model. <em>Higher Education Studies, </em>9(3), pp. 52-64. Retrieved September, 02, 2021 from <a href="https://doi.org/10.5539/hes.v9n3p52" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">https://doi.org/10.5539/hes.v9n3p52</strong></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">  </span><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0"> </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Koch, C., Sinclair, E. & Strydom, S. <em>Entering the world of Digital Wellbeing</em>. Retrieved August, 25, 2021 from <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8487" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0"><strong>http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8487</strong></span></a></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Nilsen, G. (2018). <em>Masterplan to Differ and making all students feel safe.</em> Retrieved June, 12, 2021, from <a href="https://medium.com/differchat/masterplan-to-making-all-students-feel-safe-1babe68a3941" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">https://medium.com/differchat/masterplan-to-making-all-students-feel-safe-1babe68a3941</strong></a></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Nilsen, G. (2019). <em>Digital Learning Arena. BI Norwegian Business School in collaboration with EdTech Foundry 2015-2019. </em>Retrieved June, 12, 2021, from <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zWqNz2n3AaKOdhHFxJHnFQdxdeUnr754/view" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zWqNz2n3AaKOdhHFxJHnFQdxdeUnr754/view</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">  </strong>​<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Creative Commons Licenses: understanding the licences and the SU contexthttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8545Creative Commons Licenses: understanding the licences and the SU contextElzette le Roux<p>​When creating content for our courses and/or modules in the digital learning environment (but not limited thereto), other people's creativity and knowledge, for e.g., literary, dramatic and artistic works are often used in addition to one's own work. When creativity and knowledge, that are available as an open access resource, are used, the question is often raised – what are the copyright and/or other legal implications, if any, when using these open resources? Visit the <a href="/english/learning-teaching/learning-teaching-enhancement/learning-technologies/Pages/Creative-Commons-Licenses.aspx" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">CC-page</strong></a><strong> </strong>on the CLT website for more information on the Creative Commons licenses and the Stellenbosch University context in relation thereto.<br></p>
Launch of student digital wellness e-bookhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8487Launch of student digital wellness e-bookDr Sonja Strydom<p>​<span style="text-align:justify;">​​​The </span><span style="text-align:justify;">Centre for Learning Technologies (CLT) and the Centre for Student Counselling and Development (CSCD) collaboratively developed an interactive open-source online publication titled </span><em style="text-align:justify;">Entering the world of digital wellbeing</em><span style="text-align:justify;">. </span><span style="text-align:justify;">The purpose of this resource was to raise awareness of the importance of digital wellbeing and to consider our relationship with digital devices and the internet. This is of particular relevance in the current situation where most of our daily encounters are via some form of digital platform.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Three staff members of the two centres, namely Dr Sonja Strydom (CLT), Dr Elmien Sinclair (CSCD) and Ms Christa Koch (CSCD) were involved in the creation of this e-book. The e-book consists of three main sections, namely:</p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li><em>an</em> <em>introduction to digital wellbeing</em>;</li><li><em>self-image, identities, and online relationships</em>; and</li><li><em>managing the role of digital technology in your life</em>.</li></ul><p>This e-book offers an interactive and exploratory journey and aims to equip the readers with knowledge and skills needed to take responsibility for their wellbeing in a digitalised world.</p><p> </p><p>An introductory video can be accessed at <a href="https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https://bit.ly/DWIntroVideo&data=04%7c01%7c%7c5c3837aed6ef43150ade08d9621b86ab%7ca6fa3b030a3c42588433a120dffcd348%7c0%7c0%7c637648692622003521%7cUnknown%7cTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7c1000&sdata=xfuVmq5yRXrJfCkBEJgY9F1KFIM8zowt6kgqvdluozg%3D&reserved=0" target="_blank">https://bit.ly/DWIntroVideo</a></p><p>The online booklet can be accessed at <a href="https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https://bit.ly/DWeBook&data=04%7c01%7c%7c5c3837aed6ef43150ade08d9621b86ab%7ca6fa3b030a3c42588433a120dffcd348%7c0%7c0%7c637648692622013469%7cUnknown%7cTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7c1000&sdata=jLDUVjCV6SpXrUtWYoBskaxyC6IjfIt56eNGNaof0sA%3D&reserved=0" target="_blank">https://bit.ly/DWeBook</a>  <br><br></p>
A day in the life of: Dr Renelle Terblanchehttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8230A day in the life of: Dr Renelle TerblancheElbie Els / Photographer Stefan Els<p></p>During her high-school years, Renelle Terblanche dreamt of becoming a Matie. Years later, she achieved that goal. Today, she is a proud alumna who uses her skills to help advance teaching and learning at Stellenbosch University (SU).<div><br>Terblanche is a hybrid-learning coordinator (HLC) at SU's Centre for Learning Technologies (CLT).</div><div><br><p>In the month of Workers' Day, we feature some of our staff and their part in keeping the wheels turning at our institution. Terblanche told us more about her work at the University.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>What is your role at SU?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">I coordinate hybrid-learning offerings by working as a project-level liaison with the relevant academic departments, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) design team, and other stakeholders. I contribute to the initial curriculum and pedagogical planning phase, followed by hands-on coordination of online learning design. Then I also work closely with the hybrid-learning project manager to prepare for the implementation of individual offerings. This involves liaising with technical, administrative and academic environments to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>What does a typical day at work look like?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Staying true to the hybrid nature of our projects, our team follows the same approach at work. I enjoy going to the office every now and then for meetings, to brainstorm with the hybrid-learning team, or to use the big whiteboard to plan. But most of the time, we work remotely, which is helpful if I need to put my head down and focus on a difficult task. Microsoft Teams does stay open for some GIF sharing, to provide or receive a motivational push, or to vent if it's a difficult day. While I enjoy all aspects of my role, my favourite activity is the quality assurance and evaluation of an offering before it is rolled out to students or participants.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>How did your education or past experiences prepare you for this job? </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">My journey with SU started in 2009 as a first-year BA Social Dynamics student. In 2012, I commenced with my postgraduate studies in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, where I tutored for several lecturers. As I became more embedded in my research field of Environmental Sociology (focusing specifically on human-wildlife conflict), I started work as a part-time research assistant, did consultation work, and lectured part-time in the Department of Conservation Ecology.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">As part of my tutoring and teaching experience, I have always been interested in how to make content more engaging for students, encourage them to exercise self-study, and how to use technology more interactively, while at the same time reducing lecturers' workload.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>What do you enjoy most about your role and working at SU?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">I am privileged to work with a close-knit team who share a vision and are dedicated to the same mission: to enhance hybrid learning at SU. I enjoy helping team members if they need my assistance, but also helping those outside the core team, such as lecturers. This role also allows me to work across faculties and disciplines. At high school already, I dreamt of becoming a Matie, and now I truly am a proud Matie!</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The pandemic has changed the way we work and live. What keeps you motivated during these times?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Making to-do lists helps me stay focused. Nothing is as satisfying as ticking off tasks. Other major motivators are to make my parents proud … and that I need to work to go on my next holiday!</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Tell us something exciting about yourself that few people would expect?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">I am such a big music fan that the wheels of my bakkie never start turning before my playlist is playing … even if I'm just taking a drive to the shops.​</p><p>​<br></p></div>
Lived experiences, unique contexts of students important in online teachinghttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8208Lived experiences, unique contexts of students important in online teachingSonja Strydom & Miné de Klerk<p>​​​​A humanizing approach that considers the lived experiences and unique contexts of students can help facilitate online learning and teaching, write Dr Sonja Strydom (Centre for Learning Technologies) and Miné de Klerk (Division for Teaching and Learning Enhancement) in a recent article for <em>University World News</em>.</p><ul><li>​Read the article below or click <a href="https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20210425103306239"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>for the piece as published.</li></ul><p><strong>S</strong><strong>onja Strydom & Miné de Klerk*</strong> <br></p><p>The COVID-19 pandemic had particularly adverse repercussions for <a href="https://acjol.org/index.php/jassd/article/view/jassd_v3n2_3"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Africa</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">'</strong>s education sector. Whilst online education providers were generally<strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0148296320303830"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>better positioned to adap</strong></span><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">t​ </strong></a>to periods of national and international lockdowns, the entire higher education landscape was affected by the unavoidable necessity to re-think ways of educating, researching and working in general. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In South Africa, as in many emerging economies, tertiary institutions have increasingly been adopting digital technologies as mediating tools for learning, teaching and assessment. Therefore, once the pandemic struck, some universities had a form of institutional support infrastructure in place to enable periods of remote learning. Despite the potential preparedness of institutions that had access to financial resources to support blended learning, issues such as <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42438-020-00187-4"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">accessibility and different learning and work experiences</strong></a> were observed. These matters were, as expected, only heightened during universities' emergency shift to emergency remote teaching (ERT). The sudden period of ERT has also necessitated a continued awareness of the need for a humanizing approach to learning and teaching – especially in the digital era. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As with many other South African HEIs, we at Stellenbosch University (SU) aimed to <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7283"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">address these emergency issues</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>by attempting to securing mobile data for students, loaning laptops to those that required them and assisting both academics and students in offering targeted webinars focusing on a range of topics such as the rethinking of online learning activities, demystification of data light resources and being responsive to student inputs in the online space. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Such an awareness of a humanizing approach was also one of the recurring themes in many of the chapters of a collaborative <a href="/english/learning-teaching/ctl/Documents/6Nov.Responding%20to%20the%20necessity%20for%20change.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">open educational e-book project</strong> </a>at SU where academics and colleagues from SU's Division for Teaching and Learning Enhancement were invited to share their reflective experiences in terms of teaching, learning and assessment during lockdown. The reflections of teaching academics showed that they found themselves wanting to gain a better understanding of the lived experiences and unique contexts of their students, as they endeavoured to connect with their class across the boundaries of digital devices and the digital divide.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">It should be pointed out that the notion of humanizing pedagogies is not unfamiliar to those interested in especially the work of Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire who tried to understand the social world from a student perspective. In a recent <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XebtjmW6-3U"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">webinar</strong></a>, Prof Denise Zinn from Nelson Mandela University pointed out that humanizing pedagogies attempt to underline a “consciousness and understanding of the socio-political, economic and historical context and its impact on people, as well as a commitment on the part of educators to the transformation of unjust and inequitable conditions in that context".  These principles are, arguably, even more valuable in a historical moment of large-scale digitalisation in higher education. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, as Drick Boyd <a href="http://libjournal.uncg.edu/ijcp/article/view/1055/892"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">reminds</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>us, Freire's pedagogical concepts were developed in a pre-digital era where a situated pedagogy formed the basis of his work. Freire's observations of learning and teaching occurred in a shared place, and in person. In contrast, the virtual classroom involves remote communication, mostly via smart devices.  How, then, can the principles of Freire's work be translated to the digital learning environment? Boyd's guiding framework could be a potential starting point to address this question. He highlights the key principles of Freire's work that can serve as a generative lens for educators interested in adopting a humanizing approach to the facilitation of online learning. These principles include the recognition that problem-based learning, dialogue, embodied learning and democratic access to information aids a transformative education. </p><p><strong>Moving forward </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">There is still much to explore about the core principles of humanizing pedagogies in a digital learning environment. There are also merits to the critique that the key principles of Freire's work cannot fully be applied to the virtual classroom context, since his theories were formed in relation to a classroom context that fundamentally shifted. We are, for example, still grappling to understand how social proximity and rich dialogue – both enablers of a humanizing educational approach – can be facilitated in the context of fully online learning. A further question remains how such an approach also translates into the unique circumstances of African-based HEIs. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">These questions, however difficult, form part of <a href="https://www.iol.co.za/news/opinion/it-is-possible-to-build-a-post-covid-19-future-today-aea94388-efc8-4a92-8eb2-0b58be08ca14"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">a period of reflective institutional learning </strong></a>at SU. To sustain this trajectory of critical reflection for practitioners and scholars, we cannot lose sight of the fact that learning, whether augmented through digital technologies or not, remains a process of <em>human</em> transformation. A humanizing perspective could therefore add value to our expanding understanding of how we can, or rather should facilitate online learning. </p><p>  <strong>*Dr Sonja Strydom is the Deputy Director (Academic Development & Research) at the Centre for Learning Technologies at Stellenbosch University. Miné de Klerk is a Hybrid Learning Project Manager in the Division for Teaching and Learning Enhancement at the same institution. This article is based on their chapter in </strong><strong><em>Responding to the necessity for change: Higher Education voices from the South during the COVID-19 crisis</em></strong><strong> (2020).</strong></p><p>​ </p><p><br></p>
PowerPoint: A Self-Help Guide. Improve your skills at your own pace.https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8155PowerPoint: A Self-Help Guide. Improve your skills at your own pace.Lucille Müller<p>​<span style="background-color:#ffffff;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";font-size:14px;">I</span><span style="background-color:#ffffff;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";font-size:14px;">mprove your PowerPoint skills through this </span><strong style="color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";font-size:14px;">self-paced and self-guided SUNLearn course</strong><span style="background-color:#ffffff;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";font-size:14px;"> </span><span style="background-color:#ffffff;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";font-size:14px;">that provides tips for all levels – from beginners to more experienced users.</span></p><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;">Starting with an overview of PowerPoint and how to populate a presentation quickly and easily, this course also looks at useful presentation tips and design issues to help you create compelling presentations that capture the attention of your audience. </p><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;">With ten topics to choose from you can <strong>start with what is most relevant to your current needs </strong>and learn at your own pace! <br></p><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;"></p><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;"><font color="#25293f"><span style="border-style:initial;"><a href="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/More%20about%20the%20topics.pdf" target="_blank" style="color:#25293f;"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/15/images/icpdf.png" alt="" style="border-style:initial;max-width:100%;width:0px;margin:5px;" /></a></span></font><span style="color:#25293f;text-decoration-line:underline;"><a href="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/More%20about%20the%20topics.pdf" target="_blank" style="color:#25293f;">More about the topics.pdf</a><a href="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/More%20about%20the%20topics.pdf" target="_blank"></a></span><br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gyt6uQutOjs" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;"><br></p><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;">INTERESTED? <strong><a href="https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Azv6pjwKWEKEM6Eg3_zTSMCsB-1KPKdBoDpsXSoC1S9UMDhVWkxEUTFGR1lVMUozVjlHMTlHMVowVy4u" target="_blank" style="color:#25293f;text-decoration-line:underline;">Sign up here</a> (SU staff members only)</strong></p><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;">ANY QUESTIONS? Please contact the facilitator:</p><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;">Lucille Müller at <a href="mailto:Lm2@sun.ac.za?subject=PowerPoint:%20A%20Self-Help%20Guide" target="_blank" style="color:#25293f;text-decoration-line:underline;"><strong>Lm2@sun.ac.za</strong></a><br></p><p><br></p>
Book launch: Responding to the necessity for change: HE voices from the South during the COVID-19 crisishttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7811Book launch: Responding to the necessity for change: HE voices from the South during the COVID-19 crisisNicoline Herman​<strong>​​​​Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement Book Launch: Responding to the necessity for change: Higher Education voices from the South during the COVID-19 crisis</strong><p><br>During the closing session of the <a href="http://www0.sun.ac.za/sotl/" target="_blank">Stellenbosch University virtual 2020 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) conference</a>, Dr Antoinette van der Merwe (Snr Director Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement) introduced delegates to a recently published online book entitled <a href="/english/learning-teaching/ctl/Pages/Short-online-publications.aspx" target="_blank">Respondingto the necessity for change: Higher Education voices from the South during the ​COVID-19 crisi</a>s edited by Drs Sonja Strydom, Nicoline Herman, Hanelie Adendorff and Ms Mine de Klerk from the Centre for Learning Technologies and the Centre for Teaching and Learning. </p><p>The chapters in the book are authored by professional academic support staff and teaching academics and describe their experiences around educational challenges and opportunities during the first semester of the COVID-19 period.  The book attempts to offer honest, reflective insights into the scholarly and practical activities of a proportion of staff members involved in the continuous support of sound teaching, learning and assessment (TLA) practices during this period of emergency remote teaching (ERT). The authors celebrate lessons learned, but also aim to build on identified opportunities for change and further critical reflection.</p><p>Authors were invited to reflect on their contextualized experiences during the first semester by asking the following questions based on the framework of Rolfe, Freshwater and Jasper (2001): What, So-What and Now-What? It was furthermore suggested to the authors that they align their chapters with the <a href="/english/learning-teaching/ctl/Documents/7Oct2020.DeLTA%20Framework.pdf" target="_blank">Designing Learning, Teaching and Assessment (DeLTA) framework</a>. The framework was conceptualized by the CTL in its mandate of supporting lecturers with their teaching function. ‘DeLTA’ is the acronym for this process and framework, but ‘DeLTA’ is also the mathematical symbol for change and is represented by Δ. </p><p>Two overarching themes serve as key threads across all the chapters. Firstly, a reframing of the notion of change can be observed – from merely a disruption to an invitation to adapt and respond to emerging and discomforting conditions in the context of TLA. Each chapter illustrates how the COVID-19 crisis in some way triggered a necessary change, whether this manifested as a new perspective, a developed professional practice or the implementation of a new TLA approach.</p><p>Secondly, the notion of ‘care’ underpins the narrative of nearly every chapter. The authors reflect on highly collaborative and iterative processes of finding new and practical solutions in the ERT period whilst ensuring that they maintain their awareness of sound pedagogical principles and compassion for peers, students and themselves.</p><p>Institutional role-players who may not have worked closely together prior to the pandemic describe how they became increasingly dependent on one another’s professional expertise and knowledge domains. They had to invite a larger number of voices and consider other staff members’ and students’ lived experiences more attentively in order to balance the  implementation of practical solutions with the shared objective to maintain the quality of SU’s academic offering. </p><p>Consequently, the chapters reveal a heightened awareness of the need at SU for a professional academic support approach that is firmly rooted in empathy and a TLA philosophy that draws on a pedagogy of care. </p><p>The book is published under a <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" target="_blank">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License</a> and is freely available. Click on the picture of the cover page below to access the book: <br><a href="/english/learning-teaching/ctl/Pages/Short-online-publications.aspx" target="_blank"><img alt="Responding.jpg" src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Responding.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:154px;" />​</a><br></p><p>Reference:<br></p><p>Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D. & Jasper, M. (2001). Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: A user’s guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.<br></p>
SU uses GoPro camera as educational tool during surgeryhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7828SU uses GoPro camera as educational tool during surgeryCorporate Communication and Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking<p>GoPro cameras are not just excellent for capturing high-speed sports, outdoor adventures activities and mind-blowing performances. They could also be used as an educational tool for surgery students.<br></p><p>This is one of the main findings of a recent study at Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p>“Wearable GoPro cameras allow recordings of surgical procedures from the surgeon's view for additional educational purposes. These recordings could be used as supplemental material towards self-learning and revision by students and to build video libraries for research and assessments as well," says Prof Karin Baatjes from the Division of Surgery in SU's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. She and Alex Keiller from SU's Centre for Learning Technologies, Alwyn Louw* from SU's Centre for Health Professions Education and Marietjie van Rooyen from the University of Pretoria assessed the feasibility of using the GoPro HERO camera to record operations at Tygerberg Academic Hospital for educational purposes.</p><p>The findings of their study were published in <a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/Clinical%20teacher,%20point%20of%20view.2020.pdf"><strong>The Clinical Teacher</strong></a> recently.</p><p>Baatjes says there is a need to review surgical training and to seek innovative educational alternatives.</p><p>“Resources for training of the surgical operative technique are limited. These include limited training time, variable exposure to procedures during the clinical rotation and inadequate opportunities to review procedures outside of the operating room. Furthermore, the trainee's view of the procedure differs from that of the operating surgeon.</p><p>“We therefore decided to evaluate the GoPro camera in real-time operating room circumstances to determine its practicality as an education adjunct for surgery.</p><p>“These devices are small, lightweight, robust, and are wearable or mountable on objects. It captures high-definition videos through a wide angle lens that enables surgeons to record procedures with ease in any operating room and consultation room for minor procedures."</p><p>Eight operations were performed by three surgeons who wore a head-mounted GoPro camera and the recordings took place during operative procedures on the standard weekly theatre lists to avoid impeding workflow and compromising theatre time or the patients' condition.</p><p>According to Baatjes, the recordings allow trainees a procedural view from the surgeon's perspective and do not interfere with sterility, the duration of procedure nor the operating room environment.</p><p>“Clinical personnel encountered no interference with operative sterility, procedural length, nor functioning in the operating room. Technically, the quality and picture field were adequate.</p><p>“The recording of surgical procedures on the GoPro camera as an educational adjunct is practical and user-friendly, and does not impair clinical patient care. The videos have cross‐discipline potential for teaching within medicine."</p><p>Baatjes says the recording is done in MP4 format and therefore usable on various platforms.</p><p>She emphasises that even though the videos can be used as supplemental material towards self-learning and revision by students, they should not replace active participation in operations.</p><p>Baatjes mentions that some of downsides were that surgeons found the camera head band too tight and the camera heavy. The battery required recharging in between prolonged cases. </p><p>“Not all operations were suitable for recording and not all patients provided consent for their procedures to be documented, leading to a small series of videos."</p><p>Baatjes says newer models of the camera are lighter and have prolonged battery life, which would alleviate the problems encountered during the study.</p><p>She adds that in the next phase they will focus on implementing the teaching videos in the surgical curriculum.</p><p>*<em>Dr Alwyn Louw sadly passed away recently</em>. <em>Click </em><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7783"><strong><em>here</em></strong></a><em> for a tribute by SU</em>'s <em>Centre for Teaching and Learning</em>.​<br></p><ul><li><strong>Source</strong>: Baatjes KJ, Keiller AV, Louw AJ, Van Rooyen M. <em>Point-of-view technology to teach surgery</em>. <a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/Clinical%20teacher,%20point%20of%20view.2020.pdf"><strong>The Clinical Teacher</strong></a>. 2020;00:1–5. https://doi.org/10.1111/tct.13272 ​<br></li></ul><p><br></p><p><br></p>