The Laptop Project
UCT Laptop Project
In 2010, a project to enable flexible learning through ICTs (information and communication technologies) was launched at the request of the Vice-Chancellor. It sought to put a laptop into the hands of every student, implement an effective set of support services, and create an enabling environment for the innovative use of ICTs in teaching and learning.
Various aspects of the project were funded and implemented in 2010 and 2011:
- making UCT a wireless campus
- installing lecture recording technology in selected teaching venues
- making low cost laptops available to UCT students through the national Student Technology Programme (STP)
- enhancing support for students’ use of ICT
In April 2012, the SEC considered a report on the project, noted that there was no doubt about the place of technology in enabling teaching and learning and supported a plan to conduct a pilot with first year courses in Physics (PHY1004W), Law (RDL1008/9H), and Chemical Engineering (CHE1005W), and a second year course in Architecture (APG2039W).
The pilot began in 2013 and has been running since then. The project investigated laptop use from several perspectives including campus infrastructure, student experience and the role of laptops in teaching and learning. The research and evaluation component of the study gathered feedback on laptop use from academics and project staff at regular project team meetings, interviews with lecturers and students, observations in lectures and training sessions, focus groups and student surveys.
Here are some project outputs thus far:
Brown, C. & Pallitt, N. (2014). Laptops and learning spaces: online, offline and in between. Conference proceedings for the 9th International Conference on Networked Learning. Edinburgh: Scotland.