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Leveraging technology to prepare graduates for a technology-driven future

1 Mar 2017 - 08:15

Dr Max Price, Vice-Chancellor of UCT recently attended the Global Universities Leaders Forum at the World Economic Forum to discuss how different universities are leveraging technology to prepare graduates for a technology-driven future. 

In an opinion piece, Let's flip the varsity classroom and step into the digital future in the Mail & Guardian Dr Price elaborates on various technology-focused initiatives from UCT, including the:

  • Personal Mobile Device Project (PMD) -  A Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) funded project that aims to investigate how the “financial investment of a PMD, whether on the part of a university or on students themselves, can add value to the teaching and learning experience.” The project also aims to explore how access to these PMDs “enables greater flexibility and effectiveness of teaching and learning in the higher education sector both in and outside the classroom”.
     
  • Blended learning - A way of teaching that combines traditional classroom methods with digital media. He uses the example of the “flipped classroom” where a first-year statistics course was delivered online with face-to-face workshops. This approach led to a significant increase in student results. The course also received an Apereo Learning and Teaching Award (ATLAS) 2016.  
     
  • Laptop project - A four-year pilot project which evaluated the learning and teaching benefits enabled where all students had a laptop. From the pilot it was evident that there were significant learning benefits both inside and outside the formal classroom. Based on the success of the pilot project UCT has decided to provide all first-year undergraduate students on the National Students Financial Aid Scheme with laptops in 2017. 

Students who received the laptop noted that it “was a real blessing because it made my life so much easier”. These and other benefits are captured in video interviews conducted amongst students who participated in the pilot.   

For details of the full report and recommendations from the pilot click here.

For the full story click here