If you're considering attending one of the stand up blocks, then you're in for an enthusiastic presenter with a wonderful idea, tool or app to share.
Learning how to learn: encouraging students to reflect
Stand-ups – 10+5min
Fourie, Carla; Winfield, Jimmy
Students are required to submit answers to weekly tutorial questions. They tend not to mark or even revisit that work. As a result, students are missing a golden opportunity to learn when and how they make mistakes, and then tend to repeat the same errors. This happens despite their being committed to the course and feeling that they are working hard. We will be sharing an account of a current initiative in mainstream and EDU first-year Financial Reporting designed to encourage students to reflect on their past work. In so doing, they learn from their errors, take responsibility for their learning, and develop a tool to acquire knowledge for themselves, rather than simply being passive recipients.
Reflection; Feedback; Active learning
Bringing mindfulness into the classroom
Stand-ups – 10+5min
After the protests at the end of 2016, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could change my teaching to create a safe, nurturing space for my large, diverse, first-year mathematics class. I concluded that one of the most useful things I could do is to give my students the tools to focus and quieten their minds and emotions, and so I decided to include two minutes of mindful breathing meditation at the start of each class. The response from my 200 students has been overwhelmingly positive, and I have noticed that as a class they have a longer attention span than my previous 8am classes. In this talk, I’ll discuss how I introduced mindfulness to my students, how I run the meditation, and the things I’ve noticed in myself and my students as a result of the daily practice.
Graduate attributes; Mindful teaching; Creating safe spaces
Video/ shared Screen app
Stand-ups – 10+5min
Have you ever wanted to produce screencasts but lacked having the required software or the technical know-how? Well, now you can with CILT's web-based recorder!
CILT has developed an easy-to-use web based desktop, webcam and microphone recorder. It enables you to produce recordings of narrated Powerpoint/Google Docs slides, narrated PDFs, or any other desktop application of your choosing.
With the click of a single button, your video productions can be upload to UCT's Lecture Recording system, linking directly to your Vula sites for student consumption.
It has never been easier to produce lecture videos within the comfort of your own home or office, or even while on the run.
Video; Mobile learning; Shared devices
Integrating Digital Literacy into pre-service teacher education: developing videos for flipping the classroom
Stand-ups – 10+5min
Campbell, Ed; Kapp, Rochelle
Building on the notion of embedding digital literacy in a specific context, two teacher education videos will be developed by Ed Campbell in 2017. These videos will be used as additional resources in English teacher education at UCT. They will form important resources for students who are lacking confidence, but will also have a much wider reach to pre-service teachers elsewhere and in-service teachers. They will be closely aligned to the current English school curriculum (CAPS), will engage critically with the affordances of technology in the English classroom and will provide important modelling of what can be done within the subject area. Currently, there are no such models in South Africa.
The two videos will be integrated into the current digital literacies for English teachers curriculum, taking the form of a flipped classroom. Students will be expected to watch the videos (lasting 4 to 7 minutes each) before attending class. During face-to-face class time, students will have the opportunity to discuss the videos. Based on Campbell's research and experience since the project’s inception, it is believed the videos’ situatedness in the English classroom will stimulate deep critical engagement. From this modest beginning, it is hoped that an extensive YouTube channel covering more topics aligned to the English school curriculum will be developed, hopefully expanding the project to other school subjects also.
digital literacy; teacher education; integrating video for a flipped classroom
Audio Tours in Anatomical Pathology
Stand-ups – 10+5min
The Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Cape Town is home to the Pathology Learning Centre (PLC). This learning centre houses hundreds of specimens, displaying unique and interesting pathology. An understanding of Pathology is essential for the practicing clinician and macroscopic pathology specimens have been shown to aid student learning. Students however, may find it daunting to enter the museum and examine specimens unguided. In an era of e-learning, technology was used to fill this gap, without excessively infringing further upon the teaching and clinical workload of senior Anatomical Pathologists.
In an effort to aid Anatomical Pathology understanding in the undergraduate medical curriculum and increase the visibility of pathology specimens; Audio Tours were designed to showcase key specimens. Audio Tours are already ubiquitous at art and history museums internationally. Inspired by this, and a similar effort in Pathology at Leiden University in the Netherlands; Audio Tours were created for the PLC. These Audio Tours consist of audio narrations which guide students through a particular pathology specimen. The aim was for audio tours to align with the current PBL case, as well as the upcoming assessments. Students were asked to give feedback following the Audio Tour, in order to glean an understanding of their experience, as well as gain their valuable suggestions for improvements moving forward.
Several Audio Tours were created, and with each iteration, minor improvements were made. This Audio Tour project was extremely well received and increased the profile of the PLC amongst undergraduate medical students. Although much effort remains before this learning activity is perfected, it is the hope that it may serve as a model for similar learning projects that can be conducted at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, within the Department of Pathology or elsewhere.
pathology; technology; audio
One Button studio
Stand-ups – 10+5min
The move towards online and blended courses comes with some challenges one of which is the high cost of quality lecture recording outside of a lecture theatre.
CILT Digital Media Unit is launching a "One Button Studio" which cuts out the need for academics to have video and editing skills. Essentially it is a studio where recordings of lectures and courses can take place with a few easy steps.
Nawaal Deane who is head of this studio will be giving you a sneak preview into the One Button Studio and how academics can benefit from this innovative teaching tool.
One button studio; Video; Lecture recording
Automatic Grading on Paper
Stand-ups – 10+5min
The course MEC2025F has approximately 200 students. It is a course on Solid Mechanics taught to second year Mechanical Engineering students. In previous years, tutors would grade tests which are written three times during the semester. The grading level is not uniform with some tutors giving a different grade to nominally the same answer with the same working. A tutor’s times can better be spent helping students than marking a large number of tests. A second problem is that the students often do not know what their understanding of the work is between tests which can lead to poor test performance.
A third problem experienced in the course is inadequate attendance at tutorials. According to a questionnaire to students 59% of them feel that doing tutorials is the most effective method of them learning. An attendance register is distributed to try and control attendance but students sign for each other which undermines this process.
To address these problems weekly multiple choice tests are given. These tests are generated with open source software called "Auto Multiple Choice". The software generates a pages with both questions and answer blocks which the student fills in. The conditions for the test taking were often not ideal as the venues were packed to capacity with students sitting right next to each other. The questions are not necessarily in the same sequence on each copy of the question paper and answer options in each question are also rearranged. This acts as a deterrent to students copying which mitigates the cramped conditions in which they write.
The test can be created directly through the software but using manipulating the Latex code on which it is based allows better control of the software parameters and greater customization. Students were identified through their PeopleSoft number which 7 digit identifier unique to each student. The tests given were conceptual with a few questions at the end of the test which required some working.
The student’s grade (or lack thereof) will be used as an indication of whether the student has attended the tutorial (or not). This obviates the need for an attendance register.
Another method of implementing multiple choice is using an online system. Each student would need a computer and it’s difficult to get a computer lab for 200 students to do it in one session. Another option of letting students do it in their own time is not conducive to plagiarism free work. The actual problem of poor attendance during tutorials is not addressed using an online system.
Assessment; Tutorials; Open Source Software
Teaching history and theory through uncertainty
Stand-ups – 10+5min
The second-year History and Theory of Architecture course focusses on Modern Movement Architecture that is traditionally dominated by western examples and theories. In the past I relied on the few examples in the global south that have been well documented to add to the examples from which the students could learn about this movement.
To increase the number of southern examples the students are exposed to, I have been working on an idea that involves collaboration from the students. The idea is that together we will work on collecting as many southern examples as we can find, regardless of how well these have been documented. With their help, I will set up an inventory of southern examples of modern movement architecture that they can use to study the movement and as precedent for their own design work. Working with poorly documented examples however places the students in a position of uncertainty. They are unable to extract the lessons to be learnt if they cannot find scholars who have theorised the work.
I plan on using two strategies to overcome this problem.
One is to mix the global south examples that I do have material on, with western examples so students get familiar with those examples that are well documented, to see what that looks like and to reinforce the ability of southern examples to stand up to western ones.
The second strategy is to get them to work in groups, making sure each group has a member who has some connection with a country from the global south, even if they just speak one of the languages from a southern country, for example. The challenging part of the work is to get the students to find information to add to the inventory. Starting from who they are, where they are from, we will select countries or cities for which they have some affinity. They are to act as detectives to discover information about buildings in their targeted area of interest and start communicating via email or telephone, with academics and leaders of the area to request information. In this way, I hope to set up a network of people who can provide us with further contacts until we find who has plans and photographs of the buildings we would like to study in this course.
This investigation could constitute one third of the examples the students must work on. The other two thirds will be drawn from examples that have been well documented and therefore provide an anchor or stable ground for the students to learn through.
Mixing up certainty with uncertainty would be the crux of the strategy for building capacity for change in the classroom and the curriculum.
uncertainty; collaborative learning; networks
A data sprint approach to teaching research methods
Stand-ups – 10+5min
The proposed paper presents a data sprint approach to teaching research methods. The data sprint approach is modeled on hackathons, short events where a group of developers and designers convene to work intensively to produce a digital product. It requires scholars from different disciplines who work together to produce a ‘quick and dirty’ research result. At the centre of the data sprint approach is the idea of eliciting engagement and the co-production of knowledge. This paper presents and reflects on how a media studies research class utilised the data sprint approach to explore spatial inequality in Cape Town, in collaboration with the NGO Reclaim the City.
Three groups of postgraduate students in an Honours and Masters research class explored 3 aspects of the media’s role. We conducted a print media content analysis, interviews with activists, and a social media analysis. Classes took the form of standard lectures combined with workshop based activities; and students immediately put into practice the research techniques taught. The research result was presented in a public showcase event, and will be written up for presentation at a local conference in September 2017.
This data sprint approach to teaching represents a unique approach, where students are encouraged to be completely ‘hands on’, and ‘learn through doing’. Moreover, it encouraged collaborative and peer learning while using technology (e.g. google forms, shared google documents, social media analytics tools etc).
Our data sprint teaching style allowed a multi-method approach to capture the richness of the city’s media ecology; and resulted in public knowledge.
data sprint; media research; methodology
Creating digital content through Xerte
Lee Pan, Sam; Jackson, Seta
Interactive digital materials can help scaffold online learning, yet often the software used to create these materials requires technical expertise or license costs. Xerte is an online content authoring environment freely available for UCT lecturers or students, and allows you to create digital materials through a basic form-based approach. It is used to create digital learning resources through embedding images, videos, presentations, quizzes, etc. into a learning object. This can be shared on your Vula site, through link on a website, or offline.
What opportunities does Xerte provide?
Some UCT examples of content created in Xerte include: Turnitin for UCT Postgraduate Students, Vula guide for new UCT students and A-Z of First Year Support. There are a broad range of different elements (page types) offered through Xerte, see list here and demo’d here. Xerte can also support student-generated content such as ePortfolios. For more information, see this guide on Getting started with Xerte at UCT. Xerte is part of the Apereo Foundation which supports international open source tools used in higher education, and currently exists as a pilot hosted by the Learning Technologies Team at CILT
Keywords: Digital content, Quizzes and interactivity, Decision trees, Open-source software, Offline access