Teaching with emerging technologies
in higher education:
facilitating a short course across institutional boundaries
University of Cape Town
University of the Western Cape
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
o Challenges facing SA HE
• Why we did it
o Shared challenges across
• What we did
o Conceptualisation of the module
o Designing for 21st century
o Theory-based framework
o Description of Case Study
• What we learnt
o Cloud-based tools over LMS
o Design for flexibility
o Design for meaningful learning
• Analysis of
o Positive/Negative participant
• Did we
• Ongoing work
Mission: Four institutions convening a single module for educators
drawn from these institutions with a shared goal of modeling teaching
with emerging technologies to improve teaching & learning practices.
Challenges facing SA HEIs
• Too much time wasted in reinventing the wheel - in Silos
• Best practices are 'locked up' in walls and not shared
Why we did it
Objective: to create a conducive learning space where
participants could be free to share ideas and
experiences with peers and facilitators from other HEIs.
What we did
Conceptualisation of the
Approach: As a practice-based module, participants were
encouraged to focus on their own practice in their respective
disciplines, think about their students' learning needs, and to develop
practices that they could apply/use with their students.
Learning for use, learning for relevance
and learning to change how I currently
teach - situated learning (Brown et al., 1989)
Designing learning for 21st
Challenge: Participants from diverse disciplines had a shared
challenge of designing meaningful learning for 21st century learners
We did not want to teach colleagues but
wanted them to learn, not to learn
about tools but how to teach with tools
We de-emphasised teaching to foreground
learning and de-emphasised tools and
Meaningful learning and interaction
Theory: a tightly coupled relationship between pedagogical model (learning
objective), learning strategies (activities) and pedagogical tools
(appropriate technologies) is required for meaningful learning (Adapted from:
Description of case study
Description of Case Study
Institution 2011 2012 Total
UWC 8 8 16
CPUT 3 3 6
UCT 3 3 6
SU 6 7 13
Total 20 21 42
Challenge: four institutions, four LMSs!
Case Study 1: a LMS of one institution was used.
Reviewed and adjusted.
Case Study 2: focus was on cloud-based tools.
Case Study 1:
All four participating institutions each had a different
LMS which meant that for some participants:
i) the LMS was new to them,
ii) experiences might not be meaningful in their respective
Case Study 2:
We decided to focus on cloud-based tools. So re-
designed to model best practices for empowering
educators on teaching with emerging technologies.
What we learnt quickly
Generic tools become pedagogical tools when wrapped around pedagogy and learning strategies
How we designed for flexibility
Flexible design of module's building blocks
Designing for meaningful
Adapted from: Dabbagh (2005)
We used this approach to facilitate
the module, participants used it to
design learning for their students.
The application of the framework by
participants was assessed. In the next
slides, we present how participants
appropriated it (framework) for their
Analysis of results 1/2
Observation 1: Student engagement + participative creation of content + using Wikispaces =
meaningful learning (ml)
Observation 2: Collaborative learning + development of e-portfolios + Facebook group = ml
Analysis of results 2/2
Observation 3: foster interaction + peer assessment + blogs = ml
Observation 4: improve attention span + interact with peers & content + polleverywhere = m
Observation 5: enhance collaboration + collaborative writing + wiki = mll
Technology was less emphasied and largely
"For me it was a firsthand experience using a network-
communication environment. I found it greatly engaging
and there were so many valuable comments made
online that really helped to shape my assignment ...
which, I believe would not all have been forthcoming in a
Learning through reflection on practice
I had never really spent so much time reflecting on my
teaching and what I'm doing in the lecture room. It was a
great and sometimes a sobering experience. I just did
not find the blogs too helpful to write the assignment.
A typical example of foregrounding learning through emphasing practice
Some educators didn't like being lectured to
I did not like the focus on the first day on
pedagogy and the use of jargon. While I do
like the focus on the best use of a tool for
learning rather than the learning, not having
previously been exposed to pedagogy
(despite 15 years of teaching) I found this put
me off a lot.
I loved how you guys designed the structure of the entire
course ... how each exercise led to next and eventually
each exercise combining into a finished tool combined
with a thought out assignment ... excellent , Although I
did not notice this on the first day ... it eventually was like
a little adventure ride :)
participants also reported on integrating what they had
learnt into their own practice
Did we achieve the modeling of
Still being learnt is how...
....to explore an effective collaborative model for
designing and facilitating inter-institutional modules that
minimizes possible intellectual tensions yet
fostering collegiality and expansive
knowledge sharing community.
• Policies that discourage inter-institutional
competition and encourage collaboration are
• Cultures that values and recognises innovative
teaching and learning are required
• Uses of ET for transforming T&L ought to become a
strategic goal for institutions
• Funding, evaluation and reward for inter-institutional
educational initiatives that promote innovative
pedagogical practices must be sought
Anderson, T., & McGreal, R. (2012). Disruptive Pedagogies and Technologies
in Universities. Educational Technology & Society, 15 (4), 380–389.
Bozalek, V. & Boughey, C. (2012) (Mis)Framing Higher Education in South
Africa. Social Policy & Administration, 46(6):688-703.
Bozalek, V., Ng’ambi, D. & Gachago, D. (in press) Transforming teaching
with emerging technologies: Implications for Higher Education
Institutions, South African Journal of Higher Education
Brown, J. S., Collins, A. & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the
culture of learning Educational Researcher, 18 1, 32-42.
Dabbagh, N. (2005). Pedagogical models for E-Learning: A theory-based
design framework. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and
Learning, 1(1), 25-44.
Veletsianos, G. (2011).
Designing Opportunities for Transformation with Emerging
Technologies.Educational Technology, 51(2), 41-4