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Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)
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Emerging technologies in Higher Education - A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners (pdf download)

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  • 1. > A guide for Higher Education practitioners CHERYL BROWN & DANIELA GACHAGO (EDS) NOVEMBER 2013
  • 2. > A guide for South African Higher Education practitioners
  • 3. Editors: Cheryl Brown University of Cape Town Daniela Gachago Cape Peninsula University of Technology Contributors: Lucy Alexander University of the Western Cape Judy Backhouse University of the Witwatersrand Vivienne Bozalek University of the Western Cape Agnes Chigona Cape Peninsula University of Technology Janet Condy Cape Peninsula University of Technology Noelle Cowling Stellenbosch University Andrew Deacon University of Cape Town Lorraine Fakude University of the Western Cape Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams University of Cape Town Eunice Ivala Cape Peninsula University of Technology Igor Lesko OpenCourseWare Consortium Veronica Mitchell University of Cape Town Dick Ng’ambi University of Cape Town Roshini Pillay University of the Witwatersrand Michael Rowe University of the Western Cape Alette Schoon Rhodes University Simone Titus University of the Western Cape Kathy Watters University of the Western Cape Graphic design / layout: Lara van Otterlo, lara@evolve-graphics.co.za This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Acknowledgements: We would like to thank the National Research Foundation for the funding that made this project happen; all the researchers and PhD students who took part in this project and added their invaluable insights, experiences and time to make this project a success; the many passionate educators who completed our survey and gave up their precious time to be interviewed.
  • 4. Contents Abbreviations 02 Foreword 03 Introduction: About this guide 05 Emerging technologies in South African HE 06 About the project ‘Emerging ICTs in Higher Education’ 08 Overview of emerging technologies case studies 10 Emerging tools and technologies used 11 Emerging technologies case studies 15 Emerging technologies for authentic learning in HE 38 General guidelines for effective practice when using emerging technologies in HE 44 Further reading on ‘Emerging ICTs in Higher Education’ NRF research project 48 Bibliography 49 > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 01
  • 5. Abbreviations: CDS CJ Citizen journalists CPR Calibrated peer review CPUT Cape Peninsula University of Technology DST Digital storytelling UFH University of Fort Hare HE Higher education HEI Higher education institution ICTs Information and communication technologies LMS Learning management system MOU Maternal obstetric units INGO International NGO NRF National Research Foundation OCWC OpenCourseWare Consortium OER Open Educational Resources RML Rip-Mix-and-Learn project RU Rhodes University SU University of Stellenbosch UCT University of Cape Town UWC University of the Western Cape Wits 02 Center for Digital Storytelling University of the Witwatersrand > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 6. Foreword Higher education (HE) worldwide is facing disruption from a global marketplace for online education, especially through the introduction of massive open online courses (MOOCs) that offer free study from world-leading universities. While the long-term effects of these innovations on traditional education cannot yet be predicted, one side-effect is that they are exposing methods of teaching, learning and assessment to public scrutiny. Instead of university teaching being conducted in lecture halls to 100 registered students, it is offered to 100,000 people online and discussed by international media. Is connectivist learning better than direct instruction? Is peer assessment a viable alternative to proctored exams? The questions raised by emerging technologies in HE are as much about new pedagogies as they are about software platforms and business models. Rather than seeing technology and pedagogy as separate domains inhabited by geeks or education theorists, we now need to understand how they might fuse together to transform education. This practitioner’s guide brings to teachers this challenge of developing transformations in education that combine emerging technologies with innovative pedagogies. The extent of the challenge is made clear in the report. There is increasing demand for HE, but diminishing resources. The global marketplace for education undercuts the business model of traditional universities. Students are becoming shoppers for courses. All of this instability comes at a time when there is a need in society to produce graduates with skills in creativity, media literacy, and scientific inquiry. As the guide indicates, South Africa has undeniable needs, and also unique opportunities. Rather than trying to replicate the corporate virtual learning environments of the 1990s, based on a restricted model of instructional design and centralised administration, South African higher education institutions (HEIs) are exploring transformations in learning for a mobile, decentralised and networked world, developing graduates who can contribute to the new knowledge economy and to the social good of the country. From digital storytelling with pre-service teachers, to the teaching of obstetrics through a new dynamic of sharing and reflection, the emphasis is on empowering learners and teachers to resource and manage their own learning, within a technology-enabled community of practice. > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 03
  • 7. The introduction of such learner-networked and teacher-supported practices requires teacher development, to understand and deploy the new combinations of pedagogy and technology, and to ensure that the innovations are safe, structured and productive. This involves a deliberate process of reflecting on one’s own practice, considering students’ individual and collective learning needs, identifying opportunities for transformation, developing new pedagogies that integrate emerging technologies, and engaging in continual monitoring and evaluation of their effectiveness in practice. Many teachers may resist this process for good reason: it requires considerable effort at a time of limited resources, within an education system that has evolved to ensure consistency and to resist external interference. This is all the more reason to celebrate those teachers who are exploring new methods. Whatever the passion and creativity of individual teachers, these innovative practices cannot be scaled up or sustained without the support of senior managers and policy makers – not to enforce change, but to provide a space to innovate. The deepest and longest-lasting success will come from those institutions that can overcome endemic fear of failure, stifling bureaucracy, micro-management, and blocking of non-standard technology, to support and resource small-scale innovations and then find ways to enhance success. The case studies described in this report on emerging technologies in HE are all examples of how learning mediated by technology might transform education. As well as being individual success stories, they are part of a larger narrative of change in HE that empowers learners with new pedagogies to match their personal and social technologies, and situates each HEI within a worldwide movement towards offering open, accessible and inter-connected modes of study. As an open education resource, this practitioner’s guide makes a strong contribution to that global enterprise. Mike Sharples Professor of Educational Technology The Open University September 2013 04 > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 8. Introduction: About this guide ‘Emerging ICTs in Higher Education’1 is a joint project of eight higher education institutions (HEIs) and one international non-governmental organisation (INGO), and is funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF). The study, which started in 2011, aimed to investigate how qualitative outcomes in education can be realised through the use of emerging technologies to transform teaching and learning practices across differently positioned HEIs, in terms of monetary and cultural capital and geographical location. One of the activities of the project has been the documentation of in-depth case studies of educators’ innovative pedagogical practices using emerging technologies, with particular emphasis on those that would be useful and affordable in resource-scarce contexts. As an outcome we have developed this practitioner’s guide of selected case studies available from the end of 2013. This guide provides a brief overview of the South African higher education (HE) context and the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to respond to some of the challenges that the South African HE landscape faces, an introduction to the project, and the key findings that resulted from this project. At the heart of this guide, however, are 11 short case studies, in which educators report on their experiences with introducing emerging technologies in their teaching and learning practices. These case studies are drawn from seven South African HEIs, both resource-rich and resource-poor, from diverse disciplines such as Teacher Education, Nursing and Media Studies, covering a variety of tools and technologies, such as traditional learning management systems (LMSs), but also a wide range of social media applications, such as discussion forums, Facebook groups, Google Drive and blogs, to address a variety of educational challenges. These challenges include: managing large classes, enhancing interaction and collaboration among geographically dispersed students, facilitating critical reflection, developing digital literacy skills or creating safe online spaces to practice professional skills. For an overview of the many tools and technologies used in these case studies see ‘Emerging tools and technologies used’. Authentic learning is then used as a lens to understand how these case studies facilitated a more authentic learning experience for students. A summary of the key points for effective practice emanating from the case studies conclude this guide. We are hoping that this wide choice of applications of emerging technologies will offer the reader valuable insights into the benefits and challenges of adopting innovative and creative ways to enhance teaching and learning in HE, and transfer some of the passion and enthusiasm of these innovators to a wider audience. 1 http://www.emergingicts.blogspot.com > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 05
  • 9. Emerging technologies in South African HE Across the world, changes in HE are driving institutions to explore the use of ICTs to improve their functioning and, in particular, to improve teaching and learning. These challenges include (Johnson & Adams, 2011; Sharples et al., 2012): • Increasing demand for HE together with dwindling resources • Rise of distance education and with it globalisation of education • Changing profile and expectations of students, increase in so-called ‘non-traditional students’ • New ideas on pedagogy and curriculum design • The demand of the ‘knowledge society’ for a different kind of graduate. In South Africa the HE sector faces not only these challenges, but also ones related to the unique circumstances of this country due to its history and current circumstances. Most obviously, South Africa’s racially divided past continues to be reflected in who enrols and who succeeds in HE, as well as in the configuration of public institutions and their resourcing. Due to the historical legacy in South Africa, HEIs are differently positioned in relation to resources and cultural capital, and yet all of them are required to produce graduates who can contribute to the knowledge economy and the social good in South Africa. HE in South Africa is further challenged by a largely dysfunctional public schooling system, high unemployment coupled with a shortage of key high-level skills, and widespread poverty (Council of Higher Education, 2010; Scott, Yeld, & Hendry, 2007). Much has been written about the implementation and support of institutional learning technologies, such as an institutional learning management system (LMS), to address some of the challenges mentioned above and in particular to improve efficiency in administration and teaching and learning in South African HE. Far less work has been done on exploring and engaging with the effective use of emerging technologies in HEIs, such as social media or mobile phones, and how these influence teaching and learning practices in our institutions. Currently institutional approaches to emerging technologies are often characterised by fear, micro-management and blocking of tools, rather than a pro-active engagement aimed at understanding the opportunities these easily available technologies could bring to students and the institution (Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience (CLEX), 2009). However, there is increasing evidence that emerging technologies can have an influence across a range of pedagogical dimensions, from direct teaching to social learning (Sharples et al., 2012). 06 > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 10. While we recognise that the adoption of institutional technologies to enhance teaching and learning is dependent upon institutional resources being allocated to fund, evaluate and reward these innovative pedagogical practices as well as a supportive attitude among senior management, this project confirmed that much of the adoption of emerging technologies currently is driven by the individual passion of academics, and may not be systemic or well supported by universities. These educators take advantage of the increasing availability of technologies creating new possibilities for using these technologies, and as a consequence pedagogical and social practices are continuously being transformed. In this guide we see how practitioners focused on their own practice in their respective disciplines, reflected on their students’ learning needs, and developed practices using emerging technologies which they could apply with their students. It is important to note that in this study, which aims to establish effective teaching and learning practices in our own context, the South African HE arena, we focus less on the tool selected by educators and more on the pedagogical considerations when using technology. In doing so, we are drawing on Veletsianos’ (2010) broad and contextaware definition of emerging technologies, viewing emerging technologies in education as ‘tools, technologies, innovations, and advancements utilized in diverse educational settings to serve varied education-related purposes’ (p.17). > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 07
  • 11. About the project ‘Emerging ICTs in Higher Education’ This practitioner guide forms part of the National Research Foundation (NRF)-funded project entitled ‘Emerging ICTs in Higher Education’2 which was undertaken by researchers from eight HEIs in South Africa and one international NGO (the OpenCourseWare (OCWC) Consortium) during 2011 – 2013. This project emerged out of a call from the NRF for educational research to be undertaken collaboratively by researchers from at least three institutions, of which one should be rural. Researchers in this ‘Emerging ICTs in HE’ project have published widely in national and international journals and presented at conferences (see: Further reading on ‘Emerging ICTs in Higher Education’ NRF research project). The main research findings distilled from this research include: 1. a deeper understanding of how lecturers in South African HE interpret the term ‘emerging technologies’; 2. what technologies educators are using; 3. what makes them use these technologies in their teaching; 4. the impact of this use on students’ learning; 5. a shift of control from lecturer to the learner; and 6. the lack of institutional engagement. 1. Context matters We concluded that, in unpacking what is meant by emerging technologies, context matters. Understandings among university lecturers differ based on the nature of their institutions, access to resources, their disciplines and other group belongings, and their individual motivations. Understandings vary both in terms of what are considered emerging technologies, and what is considered to be innovative uses of technology (Gachago, Ivala, Backhouse, Bosman, & Bozalek, 2013). 2. Can an LMS still be emerging? The project showed that lecturers at South African universities are using emerging technologies in their teaching, but that the rate of adoption varies. There are also similarities and differences compared to the use of emerging technologies internationally: as one would expect, social media, blogging, podcasting or mobile technologies are (for example) technologies that many educators have adopted in South Africa. However, other technologies that have attracted interest in HE, such as Twitter or ePortfolios, are yet to be taken up in South Africa. In particular, bandwidth-intensive technologies such as Virtual Worlds, online games or remote instrumentation are hardly used in our context. Interestingly, a large number of respondents referred to the institutional LMS as the most innovative technology used in their teaching, which reaffirms the highly context-specific nature of emerging technologies. As one of our team members stated: ‘What’s emerging in Paris may be some years off emerging in Parys’ (Bozalek, Ng’ambi, & Gachago, 2013). 2 08 For more information on the project and research outputs see www.emergingicts.blogspot.com > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 12. 3. Passion for teaching and learning The adoption of emerging technologies is driven primarily by pedagogic concerns and, to a lesser extent, by pragmatism and external pressures from institutions, employers and professions, or students. While obstacles to using emerging technology were identified, such as lack of knowledge or skills, this lack of resources was as often as much the force driving the adoption as hindering it. This project confirmed that much of the adoption of emerging technologies is driven by individual passion and is not systemic or well supported by universities (Bozalek, Ng’ambi, & Gachago, 2013; Gachago et al., 2013). 4. We are learning differently – but sometimes it’s also just more of the same Emerging technologies make it possible to teach and learn in new ways. The project provided evidence that emerging technologies can support diverse students’ needs and allow a more personalised, flexible way of learning (Bozalek, Gachago, et al., 2013). On the other hand, the project has shown that the use of emerging technologies does not necessarily lead to better learning outcomes, and in some cases simply reinforces traditional ways of teaching (Ng’ambi, 2013). 5. Power to the learners In some of the cases studied emerging technologies were used to promote collaborative construction of knowledge among lecturers and students through interaction, feedback and reflection. This resulted in shifts in the perception that students have of their own role in learning and in the power relationship between students and lecturers. Affordable and accessible mobile technologies such as Facebook or WhatsApp were found to be effective in increasing access to social learning networks, facilitating both informal and formal learning, and supporting students who are learning in a second or third language (Bozalek, Gachago, et al., 2013; Ng’ambi, Gachago, Ivala, Bozalek, & Watters, 2012; Ng’ambi, 2013). 6. Wanted: Institutional engagement In order to harness the potential that emerging technologies have for improving teaching and learning practices, HEIs would have to consciously develop governance structures and strategic plans for infusing the use of these technologies into institutional life. This would require improved communication between opinion leaders and change agents – such as the passionate educators profiled in this guide – so that practices could be extended from a small pocket of innovation to other educators and students in the institution. It is also important to provide recognition to innovative users of emerging technologies in order to move from innovation to embedded practice (Bozalek, Ng’ambi, & Gachago, 2013). > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 09
  • 13. Overview of emerging technologies case studies The case studies which follow here have been collected as part of the ‘Emerging ICTs in HE’ project and through a collaborative regional staff development short course on ‘Emerging Technologies to improve Teaching and Learning in HE’. These case studies provide a wide range of examples of how educators have integrated emerging technologies in their teaching and learning practices over a wide range of institutions and disciplines. They describe the challenges educators were trying to address with the use of emerging technologies, offer a short overview of the specific intervention and the benefits of the selected tools and technologies, and perhaps most importantly, the key points for effective practice based on both the rewards and challenges of the educators’ experiences using technology in their specific educational contexts. To start with we compiled a brief summary of the tools and technologies used, which in some case studies overlap, even if used in different ways and to respond to different challenges. For further information on the individual tools, links to a course wiki3 are provided, which was created by the 2011 and 2012 ‘Emerging Technologies to improve Teaching and Learning in HE’ course participants. 3 10 http://www.checit.wikispaces.com > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 14. Emerging tools and technologies used Blogs are web-based platforms which allow registered users to post their thoughts, reflections and comments in reverse chronological order. Blogs often function as an online journal, but may be used for knowledge sharing or reflection. They have become popular because of their wide scope for interactivity. Blogs have a comment function, which facilitates a discussion on specific topics among participants. They can be individually authored but also allow multiple authorships, and can be private or public. In both case studies describing blogs, the blog tool used was Blogger4. For more information on blogs see http://checit.wikispaces.com/blogs. [Tool used in Case Studies 5 and 10] Calibrated peer review system (CPR) is a web-based software application that allows students to review and assess each other’s work. It melds the pedagogy of ‘writing across the curriculum’ with the process of academic peer review. This web-based, instructional tool can be used in any discipline with any class size. CPR provides an opportunity to teach students using higher-order thinking skills required in writing and reviewing processes. In a CPR assignment students not only learn their discipline by writing, they also learn and practice critical thinking by evaluating calibration submissions and authentic submissions from their peers. Educators design the assignment and create the calibration submissions and the grading rubric. They also set up the grading criteria for the assignment, weighting the various components in a way that is consistent with the goals of the course, and, finally, handle problems that may arise if there are defaulting students or inconsistent grading. More information about CPR can be found at http://cpr.molsci.ucla.edu/. [Tool used in Case Study 2] Digital storytelling involves a digital story which is a narrated video of a short story (or educational concept) combining personal experiences of the narrator with academic content. This is done by combining recorded voice (telling the story or explaining the concept) with appropriate still or moving images. Music or other sounds can be used to enhance the story and create a tone within the story. These videos are generally 2 to 3 minutes long. The model of creating digital stories applied in the digital storytelling project at CPUT (Case Study 1) is based on the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) workshop model5 and involves weekly workshops in which participants collaboratively develop their stories. Freely available software was used (e.g. Windows MovieMaker6 or Photostory7 for movie editing and Audacity8 for voice recording and editing). The use of media under the creative commons licence was promoted. In Case Study 11 digital storytelling was adopted for a citizen journalism project, which is a term used when people from the community create and post their news stories to social media platforms such as YouTube or Twitter or write comments on an article online. In this case mobile video technology was used http://www.blogger.com For more information on this model see: http://www.storycenter.org 6 http://windows.microsoft.com/en-za/windows-live/movie-maker#t1=overview 7 http://download.cnet.com/Photo-Story-3-for-Windows/3000-12511_4-10339154.html 8 http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education 4 5 I Nov 2013 11
  • 15. Emerging tools and technologies used...continued to capture video footage on personal mobile phones, creating a voice-over recording on Audacity and editing the movie using Windows Movie Maker. These videos were then outputted in a format that could be easily published online, disseminated through DVDs or transferred from one mobile phone to another via bluetooth. For more information on digital storytelling see http://checit.wikispaces.com/digital+stories [Tool used in Case Studies 1 and 11] Discussion forums have been used extensively in online and blended learning scenarios to encourage student communication and exchange. Forums have become a standard tool in institutional LMSs, although lecturers often struggle to engage students in meaningful discussions around course content. Case Study 4 used the discussion forum within their institutional LMS. [Tool used in Case Study 4] Google Drive is an online collaborative working space for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and forms. It enables real-time collaboration, as well as document versioning, highlighting and annotation, offline access and enhanced editing features. Advantages include the facility to modify content at any stage of the process, and the fact that text and images can be added and edited by multiple group members. The automatic saving is a helpful time-saver and offers reassurance to students that their work will not be lost through not saving it in time, thus possibly reducing their anxiety. The products can be shared with others chosen by the group, adding to the sense of ownership of the students. It can also be downloaded. Therefore if permissions are granted, it can be mailed to other people. Collaboration becomes possible and visible. Further advantages that may be useful are that Google Drive can enable feedback comments, instant messaging and notifications via email when changes are made. While Google Drive (indeed, any collaborative editing platform) is not new, in the Physiotherapy (Case Study 3) and Sport Science project (Case Study 7) it was used in an innovative way that challenged current thinking around teaching and learning practices that aim to develop critical thinking in these students. For more information see http://checit.wikispaces.com/document+sharing+%26+online+collaboration [Tool used in Case Studies 3 and 7] Google Groups were originally designed to facilitate web-based or email-based discussions among dispersed users on specific topics. However, more recently Google Groups9 have also become useful as mailing lists for a distinct group of users, such as students and facilitators in a course. The administrator of a Google Group creates a common email address, and invites participants to join this group. Emails sent to this email address will automatically be emailed to all participants linked to this group. For more information see http://checit.wikispaces.com/newsgroups [Tool used in Case Study 6] 9 12 https://groups.google.com/ > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 16. Google Sites10 is a structured web page-creation tool offered by Google as part of the Google Apps Productivity suite. The goal of Google Sites is for anyone to be able to create a team-oriented site where multiple people can collaborate and share files. It provides a container for the range of Google apps, such as blogs, calendar and newsgroups. [Tool used in Case Study 9] Portfolios, paper‐based or digital, are widely used in education programmes as they can provide opportunities for self‐assessment, reflection and skills development. Key assumptions underlying all these uses of portfolios is the value of making tacit knowledge explicit, irrespective of whether this knowledge was gained in formal educational settings or informal environments. In the case study on design thinking (Case Study 8), the eportfolio was used for its potential to help students make their learning design thinking explicit, as a mechanism for integrating and reflecting upon their prior knowledge about designing learning activities and the best practice recommended in the educational technology literature with which they engage in the course. Over the years the course has made use of a variety of technologies to serve as the platform for an eportfolio, including wikis within the institutional LMS and cloud-based wikis such as www.wikispaces.com For more information on eportfolios see http://checit.wikispaces. com/eportfolios [Tool used in Case Study 8] Slideshare is a media-sharing service. It is primarily a tool for sharing presentations and as such it has a potentially powerful teaching application. It shares a space on the web with other media-sharing tools such as YouTube11 and Flickr12. Slideshare13 is influential for a few reasons: firstly, it encourages academics to post and share their ideas and teaching and hopefully to carefully consider the standard of their presentations; secondly, it promotes Open Educational Resources (OER); and lastly Slideshare serves as a social discovery platform for users to find relevant content and connect with other members who share similar interests. Slideshare encourages a number of specific skills towards digital literacy, such as sharing in OER practices, and the potential to integrate video and other media. Media sharing has become an important feature of Web 2.0 practice. You can choose to follow other users and access information on who has viewed or downloaded your presentations. For more information on file and media sharing visit http://checit.wikispaces.com/file+and+media+sharing [Tool used in Case Study 9] Social networking sites (academic), such as Academia.edu14 or Researchgate15, are powerful tools used by millions of academics to network professionally as well as upload their research papers to a single, searchable destination. In a nutshell this is a social network devoted to academia. It offers the added benefit of being able to select areas of academic interest, which subsequently sorts and streams applicable content to the users. Site users are able to follow others in the same fashion as Twitter . It provides online tools to embed each user’s connection to other social networking tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn. By using this site to update and upload research and create links to other personal web locations, the participants can easily acquire and practise some valuable skills within an environment which makes sense to them, such as curatorship. [Tool used in Case Study 9] 10 11 https://sites.google.com http://www.youtube.com 12 13 http://www.flickr.com http://www.slideshare.net 14 15 http://www.academia.edu http://www.researchgate.net > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 13
  • 17. Emerging tools and technologies used...continued Social networking sites (professional) include LinkedIn17, a business-oriented social networking site which allows members to set up their professional profiles, including their educational and professional career, and to connect with people in their professional field. Within the business community maintaining a LinkedIn profile is a standard practice; within academia, however, LinkedIn is not as ubiquitous. In LinkedIn’s favour is the fact that it is so widely used and that it enjoys great authority on Google. Interestingly, a recent study in the UK points to the fact that LinkedIn is used by approximately three times more academic staff than any other social networking platform. [Tool used in Case Study 9] Twitter: The microblogging platform Twitter18 allows registered users to post tweets through the website interface, SMS, or a range of apps for mobile devices. Like most other applications, only short messages not exceeding 140 characters [known as ‘tweets’] can be sent at a time. Twitter serves two functions: first it is an aggregator of the latest information in a specific field (if you’re following the thought leaders); and the second it is a dissemination tool. Most academics are aware that the research process does not end with publication – ensuring that your latest research gains traction is critical, and Twitter is an excellent tool for this. It is a good idea not to use Twitter in isolation, but to link it into an overall social media strategy, for example, alongside blogging. New academic users on Twitter can perhaps profit more from utilising it as a mechanism to find ‘signals’ (for example, up and coming trends or interesting projects) about topics. For more information see http://checit.wikispaces.com/twitter [Tool used in Case Study 9] Wikis are websites, the most famous of which is Wikipedia. A wiki is an online authoring tool that is developed collaboratively by a group/community of users. It can be used by all to publish new content or edit existing content. Contrary to (for example) document-sharing tools such as Google Drive, it allows the creation of interlinked sub-pages, called wiki pages. Wikis offer simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) html editors, so one does not need programming skills to set up a website. It is a democratic and open tool. Most wikis keep older versions of wiki pages, which one can revert to should somebody mistakenly overwrite content. Wikis can be open or private. External resources such as Word documents or PowerPoint presentations can be attached and media can be embedded, such as images, videos and podcasts. Wikis can be hosted remotely or locally installed on an institutional server. They can be integrated into an existing LMS or used on their own. The type of wiki used by academics in the RipMix-and-Learn (RML) project (Case Study 2) was a ‘DokuWiki’19 which was set up by the project staff on an institutional server. Case Study 10 in Sport Sciences used wikispaces20. For more information on wikis see http://checit.wikispaces.com/wikis [Tool used in Case Studies 2, 8 and 10] 17 18 14 http://www.linkedin.com http://www.twitter.com 19 20 > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 http://www.dokuwiki.org/dokuwiki http://www.wikispaces.com
  • 18. 1-11 Emerging technologies CASE STUDIES > Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 15
  • 19. Digital storytelling in diverse classrooms DANIELA GACHAGO, EUNICE IVALA, JANET CONDY AND AGNES CHIGONA, CPUT 1 CASE STUDY Background This project investigated the use of digital storytelling (DST) as an alternative to paper-based teaching portfolios which Education students complete as part of their ‘Professional Course’ at the Faculty of Education and Social Studies at CPUT. Teaching portfolios generally reflect on students’ ideas and objectives that inform their teaching, their teaching philosophy and critical incidents that impacted on their teacher identity. From 2010 students in this course could choose whether to create a traditional paper-based portfolio or a digital story. Challenges • Limited time spent on learning how to integrate ICTs in students’ own teaching during studies; • Development of digital literacies among students with different educational backgrounds, languages, and ICT access and experience. The innovation The digital storytelling workshop model developed by the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) was adapted to run over eight weeks with weekly workshops in a computer lab, in which the students were guided in the development of digital stories. Steps included: visual brainstorming activities, such as the ‘River of Life’, conceptualising stories in a story circle, scripting, storyboarding, collecting images, recording audio, selecting background sounds and video editing. A final screening of the movies completed the project. Students used their own devices and technology as much as possible, to allow transfer of this project into students’ own teaching practice. For example, the Khanya computer lab that was used for this project is replicated in all government schools in the region. There is equal focus on the process and product in this project. While the development of the actual product, the digital story, is the students’ main focus in this project, the sharing of their stories (which are often personal, and sometimes painful) in smaller groups, such as during the River of Life exercise or the story circle, and the final screening of the stories at the end of the project – to which family members, friends and other loved ones are invited – are equally important. 16 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 20. Benefits of emerging technologies • Development of a variety of digital literacy skills through the production of the digital story (e.g. recording / editing audio, recording / editing video, collecting / editing digital images, publishing of video content on the web); • polished product that can be used or shared, e.g. in own teaching or as part of an online A portfolio / CV; • Personal growth through reflection, sharing and listening to each other’s diverse stories; • Development of class cohesion and team building. Key points for effective practice • Thorough step-by-step planning: Complex projects involving large classes and various tools and technologies need to be planned well ahead. • T eam approach: Projects based on such diverse digital literacy skills will benefit from involvement of an inter-disciplinary facilitation and teaching team with various skills. • Provision of access to infrastructure and resources: Due to students’ highly diverse access to technology, some infrastructural access should be provided by the institution, e.g. scheduled time in computer labs. • S caffolding: Complex projects such as these need step-by-step guidance for students provided by facilitators. • Student assistants/support: In this project facilitators were trained to support their colleagues during the development of the project (especially important when dealing with large classes). • Use of software that is freely available on the Web: To allow for ease of transfer of the project into students’ own teaching practice, it is advisable to use technology that is accessible in students’ professional practice. • V irus management: When dealing with large classes in computer labs, a thorough virus management routine is essential to avoid students losing work. • C ontinuous reflective practice: The opportunity to reflect and research this project since the very beginning has allowed us to continuously refine and improve the model implemented in this project. ‘T his project has proved very successful from both lecturers’ and students’ perspective. Student engagement was uncharacteristically high and students enjoyed the collaboration with the team and their colleagues, sharing their individual backgrounds and reflecting on their journey to becoming teachers.’ For more information on digital storytelling, including examples of digital stories, visit: Center for Digital Storytelling website: http://www.storycenter.org CPUT Digital Storytelling resources: http://edutechcput.wordpress.com/digital-storytelling-resources/ CPUTstories YouTube channel (examples of students’ digital stories): http://www.youtube.com/user/cputstories Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 17
  • 21. ICT-enabled peer assessment and collaboration IGOR LESKO, OCWC AND VIVIENNE BOZALEK, UWC CASE STUDY 2 Background The Rip-Mix-and-Learn (RML) project, which was implemented at UWC, focused on new innovative practices, enabled through ICTs, in academics’ teaching practices. The aim of the project was also to facilitate the sharing of experiences and lessons learnt among the project participants through presentations and publication of articles in open access academic journals. The project focused, in particular, on examining educational experiences and assessment, with an emphasis on peer assessment methods among students, enabled through Web 2.0 technologies. Challenges • Large classes make provision of appropriate formative feedback to students difficult; • A general lack of writing, referencing and evaluation skills among students; • Lack of students’ engagement in collaborative group work. The innovation Two innovations were trialled in this project: 1. wiki where students worked on joint assignments in groups, collaboratively creating and A editing content on the wiki. 2. Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) system, where students submitted their assignments to the CPR A server. Students were required to assess themselves and were assessed by their peers according to a set of predetermined criteria. The RML Project was initiated at UWC by Philipp Schmidt and it was supported financially through the Shuttleworth Foundation (http://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/) More information about the RML project can be found at: http//free.uwc.ac.za/ripmixlearn/start Information reported on in this case study is based on interviews conducted with Grant Hearn and Lorna Holtman. Lorna Holtman implemented a Wiki in her postgraduate Philosophy of Science course. Grant Hearn implemented CPR in his undergraduate Philosophy of Information Systems course. These interviews together with interviews with the rest of academics involved in the RML project can be accessed here: http://free.uwc.ac.za/ripmixlearn/podcasts Lorna has written about her experiences here: Holtman, L. (2009). Using Wikis in the Teaching of a Short Course on the History and Philosophy of Science. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 6(1).http://itdl.org/journal/jan_09/index.htm. 18 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 22. Benefits of emerging technologies Lecturers reported that the innovations: • Significantly improved writing skills, proper assignment construction, referencing and reviewing skills; • Improved critical thinking skills; • Improved ability of students to work as part of a team; • Positively enhanced learning experiences through collaborations and through evaluating other students’ work; • Students acquired digital literacy skills while working with online tools. Key points for effective practice • S implicity: Use of tools that are simple, robust and require very little initial technological support. • Support: When using applications that are not part of institutionally supported infrastructure, such as Web 2.0 technologies, consider institutional support mechanisms when thinking of rolling out such practices on a large scale. • Internet connectivity: Consider how students will access the Internet, since lack of bandwidth is a serious hindrance to students’ participation in these activities. • Resistance: Consider risks in relation to peer assessment and engaging students in collaborative group work, such as: students not feeling comfortable to act as assessors of their peers’ work at inception, and students not participating equally in collaborative group work or collaborative group editing process not taking place due to copying and pasting of finished ‘product’ online. ‘ aking students active learners, through involving them in online peer M assessment tasks and collaborative group work, has been beneficial for teaching and learning practices. Students learnt new skills, learnt to identify strengths and weakness of their own work, and learnt how to evaluate and process content prepared by others.’ Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 19
  • 23. Google Drive and case-based learning MICHAEL ROWE, UWC CASE STUDY 3 Background This intervention took place among second-year students in an Applied Physiotherapy module at UWC. The need to implement graduate attributes across modules was a stimulus for the Physiotherapy Department to implement case-based learning as a strategy. This, alongside an institutional imperative to develop educational spaces that integrated technology to enhance student learning, resulted in the expansion of classroom learning spaces online. Challenges • Lack of critical thinking among students while on their clinical rotations. They typically tried to memorise approaches to patient management, rather than attempting to solve problems based on the patient’s unique clinical presentation. • Exhibition of low levels of technological literacy. The innovation Using Google Drive, students worked collaboratively to develop their own notes based on authentic cases. Students summarised these weekly notes as case presentations, which were then shared with everyone in the class. These collective notes and summaries could be viewed by all students and facilitators anywhere and at any time, provided one had an Internet connection through Google Drive. Facilitators’ roles changed from preparing lecture content to providing feedback to groups guiding students through the cases in class time, as well as providing comments, suggestions and questions online in Google Drive. Continuous use of ‘Feedback’ documents enabled students to provide the teaching team with comments and suggestions on the course, and the team to respond with changes or comments. Michael Rowe wrote about his experiences in the following article: Rowe, M., Bozalek, V., Frantz, J. (2013). Using Google Drive to facilitate a blended approach to authentic learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(4), 594–606. doi:10.1111/bjet.12063 He also reflected on his blog: http://www.mrowe.co.za/blog/design-principles/phases-of-the-project/iterativecycles/3-2-authentic-learning-google-drive/ 20 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 24. Benefits of emerging technologies • Creation of alternative spaces for enhanced communication among facilitators and students; • Moving content out of the classroom, creating space for discussion and engagement beyond the classroom borders. Key points for effective practice • Critical thinking tasks: In order to develop critical thinking skills, learning tasks must be created that require students to think critically. • Time awareness: Integrated case-based learning (in online and physical spaces) is way more intensive and time-consuming than lectures, and requires more input and preparation on the part of the facilitators. • Resistance: Students (and colleagues) will initially resist the change, but will change their point of view as the benefits of the approach become apparent. • Loss of control: By giving the students more control over their own learning, facilitators must also be open to being challenged, and should be confident enough to encourage this from the students. • Digital literacy skills: Often wrong assumptions are being made about students’ ability to use technology for learning. Just because they’re on Facebook doesn’t mean they know how to use online spaces effectively as part of their learning practices. ‘ ntegrating online and physical spaces is a powerful way to encourage students I to think of learning as something that happens anywhere, and at any time. When incorporated with a case-based approach to learning, we found that communication between students and staff members changed, with students taking more and more control over their learning. They developed critical attitudes towards themselves and their role in their own learning, as well as towards authority figures.’ Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 21
  • 25. Role-play in an online discussion forum ROSHINI PILLAY, WITS CASE STUDY 4 Background Meso practice’ is a course taught to second-year Social Work students using blended learning at Wits, to facilitate development of professional practice skills which students require when working with a group of clients in a structured manner. Challenges • ack of authentic contexts for students in which to practice, in a safe teaching environment, the L professional skills – such as assessment, communication and conflict management – essential in their professional practice as social worker. The innovation Students were asked to form small groups focusing on a particular social condition, such as substance abuse, gambling, HIV/AIDS or single parenting. The groups then engaged in multiple activities and exercises in class, and online in the discussion forum within their institutional LMS, and had to assume the role of either social worker or a group participant. During the course students were required to undertake ‘real-life’ exercises, like using ice-breakers and holding discussions that mirror the procedures and activities of treatment groups. The posts in the discussion forum allowed students to ask questions about the social condition the group was working on and to comment on the activities conducted in class. Each week the role of group social worker was rotated and an evaluation of the group process was shared. The experiences in this case study have been presented as follows: Pillay, R., Alexander, L. (2012). Cultivating Reflective Spaces: Experiences with Asynchronous Online Discussion Forums in Training ‘Social Good Professionals’ at Two South African Universities. Presentation at the 2012 Heltasa conference, Stellenbosch University, 28-30 November 2012. 22 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 26. Benefits of emerging technologies • safe environment in which students could experiment with the group process and skills A before conducting groups with clients in the real world; • The discussion forums were helpful to share ideas and information relevant to the course; • Social media such as Twitter facilitated peer support; • blended components of the course encouraged collaboration and participation of students The without barriers imposed by time and space extending learning beyond the classroom. Key points for effective practice • G uidelines / scaffolding: Give students guidelines on how to develop discussion posts and develop a rubric for evaluation. • O penness: Allow students to find answers to open questions. • Expert performance: Invite experts to post to the forum on specific topics to start discussion. • L inking in-class with out-of-class work: Encourage students to view posts by making reference to them in class. • M otivation: Allow incentives for posts (e.g. 10% of course mark allocated to discussion posts). • T racking and monitoring: Use tracking tools of the LMS to assess student use of forum. • S ocial presence: Allow students to create a social presence, e.g. by adding a joke, complaints about funding and support for each other. • N etiquette: Make students aware of the ethics of online communication and social networking. • T ime awareness: Be aware of the considerable time spent by the lecturer in managing both the classroom and online component of the course. ‘ he use of the discussion forum helps to encourage debate beyond the classroom T as students were able to share views on social conditions, non- compliance to group norms and personal stories about divorce and being raised by a single parent. Students were able to use the discussion platform as a reflective tool to obtain feedback on their leadership skills and participation in the group.’ Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 23
  • 27. Blogs to enhance reflective practice LORRAINE FAKUDE, UWC CASE STUDY 5 Background This case study explores the educational use and value of blogging by postgraduate Nursing Education students at UWC. As professional nurses, students are expected to be reflective practitioners in their clinical practice. This requires clinical reasoning and decision-making skills. A blog was used to enhance critical reflective dialogue within a constructivist learning environment. Challenges Part-time students’ need for flexible learning environments: most students who are registered for the course are part-time students employed as professional nurses at various clinical practice environments; hence a more accessible medium was needed to facilitate virtual student discussions during periods when they are not attending on-campus seminars. The innovation Students were requested to maintain a group blog throughout the 14 weeks of the semester, focusing on identified topics by the lecturer and also reflecting on the group project each group had to do on Curriculum Development. A set of criteria was provided for the marking of the blogging activity. The criteria included in the rubric were: critical thinking, integration/synthesis of concepts and principles related to the topic/ issue being debated upon, reflection on own experiences, writing standard and maintaining timelines. Content and thematic analysis of the postings on the blogs was done using a rubric to determine the level of the discussions (higher-order instead of lower-order discussions), which also formed part of the assessment mark. 24 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 28. Benefits of emerging technologies • Blogs assisted students to become subject matter experts through a process of regular scouting, filtering and posting of comments and reflections on course content; • Increased student interest and ownership in learning; • Promotion of students’ legitimate participation and enculturation into a community of practice; • Provision of opportunities for diverse perspectives; • Collection and sharing of resources among lecturers and students by posting hyperlinks related to the topics under discussion. Key points for effective practice • Time awareness: Adequate time needs to be spent to make the students more comfortable when introduced to a new teaching and learning strategy. In this case students were given a whole first semester to become accustomed to the tool before it was integrated into the second semester module. • Ongoing encouragement and support: Students must receive ongoing encouragement and support from the facilitator. • Technical support: Technical support to be on hand when needed (e.g. Help file). ‘ ollaboration among students is essential to knowledge building as it provides C them with an opportunity to discuss and reflect on their learning as well as their experiences in their practice environments. The need arose for electronic learning activities that were authentic, learner-centred, relevant to students’ lives, and also activities that allowed students to explore their own social and cultural identities.’ Lorraine Fakude has discussed her experiences here: Fakude, L. (2012). Blogging to Enhance Reflective Practice in Nursing Education. Conference for Higher Education Teaching and Learning in South Africa (HELTASA), Cape Town, 27-30 November 2012. Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 25
  • 29. Google Groups to enhance engagement LUCY ALEXANDER, UWC CASE STUDY 6 Background The School of Public Health at UWC has offered its Postgraduate Programme in Public Health in distance form since 2000. Students are distributed across up to 17 countries in Africa. A Google Group was integrated into the module design to increase opportunities for developing the social presence of the course leader and students, furthering student engagement with peers or critical friends, and creating collaborative learning opportunities which included peer review. Challenges • Students study in isolated environments, which is considered detrimental to study motivation; • Difficult to build student-to-student relationships for peer support because of the distance nature of the course and students’ varied time constraints as working health professionals. The innovation A Google Group was selected as a tool for facilitating group tutorials because of its non-synchronous discussion forum nature, which is ideal for working professionals. Using Google also overcame connectivity issues related to using the institution’s website. A programme schedule which included three 10-day online tutorials was circulated early in the semester so that students and staff could plan accordingly for three intense engagements over limited periods of time. Tutorial topics and activities were designed to be relevant to and part of assignments, and to assist in pacing students across their module. Paired activities and peer assessment were integrated into the second tutorial, which led to completion of part of a graded assignment. Furthermore, discussion group activities drew on the varied experience and location of participants to provide authentic problem-solving tasks within diverse contexts: this was regarded as critical to learning for Public Health professional development. 26 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 30. Benefits of emerging technologies • Students’ engagement with each other was encouraged, and served to orientate them to the programme, the module, and the distance medium. This introduced them to one another and to the richness of each others’ experience, contributing to the authenticity of learning tasks; • Regular, easy, non-synchronous contact proved useful and was well utilised. By inviting regular interaction and collaborative learning it provided the possibility of peer-to-peer support, and maybe peer pressure; • Multiple learning outcomes: In this instance the Google Group enabled participants to achieve curriculum outcomes (by learning about a specific disease and its prevention), to develop and share a PowerPoint presentation which could be (and in one instance was) used in training community health workers in Angola; • Flexibility of engagement: The containment and archival clarity that a Google Group provides was a benefit to this process (as opposed to email), and the establishment in advance of three 10-day intensive tutorials, each of which included two weekends, enabled participants to engage intensively and then withdraw until the next tutorial on Google Groups. Key points for effective practice • Access to technology: Freely available tools which use low bandwidth should be selected. • Experience: Tried and tested tools for distance education should be used. • Course design: Integration of the tool in course design facilitates meaningful participation. • Planning: Advanced planning is necessary. • Regular support: Regular participation by facilitators is essential. • Scaffolding: Discussion groups enable a process of scaffolding tasks by giving interim feedback. • Multiple resources: The process encourages accessing of multiple sources of information. • Social presence: Discussion groups focus on community building and social presence; • Collaboration: Discussion groups can facilitate collaborative knowledge sharing, debate and learning. ‘ iscussion groups can provide opportunities for increased engagement by D students, especially those studying at a distance; but it is the design of learning activities which is critical. Offering students tasks which are authentic and collaborative, and involving them in problem-solving in authentic contexts can facilitate some of the benefits of Social Constructivism.’ Lucy Alexander has discussed her experiences here: Pillay, R., Alexander, L. (2012). Cultivating Reflective Spaces: Experiences with Asynchronous Online Discussion Forums in Training ‘Social Good Professionals’ at Two South African Universities. Presentation at the 2012 Heltasa conference, Stellenbosch University, 28-30 November 2012. Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 27
  • 31. Towards sharing and reflection in Obstetrics VERONICA MITCHELL, UCT CASE STUDY 7 Background The ‘Obstetrics Block’ is a seminal moment in undergraduate medical students’ studies. This is viewed as a rite of passage in their journey to become real doctors. While Obstetrics ought to be a curricular space for students to learn from good role models who display compassion and care, in South African Maternal Obstetric Units (MOUs), poor role-modelling and human rights violations happen all too frequently. Challenges • Students’ resistance to the sharing of difficult personal issues, although reflection is promoted throughout the curriculum; • Time pressures of students who are required to work with a loaded theoretical and practical curriculum; • Limited access to ICTs for students during clinical practice. The innovation In this case study students located in their practical Obstetrics learning rotation are encouraged to engage in online reflective dialogue using a ‘Six-step Spiral for Critical Reflection’ in which they examine their personal experiences. Google Drive was introduced to students. They were divided into smaller groups (so as not to make the task so daunting), each with their own shared folder on Google Drive. Access was facilitated by encouraging students to also use the Google Drive app on their mobile devices. The six-step reflective task was presented to students before they went on placement into the MOUs. Since this activity does not carry marks, ample time was spent to make explicit the benefits and gains of this project. Students were provided with an anonymous example from a previous student’s work. Students’ online reflections were then complemented with a face-to-face group workshop in which shared narratives were presented and role-played to their peers followed by discussions on their role as change agents. 28 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 32. Benefits of emerging technologies • Enabled the shift of classroom power and control towards more student ownership for developing knowledge and valuing the collective contributions of their peers; • Enhanced individual and collective inquiry processes by using flexible and collaborative online tools as well as offering a product available for sharing with others; • Collective co-construction of knowledge resulting from students unpacking their experiences, leading to mutual learning and interpretation of their individual reflections; • As students move to satellite campuses, this can mean that physical distance becomes less relevant in their group work. Key points for effective practice Safe space for collaboration: Create a safe and respectful group dynamic; normalise students’ vulnerability in sharing and unpacking their challenging experiences with class colleagues and facilitator. Motivation for engagement: Motivate buy-in by explaining that students’ voices and experiences are valued and contributing to changing practices. Flexibility: Offer alternative avenues for sharing such as emails and tools on the Faculty LMS. Openness and support: Assist students to openly share by supportive encouragement through online engagement or face-to-face contact. Peer support: Suggesting critical friends with clinical partners is a valuable option for some students. ‘ y posting their reflective commentaries into a collaborative space and B commenting on their colleagues’ experiences, students shift from the role of consumers of the curriculum to become producers of knowledge and insights – an evolving role.’ Website ‘Probing Professionalism towards Positive Practice’: http://opencontent.uct.ac.za/Health-Sciences/ Probing-Professionalism-Towards-Positive-Practice Presentation: Creating a Collaborative Space for Criticality (describing the process on the LMS before moving onto Google Drive): http://www.slideshare.net/VeronicaMitchell/authentic-learning-colloquium-uwc2013-veronica-mitchell-pdf Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 29
  • 33. Eportfolios for learning design thinking ANDREW DEACON AND CHERYL HODGKINSON-WILLIAMS, UCT CASE STUDY 8 Background UCT offers a Masters level ‘ICTs in Education’ degree programme, which draws students from across a range of sectors. The programme is offered in a blended format, with each component course having a week-long residential session followed by online engagement. This case study focuses specifically on the ‘Online Learning Design’ course module within this programme. Challenges • Wide range of students; • Wide range of backgrounds and a range of prior knowledge about educational curriculum development, pedagogical and assessment strategies and skills in using technologies; • Need for the design of learning activities that engage those who are ‘learning design savvy’ and ‘technologically literate’ and everyone in between. The innovation The course endeavours to support students in developing learning design thinking by requiring them to create a small-scale, context-specific, online learning task and then to document each step of the design and redesign process in an eportfolio. Students choose both the topic of the online learning task and the technologies most suitable for their environment, ranging from tools within institutional LMSs, through to cloud-based platforms and mobile apps. Students are required to trial their online learning task with at least one colleague and one potential learner in their context, and to explain what they would do differently as a result of the feedback. Students are also required to formally reflect, individually and in groups, upon the value of one day of the face-to-face session; upon the lessons learned in the process of developing the eportfolio; what they felt were the most well-developed sections of their eportfolios; and which they feel warrant further development. The students are encouraged to review at least one of their peers’ eportfolios. The lecturers provide formative feedback on both the online learning task and the eportfolio before providing summative feedback for the course. The students then refine the eportfolio for external examination. 30 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 34. Benefits of emerging technologies • Using e-learning to teach e-learning seems to be a good modelling strategy; • Existing e-learning examples are analysed to assist students to identify the key design features that either helped or hindered students’ learning; • A number of the pre-course and in-class tasks involve small group tasks which require students to engage with each other online using a range of collaborative tools, such as a wiki within the institutional LMS and a variety of cloud-based platforms; • As the students’ portfolios are available online, both lecturers and students are able to provide feedback in the form of comments which the students can see in real time and respond to immediately; • The development of the eportfolio encourages students to make their teaching and learning assumptions explicit, thereby enabling them to reflect more clearly on the synergies between their design intentions and the perceptions provided by one colleague in their work environment and one learner from the intended target. Key points for effective practice • Authentic task: Have students focus on an authentic learning need on which to base their online learning task. • Authentic tool: Allow students to choose their own development tools suitable to their context. • Scaffolding and support: Provide coaching and iterations of formative assessment of the online learning task from the lecturers, colleagues and potential learners. • Iterative support: Provide iterations of formative assessment of the eportfolio from the lecturers and peers, acknowledging that developing an eportfolio is a new writing genre for students. • Reflection: Prompt reflective practice throughout the course and encourage deeper and deeper reflection on assumptions as the course progresses. ‘ he expansive transformation that seems apparent in this analysis is our T learning as lecturers about the efficacy of adopting various pedagogical strategies to assist students to develop learning design thinking. Neither the outcomes nor the pathways were known to us prior to developing the course; these had to be designed, discovered, and negotiated collaboratively among ourselves and the students. Deacon, A. Hodgkinson-Williams, C.A. (2013). Cultivating learning design thinking with ePortfolios in a Masters course. ICEL 2013, Cape Town. Retrieved from: http://www.slideshare.net/adeacon/icel2013-cultivating-learning-design-thinking [31 July 2013]. Hodgkinson-Williams, C.A. Deacon, A. (2013).Pedagogic Strategies to Support Learning Design Thinking in a Masters Course. Educational Research for Social Change, 2(1), 82-97. Link to EDN5101s Wikispaces: https://www.google.co.za/search?q=wikispaces+edn5101s Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 31
  • 35. Digital academic identity makeover NOELLE COWLING, SU CASE STUDY 9 Background By improving digital literacy among staff members through a project which yields tangible, personal benefits for them, it was hoped that they will experience the possibilities which technology offers to create more interactive academic spaces between themselves and their students and between themselves and other academics. Challenges • The Faculty of Military Science is geographically and to some extent intellectually isolated; • Although confident with basic computer technologies, such as MS Word, many academics lack the confidence to use other technologies to further enhance teaching and learning such as blogs, wikis, podcasting or any of the plethora of social media tools. The innovation The short course developed in this case study focused on enhancing staff digital literacy, particularly within the current social media space.This specific intervention assisted staff in improving their digital online presence by working on their professional profiles as well as creating a platform for sharing the results of their teaching and research. This course was designed to run over six months. Outcomes were listed as: • Improved digital literacy; • A free online image makeover; • Improved digital curatorship of both research as well as choice presentations; • Future expansion of academic research networks; • Ability to assess how often their online presence/work are being viewed or utilised; and • Participation in the growing open access environment. Various social media tools were used to create and promote the scholars’ online presence, such as Twitter, Academic.edu, Google sites, Slideshare and LinkedIn. Tools were introduced on a monthly basis, for participants to have ample time to engage with the selected tools. Monthly meetings were used to reflect on lecturers’ experiences with previously introduced technology and to demonstrate the new tool. 32 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 36. Benefits of emerging technologies • Enhanced reach of academic output/activities; • Online collaboration and networking; • Improved digital literacy skills; • Learning in a ‘safe space’; • Creation of a community of practice. Key points for effective practice • Motivation: Ensure continued buy-in of participants by, for example, highlighting the benefits of such an online makeover for participants and showcasing concrete examples of how such engagement can promote academics’ visibility, ideally from participants’ own contexts. • Support: Keep momentum through monthly meetings and individual support. • Personal relationships: Maintain personal communication with each participant and make informal follow-ups to provide support when and where necessary. • Training and just-in-time resources: Provide regular training and just-in-time resources which participants can use when and where necessary. • Time awareness: Find a balance between keeping momentum and overwhelming participants, who are already time-strapped. ‘It is crucial not to lose sight of the fact that that the primary aim of developing digital literacies remains the end goal of this venture, with the development of the online identities being a secondary goal. At the end of the day I am trying to engage staff members and develop enthusiasm for Web 2.0 tools within socalled ‘safe spaces’, which they will hopefully carry over into their teaching and research. In essence then the goal is to encourage the notion of digital literacies with the added advantage of creating the online digital identity.’ For more in depth detail on this intervention please visit: http://noellecowling.blogspot.com/ For an example of an interlinked online profile visit: https://twitter.com/noelle_cowling http://www.linkedin.com/pub/noelle-van-der-waag-cowling/a/3a8/a20 https://plus.google.com/107462660341931715951 http://sun.academia.edu/NoelleVanderWaagCowling http://www.slideshare.net/noellecowling A full literature study for this project is available at: http://noellecowling.blogspot.com/2013/05/normal-0-false-false-false-en-za-x-none.html Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 33
  • 37. Wikis and blogs: New tools for new learners SIMONE TITUS, UWC 10 CASE STUDY Background The Department of Sport, Recreation and Exercise Science at UWC offers an undergraduate programme that uses a blended learning approach for course delivery. This case study reports on a collaborative, authentic designed wiki-based task that was designed to enhance student engagement and support learning. A blog was used as a discussion forum and a space for reflection on learning. Challenges • Lack of student engagement with content, the lecturer and peers; • Need to revisit the pedagogical approach to administering a module in order to provide students with a space to move from being passive recipients of content to active participants in their own learning. The innovation In this case study a wiki task was introduced to students. This was the first time any of them had been exposed to a wiki environment of this nature. Students had to develop a psychological profile of student athletes on campus in a similar way to how they would in the real world. Students had to: • Interview fellow student athletes in order to develop a psychological profile, • Draw on relevant literature to contextualise the student athlete’s profile, • P rovide recommendations to the athlete regarding relevant sport psychology tools they could use to enhance athletic performance, • C ritically evaluate and give constructive comment/feedback on at least three classmates’ wikis, • Anonymously evaluate one classmate’s wiki page by means of a peer evaluation process. Alongside the wiki, students were provided with an opportunity to reflect on their learning on the class blog. This allowed students to engage with the content and their classmates as well as the lecturer. 34 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 38. Benefits of emerging technologies • Allowed peer and lecturer feedback regarding content; • A safe, open, flexible space for students to co-construct knowledge through content; • Development of a variety of digital literacy skills; • Easy access and opportunity to share information; • Opportunity for peer assessment; • A space to mediate the elements of authentic learning. Key points for effective practice • Use of simple tools: The fact that both tools were freely accessible on their mobile devices made completion of the task easier for students. • Time awareness: Students had nine weeks to complete the task. This allowed for prolonged engagement with the task and gave them enough time to become accustomed with the technology tools used in the class. It also allowed the lecturer time to provide much needed technical and academic support for students. • Blurring of formal / informal learning: The tools allowed for a blended learning environment where topics discussed in class could easily be taken up in the blog or on the wiki page. • Ongoing communication: Ensure that there is constant communication with students who are using these new tools in order to motivate and encourage active participation and also to provide needed support. ‘ he use of technologies in Sport Science education is not well documented. In T analysing the reflective blog posts, we found evidence to suggest that emerging technology tools mediate engagement and transform students’ learning in many ways. There has been a shift from being passive recipients of content from a very didactic mode of delivery, to more active participants in learning.’ Class blog: http://uwcspsych238.blogspot.com/ Examples of student wiki: http://sportpsych.wikispaces.com/GSCHWENDER%2C+P Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 35
  • 39. Citizen journalism using mobile phones ALETTE SCHOON, RU 1 1 CASE STUDY Background The citizen journalism project was developed in a third-year Journalism course at RU. It tasked students with working with citizen journalists to produce news videos using only mobile phones and freely available postproduction software. This course not only taught technical skills and conventions, but also interrogated basic journalistic principles. Challenges • Convincing students of the merits of citizen journalism and its ability to boost democracy by allowing people to voice their own concerns; • Transfer of theoretical knowledge of citizen journalism into practice; • Coaching students in people skills and the process of collaborative content production; • Finding tools to deal with importing many different formats of cell phone video. The innovation Students worked with unemployed members of the community and high school students, who wouldn’t normally buy a newspaper, to develop grassroots news stories about authentic social issues as experienced by citizen journalists (CJs), using mobile technology. Students were expected to question conventions such as accepted news values, the role of the journalist in news gathering, and the idea of objectivity. A key principle was to refute the argument that good video can only be produced on the most advanced equipment.Students were first introduced to the idea of using mobile phones to make video by practising this on their own, and making their own ‘How to’ videos. Students were then teamed up with community volunteers, who had already been trained in the basics of citizen journalism by the local newspaper Grocott’s Mail. The CJs then filmed their stories the next week and delivered their shots to the students, who captured and converted these into AVI files. The students and CJs then worked together to edit the story on Windows Movie Maker and scripted voice-over, which was recorded with free audio software Audacity. The video stories were uploaded to the website Zoopy. com and also packaged into a talkshow where the CJs and other community members participated in the discussion of these problems. These talkshows were packaged on DVD and given to the CJs to distribute, and some students also bluetoothed the news videos back to their CJs. 36 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 40. Benefits of emerging technologies • A way to get CJs involved in making video without having to provide any devices - they already had them; • Revision of what students had learnt in the first term by teaching it to others; • An awareness that video production quality is not determined by the technical complexity of the device, but rather aesthetic principles like framing; • First-hand encounters with some of the problems of being poor in South Africa, by working closely with unemployed CJs; • Real-life opportunity for students to get alternative perspectives on how others understand journalism and news; • Helping students make connections between news stories and real-life issues; • Provision of a distribution platform, as people were able to share DVDs and bluetooth stories to each other. Key points for effective practice • Scaffolding: Students need to learn the process themselves before then can teach someone else. • Skills: Specific skills are needed to transfer technical knowledge to other people. • Partnerships: Consider media partners for dissemination of stories. • Sustainability: It is important to reflect on the sustainability of such projects. • Simple, accessible tools: Focus on the use of grassroots technology for grassroots journalism. • Time for reflection: Allow time for debriefing and reflection on the project and consolidate knowledge, both on the part of the students and the facilitators / organisers. ‘ his citizen journalism project seemed an ideal way to allow people from the T community gather and frame news - challenging traditional news making conventions. It also served as an ideal opportunity to revise some of the skills students had just been introduced to, by getting them to teach these to others, and expand their technical knowledge of video formats.’ Part of a larger project funded by the Knight Foundation. Background to the larger project: http://www.grocotts.co.za/content/grocotts-mail-citizen-journalism-newsroom Examples of videos made in the project: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA0788E0FA81FE9A2 Student blogs about the project: http://rutv3.ru.ac.za/?tag=citizen-journalism. Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 37
  • 41. Emerging technologies for authentic learning in HE The focus of this guide is on the pedagogical practice rather than the tool which each educator chose for his or her case study. When analysing the case studies portrayed in this guide we realised that one thing that stood out was that for many of these HE practitioners, emerging technologies seemed to have provided a means to allow a more authentic learning experience for their students, engaging ‘the learner in a realistic and meaningful task that is relevant to the learner’s interests and goals’ (Dabbagh Bannan-Ritland, 2005, p. 33). This led us to engage with the pedagogical framework of authentic learning (see, for example, Herrington, Reeves, Oliver, 2010). Guided by a socio-constructivist philosophy and drawing from cognitive apprenticeship theory and situated learning (Dennen Burner, 2008), authentic learning is defined as learning where students are situated in authentic learning contexts and where they are exposed to learning activities that are as close as possible to problems they will encounter in their real-world professional context (Herrington, Mantei, Herrington, Olney, Ferry, 2008). Learning that is ‘centred on rich, real-world, immersive and engaging tasks’ (Herrington Herrington, 2006, p. x). One of the main critiques of current teaching and learning practice in HE is the prevalence of academic, decontextualised exercises that make it difficult for students to transfer the knowledge from formal education into their future workplace (Herrington Herrington, 2006), and thus fail to prepare students for the modern workplace. Authentic learning allows students to become immersed in problem-solving within realistic situations resembling the contexts where the knowledge they are learning can be realistically applied, and can thus bridge the boundaries of formal education and the professional workplace and between theory and practice (Herrington Reeves, 2003). The principles of authentic learning (Herrington et al., 2010), as listed below, are informing many of the case studies reported on in this guide21: 1. Creation of an authentic context, reflecting the way the knowledge will be used in real life; 2. Design of an authentic task, mirroring activities that are relevant to the kinds of problems to which knowledge is applied in the real world; For more information on authentic learning see http://authenticlearning.info/AuthenticLearning/Home.html 21 38 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 42. 3. Access to expert thinking and modelling of processes, in which narratives from the field are shared; 4. Provision of multiple roles and perspectives, exposing students to playing different roles and adopting varied perspectives to enhance their ability to transfer cognitive ability and expertise to different settings; 5. Support of collaborative construction of knowledge, to allow the social construction of knowledge mirroring the collaborative problem-solving required in employment settings; 6. Promotion of reflection to enable abstractions to be formed and being able to match one’s expertise against that of experts and peers; 7. Promotion of articulation and making tacit knowledge explicit, offering students real-world opportunities to defend arguments and engage with the communities of professional practice - their authentic audience; 8. Provision of scaffolding and coaching by more knowledgeable others, both by facilitators/ lecturers and peers; and 9. Ensuring authentic assessment, which reflects professional practice. Table 1 which follows gives an overview of the individual case studies, by listing the context of the case study, the tool or technology used in the case study, the pedagogical practice/ rationale underlying the intervention, and the elements of authentic learning it addressed. Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 39
  • 43. CASE STUDY CASE 1: Digital storytelling in diverse classrooms CASE 2: ICT-enabled peer assessment and collaboration CASE 3: Google Drive and case-based learning CASE 4: Role-play in an online discussion forum CASE 5: Blogs to enhance reflective practice CASE 6: Google Groups to enhance engagement 40 CONTEXT Pre-service teacher education, CPUT TOOL Use of digital technologies to allow sharing Digital storytelling technologies (wiki and CPR system) Physiotherapy, UWC Social work, Wits Nursing education, UWC and reflecting on each other’s diverse backgrounds and teacher identities Web 2.0 Various, UWC PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICE Use of Web 2.0 technologies to allow peer assessment and collaboration Use of online collaboration tools to enhance Google drive students’ critical thinking, reflection and collaboration Discussion forums/ blended learning Use of online forums to create a safe space to collaboratively practice professional counselling skills Development of group blogs to Blogging enhance critical reasoning, decision-making skills and collaboration Use of online discussion to enhance Public Health, UWC Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 Google groups interaction and collaboration among distance learners
  • 44. AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT ARTICULATION MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES EXPERT PERFORMANCE SCAFFOLDING COLLABORATION REFLECTION AUTHENTIC CONTEXT AUTHENTIC TASK AUTHENTIC LEARNING ELEMENTS Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 41
  • 45. CASE STUDY CASE 7: Towards sharing and reflection in Obstetrics CASE 8: Eportfolios for learning design thinking CASE 9: Digital academic identity makeover CASE 10: Wikis and blogs: New tools for new learners CASE 11: Citizen journalism using mobile phones 42 CONTEXT Medical education, UCT ICTs in Education, UCT Various, SU Sport Sciences, UWC Media studies, RU Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 TOOL Web 2.0 Eportfolios Digital scholarship tools PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICE Use of Web 2.0 tools allow sharing and critical reflection on sensitive topics Use of eportfolios to critically reflect on the design of authentic learning tasks Use of social media to develop digital literacy while enhancing one’s online academic presence Using wikis and blogs to allow peer Wikis and blogs learning, peer assessment, collaboration, reflection and improve student engagement Mobile digital storytelling Using mobile grassroots video technology to transfer skills from students to community, linking theory and practice
  • 46. AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT ARTICULATION MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES EXPERT PERFORMANCE SCAFFOLDING COLLABORATION REFLECTION AUTHENTIC CONTEXT AUTHENTIC TASK AUTHENTIC LEARNING ELEMENTS Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 43
  • 47. General guidelines for effective practice when using emerging technologies in HE task and enough time to become accustomed with This guide set out to provide insights into effective practices of HE practitioners when using emerging technologies to improve teaching and learning. As part of a larger project funded by the NRF this guide drew on the experiences of 16 passionate individuals who appropriated various tools and technologies to provide meaningful learning experiences for their students. the technology tools used in the class. Find a balance These case studies are drawn from seven South African between keeping momentum and overwhelming HEIs, both resource-rich and resource-poor, from diverse students and lecturers, who are already time-strapped. disciplines, such as Teacher Education, Nursing and Media IT TAKES TIME! Complex projects involving large classes and various tools and technologies need to be planned well ahead. Getting used to new technologies in teaching and learning needs time, both for students and lecturers. Allow for prolonged engagement with the Studies, covering a variety of tools and technologies, such USE TOOLS THAT ARE SIMPLE AND EASILY as traditional LMSs, but also a wide range of social media ACCESSIBLE applications, such as discussion forums, Facebook groups, Due to students’ highly diverse access to technology, some infrastructural access should be provided by Google Drive and blogs. Lecturers appropriated emerging technologies to address a variety of educational challenges, such as managing large classes, enhancing interaction and the institution, e.g. scheduled time in computer labs; collaboration among geographically dispersed students, use of software that is freely available on the web, to facilitating critical reflection, developing digital literacy skills allow for ease of transfer of the project into students’ or creating safe online spaces to practise professional skills. own teaching practice; use of tools that are simple, Emerging technologies for authentic learning robust and require very little initial technological support; use of tools that are freely accessible on students’ mobile devices; offer alternative avenues As can be seen in Table 1, the 11 case studies presented in this guide contained elements of authentic learning. This is interesting in itself, as this wasn’t something we were for communicating and collaborating, such as e-mail, explicitly looking for, rather it emerged during analysis of Instant Messaging, Facebook and tools on the LMS, to these case studies as something all the innovations had in allow all students to participate. common. DESIGN FOR AUTHENTIC LEARNING While emerging technologies may facilitate authentic learning opportunities, it is also evident that innovative Link in-class with out-of-class work, blurring the teachers first and foremost see the importance of creating boundaries of learning, by using tools that allow for a real-life learning among their students, whether with or blended learning environment where topics discussed without technologies. The most important authentic element in class could easily be taken up in the blog or on in these case studies is reflection, which is emphasised in 44 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 48. each innovation. Clearly emerging technologies facilitated this the wiki. Create authentic tasks that students find opportunity beyond the classroom, by (for example) allowing meaningful for their own professional practice. students to share their reflections through blogging with the community. However, the key for these educators was ENGAGEMENT WITH DIGITAL LITERACY SKILLS to design opportunities for reflection into the teaching and Make students aware of the ethics of online learning process. Sometimes this refection was part of the communication and social networking, provide learning activity; for example, in the digital storytelling project regular training and just-in-time resources it was an integral part of the process of developing the student narrative and also a result of integrating peer feedback back into assessment. In other cases it was a culmination of the learning activity, as shown in the eportfolio case study. The use of emerging technologies to scaffold learning and allowing multiple perspectives into the classroom was evident in 10 of the 11 case studies and was most often linked participants can use when and where necessary. PROVISION OF SCAFFOLDING AND GUIDANCE The use of emerging technologies needs step-bystep guidance for students provided by facilitators and peers; when using applications that are not part to students engaging with people in their real work context of institutionally supported infrastructure, such as and practices by, for example, interviewing community Web 2.0 technologies, consider institutional support members or sportspeople, inviting experts to present to the mechanisms, in particular when thinking of rolling class, or engaging in a case-based learning approach. Less out such practices on a large scale. frequent was making assessment authentic, although in two cases the innovation did not involve an assessable component. ENSURE MOTIVATION THROUGH ONGOING In these innovations emerging technologies featured strongly COMMUNICATION as the medium through which the assessment was presented or articulated, for example in the form of a polished product Motivate buy-in by explaining that students’ voices such as the digital story, an eportfolio, video broadcasts or and experiences are valued and contribute to reusable case studies. changing practices; ensure that there is constant In terms of authentic course design, two of the cases communication with students who are using these highlighted the importance of creating environments where new tools in order to motivate and encourage active linkages can be made between in-class and out-of-class work, participation and also to provide needed support. or blurring the boundaries between formal and informal learning. Here emerging technologies such as blogs and CREATE A SAFE SPACE FOR DISCUSSION, wikis facilitated discussion and legitimised experiences gained COLLABORATION AND COMMUNITY BUILDING outside of the formal curriculum. In total eight cases specifically mentioned the need to design authentic tasks and recreate contexts that are as authentic as possible to allow meaningful student learning based on students’ individual learning needs and future professional practice. A position of openness from the educators encouraged students to find answers to questions themselves, and here Allow students to create a social presence, e.g. by adding a joke, complaints about funding and support for each other; using emerging technologies is as much about engaging with content as it is about community building and creating a social presence. For students to engage in this new space, the role of the teacher transformed into one of facilitator they need to feel safe and respected; normalise the and guide. Emerging technologies enabled students’ students’ vulnerability in sharing and unpacking their personal learning to be transparent and open to discussion challenging experiences with class colleagues and and feedback, so that the risk of “getting it wrong” was facilitators. Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 45
  • 49. Emerging technologies for authentic learning in HE minimised. Three of the case studies did not involve an INVOLVE PARTNERS FROM WITHIN THE authentic task or context; one was an intervention in INSTITUTION AND THE COMMUNITY a very large undergraduate class and the other were Projects requiring diverse digital literacy skills will groups of students distributed across various spaces. This shows that even where authentic task design is not benefit from involvement of an inter-disciplinary explicit, emerging technologies enabled other aspects facilitation and teaching team with various skills; of authentic learning which can enrich the learning this could be colleagues from the institution, but process. also experts from the industry or community. Challenges of emerging technologies None of this was easy. Over half of the educators BE AWARE OF POTENTIAL RESISTANCE IN mentioned the need to be conscious of time, time STUDENTS AND COLLEAGUES spent by themselves, the students (many of these It will take time for both lecturers and students to accept new ways of learning. Be aware of the risks in relation to the use of emerging technologies, engagements were prolonged), the time it takes to adapt to new environments and ways of teaching and learning, and finding a balance between keeping momentum and not overwhelming participants. such as social media or peer assessment tools or Innovation required commitment and reflection on the engaging students in collaborative group work. part of the educator. ALLOW TIME FOR REFLECTIVE PRACTICE DURING AND AFTER THE COURSE Resistance was also a potential risk, both on the part of students and colleagues. Keeping students motivated and engaged required constant communication and Continuous reflective practice is highly important encouragement. Educators did this by a variety of means when engaging with emerging technologies to - sometimes allocating course marks to participation, innovate teaching and learning; prompt reflective practice throughout the course encouraging refinement and improvement of the course; allow being explicit about how students’ voices and experiences were contributing to changing practices, and showcasing good examples of student work. Despite the global focus on student-centred learning time for debriefing and reflection on project approaches and increasing digital immersion of young to consolidate knowledge both on the part of people, changes in teaching and learning approaches students and facilitators / organisers. are as hard for students as they are for educators. Thorough and careful advance planning helped, as did involvement with facilitators or teaching team members from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds or external partners/experts. Certainly support was critical for the educators, whether in the form of student assistants, technical support, a team approach to teaching, peer 46 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 50. support or mentorship between students, or scaffolding innovative because of their approach, not because of the of the teaching and learning process through formative technology employed. assessment or guidelines. Continuous reflective practice by educators enabled innovations to be continuously refined, improved and consolidated. While two of the cases had development of digital literacies as an explicit strategy, others also found it necessary to consider this aspect in terms of training needed, transfer Despite continual improvements in terms of access to of knowledge and students’ awareness of online ethics and emerging technologies that have enabled many of these privacy issues. Safe spaces were needed for collaboration innovations, it is clear from the tools that dominate the and often this was achieved by creating closed forums that pedagogical practice that educators still have to consider allowed students to engage with each other in a private infrastructural Bandwidth space. Therefore, the development of digital literacy skills continues to be a hindrance. Unsurprisingly, the innovations as part of the learning process was an important outcome highlighted here tended to be institutionally based or to for many of these innovations, and feedback shows that draw on cloud- based low bandwidth tools. Simplicity, acquisition of new digital literacies was seen as a valuable mobility and availability (particularly in terms of cost) of tools unintended outcome and resulted in more active participation were strong drivers. All of the practices described here are by students in their learning. and resource constraints. Key points for effective practice Ten key points for effective practice emerged from the 11 case studies: 1. It takes time! 2. Use tools that are simple and easily accessible 3. Design for authentic learning 4. Engage with digital literacy skills 5. Provide scaffolding and guidance 6. Ensure motivation through ongoing communication 7. Create a safe space for discussion, collaboration and community building 8. Involve partners from within the institution and the community 9. Be aware of potential resistance in students and colleagues 10. Allow time for reflective practice during and after the course These key points for effective practice provided by these cases are intended to be viewed as conduits for success, not deterrents. Each case enabled new and expanded learning opportunities, providing real examples of how simple and accessible emerging technologies can be used creatively to facilitate qualitative learning outcomes – even in our resourceconstrained South African HE context. Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 47
  • 51. Further reading on ‘Emerging ICTs in Higher Education’ NRF research project Backhouse, J. (2013). What makes lecturers in higher education use emerging technologies in their teaching? Knowledge Management E-Learning, 5(3), 345–358. Available at: http://www.kmel-journal.org/ojs/index.php/ online-publication/article/viewFile/246/193 Bozalek, V., Gachago, D., Alexander, L., Watters, K., Wood, D., Ivala, E. and Herrington, J. (2013). The use of emerging technologies for authentic learning: A South African study in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44: 629–638. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12046 Gachago, D., Ivala, E., Backhouse, J., Bosman, JP, Bozalek, V., and Ng’ambi, D. (2013). Towards a Shared Understanding of Emerging Technologies: Experiences in a Collaborative Research Project in South Africa. African Journal of Information Systems, 5: 3 (Article 4). Available at: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/ajis/vol5/iss3/4 Lesko, I. (2013). The use and production of OER OCW in teaching in South African higher education institutions (Case Study). Open Praxis, 5:2 (Article 1). Available at:http://www.openpraxis.org/index.php/OpenPraxis/article/ view/52 Ng’ambi, D. (2013), Effective and ineffective uses of emerging technologies: Towards a transformative pedagogical model. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44: 652–661. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12053 Ng’ambi, D. and Bozalek, V. (2013), Editorial: Emerging technologies and changing learning/teaching practices. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44: 531–535. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12061 Rowe, M., Bozalek, V. and Frantz, J. (2013), Using Google Drive to facilitate a blended approach to authentic learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44: 594–606. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12063 See more at http://emergingicts.blogspot.com/p/project-outputs.html 48 Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013
  • 52. Bibliography Bozalek, V., Gachago, D., Alexander, L., Watters, K., Wood, D., Ivala, E., Herrington, J. (2013). The use of emerging technologies for authentic learning: A South African study in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(4), 629–638. doi:10.1111/ bjet.12046 Bozalek, V., Ng’ambi, D., Gachago, D. (2013). Transforming teaching with emerging technologies: Implications for Higher Education Institutions. South African Journal of Higher Education, 27(2), 419–436. Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience (CLEX). (2009). Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World. Retrieved from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/heweb20rptv1.pdf Council of Higher Education. (2010). Access and throughput in South African Higher Education: Three case studies. Higher Education Monitor, 9. Retrieved from http://www.che.ac.za/documents/d000206/ Dabbagh, N., Bannan-Ritland, B. (2005). Online learning: Concepts, strategies and application. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson. Retrieved from http://www.prenhall.com/dabbagh/ollresources/ Dennen, V. P., Burner, K. (2008). Cognitive apprenticeship in educational practice: research on scaffolding, modeling, mentoring and coaching as instructional strategies. In J. Spector, M. Merrill, J. Merrienboe, M. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (pp. 425–440). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum. Gachago, D., Ivala, E., Backhouse, J., Bosman, J. P., Bozalek, V. (2013). Towards a Shared Understanding of Emerging Technologies: Experiences in a Collaborative Research Project in South Africa. African Journal of Information Systems, 5(3). Herrington, J., Mantei, J., Herrington, A., Olney, I., Ferry, B. (2008). New technologies , new pedagogies: Mobile technologies and new ways of teaching and learning. Proceedings of the Ascilite 2008 Melbourne (pp. 419–427). Herrington, J., Reeves, T. C. (2003). Patterns of engagement in authentic online learning environments. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 19(1), 59–71. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet19/herrington.html Herrington, J., Reeves, T. C., Oliver, R. (2010). A guide to authentic e-learning. New York: Routledge. Herrington, T., Herrington, J. (2006). Authentic learning environments in Higher Education. Hershey PA: Information Science Publishing. Johnson, L., Adams, S. (2011). Technology Outlook UK Tertiary Education 2011-2016: An NMC Horizon Report Regional Analysis. Austin, Texas: New Media Consortium. Ng’ambi, D. (2013). Effective and ineffective uses of emerging technologies: Towards a transformative pedagogical model. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44, 652–661. doi:doi: 10.1111/bjet.12053 Ng’ambi, D., Gachago, D., Ivala, E., Bozalek, V., Watters, K. (2012). Emerging Technologies in South African Higher Education Institutions: Towards a Teaching and Learning Practice Framework. In P. Lam (Ed.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on e-Learning (pp. 354–362). Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Scott, I., Yeld, N., Hendry, J. (2007). Higher Education Monitor. A case for Improving Teaching and Learning in South African Higher Education. Higher Education. Pretoria. Retrieved from http://www.che.ac.za/documents/d000155/HE_Monitor_6_ITLS_Oct2007.pdf Sharples, M., Mcandrew, P., Weller, M., Ferguson, R., Fitzgerald, E., Hirst, T., … Gaved, M. (2012). Innovating Pedagogy 2012. Milton Keynes. Retrieved from http://www.open.ac.uk/personalpages/mike.sharples/Reports/Innovating_Pedagogy_report_July_2012.pdf Veletsianos, G. (2010). Emerging Technologies in Distance Education. Theory and Practice. Edmonton: AU Press. Retrieved from http://www.aupress.ca/books/120177/ebook/99Z_Veletsianos_2010-Emerging_Technologies_in_Distance_Education.pdf Emerging Technologies in Higher Education I Nov 2013 49
  • 53. A collaboration between the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Rhodes University, University of the Western Cape, University of Cape Town, University of Fort Hare, University of Pretoria, University of Stellenbosch, University of the Witwatersrand, and the OpenCourseWare Consortium as part of the ‘Emerging ICTs in Higher Education’ project funded by the National Research Foundation. For more information visit: www.emergingicts.blogspot.com

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