Projects

Projects

CET projects generally include technical, curriculum development and research aspects. They are often collaborative in nature within the Centre, with faculty partners, or across higher education institutions nationally and internationally.

CET works internally with academics on curriculum partnership projects which involve the development of resources integrating ICTs into the curriculum. CET also works on externally funded projects.

Lecture Recording

CET and ICTS are involved in a pilot project to investigate the technology process and use of lecture capture in a number of venues across UCT. Lecture capture refers to a set of technologies that allow recordings of presentations (including lectures) and making available those recordings available, in a number of set formats, automatically to a given audience.

Facilitating online

The Facilitating Online project involved producing a guide for training online facilitators. The training course was trialled with a group of facilitators who acted as conference hosts of Emerge 2008 conference.

Read more about Facilitating online.

Open Educational Resources

In the early 21st century, higher education institutions are caught up in paradoxical practices with many top-ranked universities sharing their teaching and learning materials freely over the Internet, while other less-prestigious or smaller universities are holding on to their intellectual property in a bid to remain competitive. This new practice of sharing open educational resources (OER) has been made possible by technological development and has provided the possibility for HEIs to change the deep-seated traditional processes in which knowledge is created, taught, learned and employed.

UCT commited to building a repository of OER in 2008.  This project funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation is expected to run through to February 2010.  The project will result in a new culture of sharing at UCT and the availability of high quality, open access learning materials organized on a UCT branded OER website. 

Check the OER@UCT project blog for details.  We are also running a VULA project site where we will be sharing resources related to our project.  Search for "Introduction to OER" in Joinable Sites from your Workspace in VULA. 

Read more about the Cape Town Open Education Declaration and become a signatory at www.capetowndeclaration.org.

Mobile Learning Project

The Mobile Learning Project explores the use of prevalent mobile technologies in our resource-poor context to support teaching and learning in higher education curricula. With over 98 percent of students with cellphones, the project seeks to exploit devices already in student hands to provide anywhere anytime student support. Anecdotal evidence shows that texting is the students’ modulus operand of communication. Although each registered student has an email account, the frequency of email use is increasingly dismal among students. As a consequence, urgent emails to students are usually followed up with a text message due to long lead time between sending an email and having it read. Thus, the project is premised on the following: i) mobile phones are already in student hands; ii) students are already communicatively competent with Short Message Services (SMS). Current Activities • The Dynamic Frequently Asked Questions (DFAQ) - allows students to anonymously ask and receive answers to questions they could otherwise not ask in face-to-face session. Designed with a seamless Web and Mobile interface, the anonymously created artefacts become a resource to the entire class and also serve as feedback to the academic on student learning. • A Virtual Noticeboard - allows academics to post announcements and students use SMS to access notices on demand. • Collaborative Glossaries - allows students to collectively create short notes (e.g. acronyms, definitions etc) and the resulting repository becomes accessible through SMS. • An Event Notifier – allows an academic to plan messages about notifications, reminders, deadlines etc in advance (e.g. for the whole semester or year) and the tool sends notifications to students at scheduled times. • SMS broadcast – commonly used by faculty staff to send text messages to dispersed students. Among most common messages include: scheduling of lectures, sending urgent notices and pointing students to useful online resources. • Social Presence and Context Awareness – being used to support students as they move across three learning locations; formal, semi-formal and informal. This project uses Instant Messaging (IM) in WiFi environments. For more information contact: Dick Ng’ambi, Project Manager: Mobile Learning Funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

National Access and Use Study

This projects extends the research done on access to and use of computers in the higher education institutions in the Western Cape. The National Access and Use Study aims to provide baseline information regarding South African higher education staff and student access to and use of ICTs for teaching and learning. Funded by the National Research Foundation.

OpeningScholarship Project

The OpeningScholarship project explores the transformative potential of information and communication technologies in the context of the University of Cape Town. Through a series of case studies at UCT, the project will explore the ways in which this is impacting on communication patterns between researchers, lecturers and students and between the university and the community. The project aims to identify ways in which these new technologies can expand research and learning in the institution beyond the narrow walls of the curriculum to engage the university community with important cross-cutting issues and the convergence of traditional disciplines. This project is funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation.

PHEA Educational Technology Initiative

CET hosted the first phase of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa’s planned Educational Technology Initiative. Launched in May 2000 the PHEA comprises Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

In October 2006, the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) convened an Educational Technology Think Tank for Africa. Hosted by the Centre for Educational Technology (CET) at the University of Cape Town, the Think Tank played an advisory role to the Partnership. Comprising experts from the African continent, the Think Tank’s mandate was to help to guide the partnership’s educational technology initiative by providing intellectual input regarding possible strategies for supporting the innovative application of technology for the improvement of teaching and learning in the nine countries within which the partnership works. These countries are Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The Think Tank held its first meeting in November 2006 and concluded its work in November 2007. Phase 2 planning activities are presently underway.

In order to support the work of the think tank, CET commissioned documentation on the status of information and communication technologies (ICT) and higher education within the PHEA countries. This documentation comprised, amongst other data, country profiles of eight of the nine PHEA countries. The country profiles covered Egypt, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, while data in the form of references was gathered on Madagascar. Although the reports considered the status of ICT across various sectors within each country, the focus was on the status of ICTs in higher education. These status reports are available in both print and web-based form. Print copies are available from the Centre for Educational Technology. The web versions can be downloaded as individual chapters.

Curriculum Projects

CET works in partnership with UCT academics on curriclum projects involving educational technology. For more details see Curriculum partnership projects.