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Tshwane University of Technology
 


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The call for free, quality education has plunged many universities and the higher education sector into uncertainty about the completion of the academic year. Many students are deeply concerned about the possibility of not completing their 2016 academic programmes. In response to this dilemma, the Tshwane University of Technology’s Directorate of Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLωT) has come up with an initiative to help save the academic year and maintain the support for free quality education, in principle. 

Technology is an important tool for bridging the gap between students and the institution. Universities such as the University of Pretoria and the University of Cape Town have adopted similar strategies in the wake of student disruptions.

The Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) has compiled a guide to help UCT lecturers deliver teaching and learning activities online, in particular for a scenario in which face-to-face lectures and tutorials are not able to resume this year. This live, online guide is available through Google Docs.

The TLωT initiative is also designed to help lecturers deliver teaching and learning activities online, especially in situations where it becomes problematic to continue with face-to-face lectures and tutorials. The University has set up a daily hub for walk-in advice and support for lecturers with any questions about online learning approaches and tools.

The hub will focus on online teaching and learning strategies as well as technical support and video recording of lectures. TLωT has also offered to arrange sessions on other TUT campuses depending on the demand and requests.

Gerrit Wissing, Senior Instructional Designer at TLωT, hopes that this initiative will be valuable in both the short and the longer term. “In the short term, while physical access to some of our learning sites is restricted, we can help teaching staff to continue with learning activities. We can record lectures on video or help D-I-Y lecturers to record their own lectures. We can also assist with distributing learning material via myTUTor, the institutional virtual learning environment, or even provide for real-time communication with students In the longer term, TLωT’s team of instructional designers can assist lecturers to develop their courses so that learning can be supported even when students are away from the classroom.”

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to deruyterw@tut.ac.za.