In the ever-evolving landscape of online education, Eiffel Corp stands at the forefront of innovation and efficiency. Our commitment to providing seamless, scalable, and secure learning management systems (LMS) is unwavering. This is why we’ve strategically partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host our Moodle LMS solutions, offering our clients unparalleled reliability and performance.
The Power of Partnership
At Eiffel Corp, we recognise the importance of a robust infrastructure that can adapt to the dynamic needs of learners and educators. By collaborating with AWS, we leverage their extensive global network to deliver our Moodle LMS with reduced latency and increased redundancy, ensuring users can access their courses anytime, anywhere.
Scalability Meets Demand
One of the core challenges in digital education is the unpredictability of user demand. AWS’s scalable solutions allow us to dynamically adjust our resources to meet the high-traffic demands of enrollment periods, as well as the quieter times of the academic year. This scalability is crucial for our clients who need a Moodle LMS that can grow with them without the worry of infrastructure limitations.
Enhanced Security for Peace of Mind
Security is paramount in online education. With AWS, we implement top-tier security measures to protect sensitive student and faculty data. AWS’s compliance with the most stringent security standards means that Eiffel Corp can assure our clients that their data is in safe hands.
Innovation and Continuous Improvement
Our partnership with AWS enables us to stay at the cutting edge of technological advancements. We can rapidly deploy new features, updates, and improvements to our Moodle LMS, thanks to the agile environment AWS provides. This agility ensures that we can continue to offer a state-of-the-art LMS experience that meets the modern demands of online education.
Uninterrupted Learning Experience: AWS’s reliable infrastructure translates to maximum uptime for our Moodle LMS. Educators and learners expect access without interruption, and our partnership with AWS makes this a reality. Their extensive backup systems and disaster recovery protocols mean that Eiffel Corp can promise continuity of service, even in the face of unforeseen events.
Through AWS, we can optimise costs without compromising quality. This efficiency is achieved by utilizing AWS’s pay-as-you-go pricing model, which allows us to only pay for the resources we use. As a result, we can offer competitive pricing to our clients, ensuring they receive the best value for their investment in education technology.
Eiffel Corp’s partnership with AWS is more than just a strategic business decision; it’s a commitment to providing the best possible Moodle LMS experience. With AWS, we have the support of a vast network, top-notch security, and the flexibility to innovate rapidly, ensuring that we can meet the needs of the educational community both now and in the future.
For more information on how Eiffel Corp, powered by AWS, can enhance your educational institution’s digital learning capabilities with Moodle LMS, visit our website or reach out to our team today.
https://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/EC-BLOG-FEATURED-SQUARE-TEMPLATE-8.png10241024Jolene Du Plessishttps://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/eiffel-corp-logo-colour.pngJolene Du Plessis2023-11-07 13:25:372023-11-07 13:25:37Why Eiffel Corp Chooses AWS as Our Trusted Partner
“When a society’s educational institutions are infused with integrity, they help create a stronger civic culture for society as a whole.”
International Centre for Academic Integrity
The Age-old Challenge of Academic Misconduct
Although universities and higher learning institutions have been fighting against academic misconduct among students, academics and staff, it remains a challenge. The result of course is mistrust of both students and educators.
What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism has many shapes and forms, but it boils down to any one person using the words ideas or work products of another identifiable person or source, without attributing this to its original source; in a situation where there is a legitimate expectation of original authorship; in order to obtain some benefit, credit or gain – which need not necessarily be of a monetary nature (Fishman, 2009). In short, when students try to pass off others’ work or ideas as their own.
The temptation to draw on resources in a dishonest manner during exams, assessments, projects and so forth, has been ascribed to pressure placed on students. Sometimes students aren’t even aware that they are committing plagiarism as they reference all sources. In other cases, it is simply to find dishonest ways to submit work – often disregarding the impact of not acquiring their qualifications in an honest manner may have on their future (or on others). (Read more on why students plagiarise here)
How to Tackle Plagiarism
Plagiarism is not a new concept – over the years it has just become easier to copy other ideas due to the easy access to information, other students’ work or paying someone else to do the work for him or her.
Rather than implementing stricter policing tools, educators should find ways to identify and address the root of the problem. And institutions should guide this process with policies and processes. The key focus should be on raising awareness of what academic integrity is and how to uphold it, to educate and support students through building their skills around research, citation, writing and academic integrity practises. Through this, institutions also protect their values and ultimately their credibility.
Equipped to Build a Culture of Academic Integrity
Turnitin helps both students and educators limit plagiarism and encourages original writing. There are various solutions offered by Turnitin to help guide this process at every step of academic writing.
The reasoning behind this is that in order to create a culture of fairness, students need to understand how to act with integrity. Educators need the tools to efficiently act with fairness in mind, helping students to help understand the importance thereof. Institutions need insights that can secure integrity as part of every aspect of the education they provide their students.
In essence, Turnitin’s solutions provide insights to the right people at the right moment, so that they can respond proactively. This is achieved through presenting data and insights within teaching and learning tools.
Figure 1.1: Turnitin Solutions
How does Turnitin Similarity Work?
Turnitin Similarity is not an anti-plagiarism tool. Rather, it checks for the level of similarity in a research report or assignment. Once flagged, the educator can investigate whether work is cited correctly or not.
Figure 1.2: Flagged citations
Here is how the process works. A typical submission made to an assignment in Turnitin generates a Similarity Report. The Similarity Report is the result of comparison between the text of the submission against the search targets selected for the assignment; this may include billions of pages of active and archived internet information, a repository of works previously submitted to Turnitin, and a repository of tens of thousands of periodicals, journals, and publications. Any matching or highly similar text discovered is detailed in the Similarity Report that is available in the assignment inbox.
The similarity score is a percentage of a paper’s content that matches Turnitin’s databases; it is not an assessment of whether the paper includes plagiarised material or not.
Color-coding, filters, and source comparison for easy interpretation.
Data insights to show deliberate text manipulation.
Compare against the industry-leading database of content for comprehensive results.
Integrates with today’s top learning management systems, collaboration tools, and single-sign-on services.
Which Plagiarism Solution is Right for You?
This buyer’s guide will help you find the plagiarism-checking solution that meets your institution’s needs and instructional goals.
Fishman. T. (2009) “We know it when we see it” is not good enough: toward a standard definition of plagiarism that transcends theft, fraud, and copyright. Paper presented at 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity, 28–30 September 2009, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia. https://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/09-4apcei/4apcei-Fishman.pdf (Accessed: 13 February 2019).
Eiffel Corp partnered with CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa as an associate sponsor of the seventh annual Future of Education Summit. Hosted virtually for the second year in a row, the summit took place on Thursday, 29 July 2021.
The event brought together experts from 25 countries across the world, in an attempt to answer whether education needs to be redefined – during and post pandemic. And if yes, to what degree. Various panel discussions tackled different topics within the theme, “Redefining the Purpose of Education.”
The event started with an opening address from Rakesh Wahi, Founder of the Future of Education Summit and Co-Founder of the ABN Group. Mr. Wahi shared key thoughts on the impact of Covid-19 on the global education sector, raising the question of whether the current pathway for academic progression is relevant to the future.
Our Director of Digital Learning Services, Myles Thies, had the opportunity to join in on an important discussion relating to “Technologies Transforming the Face of Education.”
The following message was aired to introduce thoughts and set the context for this panel discussion: “The transformation brought on by the covid 19 pandemic globally across all industries is likely to continue. While edtech, online teaching, and learning became more prominent in the education sector, both the strengths and weaknesses of online education have been exposed. As the world moves out of the shadows of the pandemic, a blended learning model is most likely to emerge and last into the future. The technological trends most likely to shape the face of education include artificial intelligence, hybrid course models, data-driven student analysis, open education resources, quality virtual learning, big data, blockchain, gamification, robotics, and the Internet of Things, and 3d printing.”
Fifi Peters, Anchor at CNBC Africa, facilitated the conversation. She opened in agreement on the several technologies that are transforming the face of education and then raised the important question of “how many of them are applicable for an African setting.” The panel was joined by Prof Dan Atkins, group CEO of the Transnational Academic Group, Dr. Felix Panganayi (Founder and Director at the Windsor School of Excellence in Science and Technology in Zimbabwe), Dean McCoubrey, (Founder at My Sociallife), and our very own Myles Thies (Director of Digital Learning Services).
While the discussion was focused on transformational technology, an important focus was placed on the gaps that exist within the education sector. From lack of access to data to digital literacy, there was a general consensus that not all institutions were on the same playing field when it came to the implementation or application of blended or online learning. McCoubrey added it is important to note there are three components to learning is, one is education (teaching), other technology (edtech), and thirdly, humanity. Aside from access to information and resources, there is an important component that cannot be overlooked, which is mental wellness, and the soft skills that go with human interaction. In other words, going forward we need to “ensure that the balance of soft skills interacting and the human aspect of teaching and learning is also maintained.”
Myles Theis explained the realities that were revealed during Covid-19, “We quickly saw that it takes a lot more than just pieces of technology in order to be able to really create this successful learning experience, bring people in, pull them through a program, and then obviously help them achieve those skills, or within the original framework that we envision…from schools level, all the way through to corporate learning to higher education a lot of growing up had to be done and a lot of experimentation happened.”
“We’ve seen traditional models of teaching and learning really struggling to cope with the challenges required by the pandemic,” said Thies. Adding that “a lot of the thinking that had to take place could now inform what happens in the future.” Institutions and schools can now ask important questions such as, “Where do we spend our money? How do we actually get the greatest benefit out of the technology that we apply? And how do we redevelop the programs that we are presenting…so that they meet the needs of the relevant groups of people in those programs as well as meet the needs of all the different stakeholders.”
The panel also touched on how Covid-19 has accelerated innovation and how we’ve seen challenges met with new solutions. Most importantly, however, none of the technology adds the value it is supposed to when it is not accessible – whether through pricing or through lack of skills.
Myles Thies explains, “It is really important that tech solutions are given to teachers who have the right kind of skills to be able to apply them in the right way. And I think the leadership in those institutions, and across every single region around the world, particularly for Africa, should be enabled to understand what they’re going to do for their learners, and how to make the best use of these tools.” Dean McCoubrey agreed, “I think it’s very easy for us to get stuck in the emerging tech and the innovations. But actually, we have a problem with basic access, basic education, and inclusion. So that’s really where we are as a continent and as a country.”
Watch the full panel discussion in the recap below:
Sponsors for this event included UCT GSB, Vodacom Business, Eiffel Corp, the University of Johannesburg, Vuma, Transnational Academic Group, Lancaster University of Ghana, and Curtin University Dubai.
The increasing pressure on institutions to monitor students during remote and online assessments has seen a growth in proctoring solutions. Contention surrounding proctoring solutions, such as accessibility, privacy, data security, and equity, have created the need for a different approach to monitoring students.
The Invigilator App offers a proctoring solution that strikes the balance between authentication of students during assessments and invasion of privacy. Hosted on an entry-level smartphone, The Invigilator also overcomes many of the issues related to accessibility, data security, and connectivity.
What is the Invigilator?
The Invigilator is a tool specifically developed for the education sector. Its features overcome some of the challenges presented by proctoring tools, whilst mitigating some of the risks associated with online assessments.
The app allows examiners to choose from a variety of photo authentication and speech recording tools, matched to the level of security required for each assessment.
The Invigilator uses artificial intelligence to authenticate photos, flag recordings containing speech, and generate verification codes for integration into an LMS (Learning Management System).
With all these amazing features to offer – who is behind such an extraordinary app?
A group of individuals, who have committed themselves to be lifelong students due to their passion for education. A couple of lecturers and a developer combined their strengths to come up with a solution that is innovative and accessible.
Nicholas Riemer: Nicholas attended the University of Johannesburg where he completed his CA(SA) studies. He has always had a passion for finance and education and spent a year in academia at the University of Johannesburg before completing his articles through FirstRand. He was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug early on and has also been involved in a number of private businesses. Since qualifying he continues to guest lecture for the University of Johannesburg, Monash as well as for the SAICA board course and followed his passion for education in co-founding a tool that he believes will add significant value to the academic world in mitigating online examination risk.
Jurie Wessels: Jurie attended the University of Johannesburg where he obtained his undergraduate degree as well as honours and master’s in taxation. Jurie is a senior tax lecturer at the University of Johannesburg and has been for the past 12 years. Jurie plays a key role in the administering of the SAICA board 2 exam and has extensive experience when it comes to educational technology within teaching and learning. Juries’ passion for education and business has assisted The Invigilator application to grow from strength to strength. It is Jurie’s vision that The Invigilator brings all the positives of online exam proctoring without the limitations to the world.
Matthew Riemer: Matthew attended the University of Stellenbosch where he completed his BCom degree. He obtained an honours in marketing from Vega before self-learning how to write code. Matthew founded BackAlley technology where he works on a number of different projects, including apps, websites, and games. Matthew was the sole software engineer that built The Invigilator application. Matthew has a huge passion for application development, and it was due to his gifted skill set that The Invigilator is able to offer the highest technology to our customers in the easiest and most affordable manner.
Dewald Joubert : Dewald attended the University of Johannesburg where he obtained his CA(SA) qualification as well as his master’s in financial management. Dewald has had a lifelong passion for education and through this passion has been able to bring the world a scalable solution when it comes to protecting academic integrity and degree value. Dewald is striving for South African universities to adopt a blended and continuous assessment approach and believes The Invigilator application is a tool that will assist in making this vision a reality within South Africa as well a globally.
Want to have The Invigilator at your institution? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org and get your institution on the path to success.
https://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/BLOG-FEATUEED-SQUARE-INVIGILATOR-MEET-THE-DEVELOPERS.jpg10241024Stiaan Swanepoelhttps://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/eiffel-corp-logo-colour.pngStiaan Swanepoel2021-07-22 10:35:352021-08-02 11:19:58Meet the Brains behind The Invigilator
“The brilliant thing is that it actually sounds easy to use. It’s easier to use than it sounds”
Who is Christine Kraamwinkel?
Christine Kraamwinkel is a lecturer in the Department of Statistics at the University of Pretoria. Christine teaches first year statistics in an undergraduate course. More specifically, she instructs students from the BCom faculty. Her group consists mostly of commerce students, although they do have a few students from other faculties like EBIT, as well as some computer science students.
“Our department is responsible for teaching undergraduate students and post-graduate students and contributing to research.”
Who are the Students?
“Students at the University of Pretoria are extremely diverse. “We pretty much have students from every background…we have students from across the country.”
A recent survey showed that there was a student from every single province at UP, and even outside of South Africa.
The diverse group of students includes individuals from very privileged backgrounds as well as students who struggle financially. “We have a little bit of everything in our students, every culture, every race, and every background. As you can imagine, the diversity makes it quite challenging in some ways to instruct students, but I find it very exciting to have such a diverse group of students to interact with.”
What were Assessments and Grading like Before Gradescope?
“Well, that’s a good question. Before Gradescope things were intense. I used to lecture on Mamelodi campus in the extended program. I used to have about 200 to 300 students in my module, and when they wrote a test everything was written or marked by hand. We only did a few online tests and activities on our LMS. In order to have a continuous assessment, it was done online on a weekly basis as we just didn’t have the manpower to mark everything. But the big tests and the exams would be marked by hand. Marking Exam papers would take about a week to ten days of constant marking – barely eating, barely sleeping – just to get through all the papers. It was really tough on me, I even ended up with spasms in my body. I even had to go for physio, because I was in so much pain, especially my neck and my back, from all the marking by hand.”
It wasn’t fun. But it was extremely important because you need to be able to give feedback to your students, and you need to adjust or shape your teaching around what you’re seeing on the papers. This process was stressful!
What processes and tools did you use before you had Gradescope?
During my time at Mamelodi campus, I did most of the mark work, along with two tutors. It was challenging.
As mentioned, online tests would help us to at least just give feedback in between the big tests to students, guiding them in where they were wrong. When I moved to Hatfield campus to work on the program I am currently instructing, the student numbers jumped to the 1000s. Suddenly my initial 300 students were a small group.
In the past, multiple-choice tests were used. A multiple-choice test does not offer the same level of insights as a written test, though. The system was adjusted to the use of clickers. Students had to buy a clicker at quite a high cost. Tests were set up in such a way so that students can type in their answers for each of the questions and then marked by the clicker system. The challenge was that it didn’t account for spelling errors or any other possible answers. This meant you would still have to scroll through Excel sheets filled with data to find alternative correct answers and check. While the clickers saved time, it was still a time-consuming process easily taking up to a week to finalise.
While the questions and answers allowed for more descriptive styles, one had to keep in mind that answers were limited to 67 characters, for example. Questions, therefore, had to be well thought through.
The university moved away from clickers onto mobile apps, where students could answer using a cell phone. While this allowed for a higher level of interaction and reflect their understanding of the content better, it also meant access to a cell phone during a test situation. Imagine a lecture venue with 500 students. There is no control over messages between students or external resources. While phones were more accessible (less costly) than clickers – but was still costly to own a smart device.
Why did you choose Gradescope?
We attended a conference shortly after the news that we were exchanging clickers for mobile apps. We were in two minds about the change due to the academic integrity challenges that would come with mobile phones and testing 1800 to 2000 students. One of the workshops I attended was hosted by Prof. Dave Noland, from the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Noland shared how Gradescope had proven a useful and successful tool at their institution.
I immediately identified Gradescope as the solution for us. Our head of department agreed. I did some research on cost and practicality and was sold on Gradescope.
How was Gradescope received by your institution?
Our department was the first to use Gradescope as a trial. Shortly after, I was asked to present the solution to Prof. Pulut Lemur, deputy dean of teaching and learning for the NASA faculty. After showing her what Gradescope was capable of, what it would cost the institution. It is costly to adopt a new product, but to my surprise Prof. Lemur was happy, “this looks really good”, was her response, “it addresses a lot of the issues that we have. We need to take this further.” I was over the moon.
As we started planning and roll out and use of Gradescope on Campus, Covid-19 hit South Africa. We found ourselves, and students, working from home and had to think outside the box. Everyone had to think outside the box. One of the advantages of COVID was that all received permission, to use Gradescope free of charge in 2020. This actually made it so much easier! I was able to demonstrate what Gradescope could do – at seminars in our department, and our faculty. And everyone was able to test it. It started spreading throughout our department and shortly after it started filtering through to other departments.
Due to everyone being overworked and under a lot of pressure, I approached my seminars differently. I would send out the link to a Gradescope course prior to the seminar and ask them to register. They then had the chance to complete a simple assignment with four questions that they had to complete 2 minutes before we started. I would then demonstrate how easy it is to use Gradescope by marking their assignments.
Knowing that individuals (especially under pressure) are resistant to change, this approach was an easier way to help lecturers see that Gradescope is simple to use – both for students and lecturers – and how it can save time.
The student side of things – their experience and impact?
Moving to online assessments due to Covid-19 was a challenge. One of the biggest problems we experienced was students being dishonest. They don’t realise the impact it has on their understanding of the work and their future careers even.
The students have found Gradescope easy to use and generally had a positive response. They also saw the feedback as motivation to improve. And with subjects like coding, Gradescope is super helpful due to the checks for similarities of coding.
Due to the high number of students at our institution, we do have some challenges that we still have to overcome, where the technology does not necessarily cover everything yet. But where we can use it – it is amazing for both the students and lecturers.
What would you say to other institutions considering Gradescope?
It’s really a game changer. Marking exams using Gradescope was the least painful thing I’ve ever done. Where it would usually take weeks, I did all of my marking in less than two days. I had all my meals I slept each night, it was so easy. It also took away the stress of those small things that used to take up so much unnecessary time – like adding up the marks double checking that you’ve added it correctly.
https://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/BLOG-FEATURED-SQUARE-Future-fit-Technology-Making-the-Lives-of-Educators-Better-GRADESCOPE.jpg10241024Stiaan Swanepoelhttps://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/eiffel-corp-logo-colour.pngStiaan Swanepoel2021-07-19 11:06:132021-07-28 13:07:43Future-fit Technology: Making the Lives of Education Better
“Integrity gives you real freedom because you have nothing to fear since you have nothing to hide”. -Zig Ziglar
Unfortunately, there will always be students who take shortcuts and plagiarise. Some intentionally, others less so. Regardless of the intent, academic dishonesty disrupts an institution and brings disrepute to its qualifications. While there are various ways to assess the originality of a student’s work, such as copying and pasting strings of information into Google, these types of methods are time-consuming and not foolproof.
Our team at Eiffel Corp understands the importance of academic integrity for both educators and students. To tackle the culture of academic integrity, we partnered Turnitin to bring you their revolutionary solution in Feedback Studio.
What is Feedback Studio?
Checking for similarity – Not your average plagiarism checker
Feedback studio brings you the world’s most comprehensive collection of internet, academic and student chapter content. The extensive database ensures reliable results when checking students’ work for text similarity.
What is Similarity?
Feedback Studio does not set out to spot plagiarism in a student’s assignment. It checks the student’s work against the massive database. If it finds instances where text is similar i.e. matches writing in the database, it is flagged for the lecturer to review.
What can you do with Feedback Studio?
Turnitin’s Feedback Studio gives students immediate access to the information and the tools available in order to have a thorough marking and feedback process. This process shapes and develops students as original writers, boosting confidence and reducing the temptation to turn to plagiarism. For educators, Feedback Studio makes it easy to annotate work with comments and move between features and student papers during the marking process. Here is how:
Give meaningful feedback – Why limit personal interactions to the classroom?
Drag and drop QuickMarks, text and voice comments and automatic grammar checking provide personalized and actionable feedback to students.
Standardise grading – Don’t let grading fatigue get you down
Pre-defined or custom rubrics help instructors consistently evaluate student work and easily connect grading criteria to in-line feedback.
Integrated into your ecosystem
Feedback studio is designed to complement existing workflows through integrations with your LMS (Learning Management System), single sign-on partners and collaboration tools.
Why Feedback Studio?
Feeback studio is used by 34 million students and 15,000 institutions worldwide, including 80 of the top 100 universities globally.
Up to 16% of students worldwide admit to paying a third party to complete their work. Turnitin Feedback Studio with Originality helps you identify, escalate, and investigate potential cases of contract cheating.
Attending the Africa EduTech conference at Emporers Palace on the 19th and 20th May 2021 was refreshing as it was the first face-to-face conference I have attended since before Covid-19. The small group of delegates (with masks and sanitizer at hand) were excited to share their experiences and spend some time away from the zoom/teams sessions.
The conference started with a look to the future and the exciting developments with a review of the new curriculum of coding and robotics (Karen Walstra). The curriculum is currently being piloted grades R-3 and grade 7 in 200 schools nationwide. Following these exciting developments and practical tips on how this will be implemented in the different phases, the delegates shared their experiences faced during the Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning (ERTL) period and reflected on the 2020 experience and the changes that were implemented in their teaching for ERTL 2021.
Privacy and accessibility issues took a back seat in 2020 due to the need to pivot online in such a short period of time. When developing content or training lecturers we highlight the importance of developing content that is accessible to all, as well as encourage flexibility in the way students access content, learning activities and show their mastery of the subject giving all learners equal opportunity to succeed (UDL). Erik Visser shared the latest development of Special Needs Education (SEN). These reinforced the importance of accessibility when developing instructional materials in ERTL 2021.
Jani Prinsloo and I collaborated on our presentation entitled “Using technology to teach 21st-century skills and make them ready for the new world of work”. During our presentation, we shared the categories of these skills (as defined by Briana Stauffer), learning skills, literacy skills, and life skills. Following the discussion about the different 21st-century skills, we shared our experiences of the skill gaps and the lessons learned we have observed and identified during the 2020/2021 pandemic emergency remote teaching period.
Over the two days, I was inspired by the reflection, adaption, and innovation of the educators. The love for teaching and their passion to see each one of their different students succeed was clearly evident, as they shared and learned from one another.
https://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/FEATURED-SQUARE-DTX-AFRICA-EDUTECH-REFLECTIONS-DOWNLOAD-CAMPAIGN-GRAPHICS.jpg10241024Stiaan Swanepoelhttps://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/eiffel-corp-logo-colour.pngStiaan Swanepoel2021-06-10 09:36:062021-07-15 08:11:16Reflections on Africa EduTech
The educational landscape is constantly changing at an accelerated speed. The pandemic has opened the gate to a mindset and thinking beyond the traditional learning and teaching methods. Teachers have had to adapt to new technologies as digital transformation becomes more convenient and necessary than ever before.
Long before the advent of the Internet, the concept of correspondence education, and independent learning through distance education programs were prevalent. As digital platforms have become more accessible to purchase and implement, there has been more inclination towards mixing conventional and modern learning to the benefit of students.
If it weren’t for technology, it would not be possible for educators to keep education running in times of crisis – even for a short period. Traditional teaching, online learning, online classes, and hybrid classes are all mediums for knowledge transfer and contribute to the enablement of students in mastering given subjects. These terms have become synonymous with 21st-century learning and education, with blended learning being one of the most popular concepts among educators.
Blended Learning vs Hybrid Learning
The term “Blended Learning” often causes confusion – largely due to the various definitions available out there. To summarise, Blended Learning refers to “enhancing teaching with the help of digital platforms and online educational content.”
Blended learning is a form of hybrid learning that uses multiple digital resources to expand the classroom approach. Hybrid learning does it in two-parts, separate sessions of face-to-face instruction and online sessions. Whereas with blended learning, both systems are integrated along with digital modalities to create a coherent and yet varied learning environment.
What is the objective of blended learning?
Blended learning enhances access to education and maximizes flexibility. A blended learning model meets students wherever they are by delivering content in a self-directed, digital format.
Types of Blended Learning
Blended Learning is broadly classified into two categories: synchronous learning and asynchronous learning. In synchronous learning, groups of people connect with coaches/ instructors in real-time discussions – similar to offline classes. It provides a sense of community and encourages collaborative learning. With asynchronous learning, educational content is delivered to students. It is more like a distance learning program. It is more flexible and allows students to learn at their own pace.
There are various types of blended learning with different forms of usage and techniques. This includes techniques such as Remote Blended Learning, Mastery-Based Blended Learning, Flipped Classroom and Just-in-Time learning
A flipped classroom is a teaching method that works in reverse i.e. from students to teachers. It is where teachers have questions that they share with students in advance. The responses from students guide teachers to areas they need to focus on in further discussions. This in turn helps teachers to set up instructions more efficiently for learners.
Why flipped? The student’s input comes first and the activity then follows. This is the opposite of traditional learning where the instructor will first facilitate discussion and then ask for feedback after his/her discussion.
Just-in-time learning is a method where teachers use class-time for active learning and leave any passive activities for students to do on their own, such as reviewing the syllabus.
It could also involve video tutorials and digital activities which students can complete at their own pace. It allows teachers to focus classroom time on complex concepts that could cause confusion or to lead group work or other collaborative activities.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of blended learning?
One of the biggest benefits of blended learning is flexibility for students – the ability to control the pace. It also creates a space where students can reflect on what they’ve learnt.
How does an SIS facilitate blended learning?
A Student Information System helps educators to manage all administrative tasks through a single platform. It also improves communication among all the stakeholders, and in doing so, enhances the overall student experience.
Solutions like Academia SIS also integrates with a learning management system (LMS), enabling institutions to facilitate digital education. The SIS and LMS integration make communication between teachers and students simple and efficient, both on and off-campus. It enables the entire learning process to become more student-centric, which is of course the ultimate goal of the blended learning approach.
This is even more relevant within the current context of Covid-19. Institutions were forced to take their conventional teaching methods and move them online, often implementing technology at record speeds. We believe that the new normal of the post-COVID world of education will have EdTech embedded into its DNA, ensuring institutional continuity, helping teachers to focus on education, as opposed to stressing about systems.
Want to find out more about how an SIS can support you in a COVID and Post-COVID world? Get in touch and one of our consultants will be happy to share more information or assist with an obligation-free demonstration. Learn more here
This blog was originally published on Academia ERP, and has been adapted by Eiffel Corp, a partner of Academia SIS.
https://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/FEATURED-SQUARE-ACADEMIA-BLENDED-LEARNING-CAMPAIGN-GRAPHICS.jpg10241024Jolene Du Plessishttps://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/eiffel-corp-logo-colour.pngJolene Du Plessis2021-05-06 14:19:372021-07-15 09:58:14Blended Learning in the Education Sector: The Need of the Hour
The COVID-19 pandemic has truly created a paradigm shift in all spheres of life. In this webinar, we focused specifically on the Walter Sisulu Institution, as they embark on the very necessary transition to online teaching.
Topics of discussion:
An engaging student in the online environment
We had some questions during the session that we would like to share feedback on.
VISIBILITY OF CONTENT:
Question: When I select my students not to see my content, I also can’t see it when I go to student view.
Answer: The reason you may hide it is when you are still working on it or you want it to be available at a particular time. Like for instance when they completed a certain task as a prerequisite
*This was demonstrated in the practical session that Elvis did. Please see the webinar recording too.
Question: In terms of tracking the number of views, how do you pull out the report in order to check the students who actually viewed the content.
Answer: This was demonstrated in the practical session that Elvis did. Can be watched on the Webinar.
CONTENT AND CHAPTERS:
Question: So do you put anything under these chapters? In other words, you don’t upload any content?
A: Content needs to be added to each Chapter that is created. You can develop your content as your chapter unfolds. But you need to design a suitable structure for each chapter from introduction to subtopics of your chapter.
A: You upload content as you have done in your learner guides.
Question:Can I upload PowerPoint slides as content? Or should it be in pdf format only?
A: PowerPoint slides can be uploaded along with other resources such as videos and images. Documents can also be uploaded in Word or PDF formats. You can upload your ppt using the attachment icon and add voice audio to those presentations if you wanted to. It is always good to upload the content you’ve developed yourself. And add PDF as an additional resource.
A: You just flip your learner guide into online learner guide using these tools,
Question: Can you convert your own ppt into a compressed video presentation and upload
A: Yes, you can also add a recording of your voice talking the learners through the content/material. Innovative ideas are supported on the platform. This helps especially if the presentation is long – it guides students through the presentation.
Question: In terms of data for students, will it affect them when they download a PowerPoint video?
A: The videos uploaded on the course should generally be watched/played and not downloaded as this will impact data consumption.
A: It always costly for students to download. We, therefore, encourage lecturers to make material available that they can use offline.
Question: Are students aware of the difference between downloading and working on the material offline?
A: It is very important to make them aware of this so that they know how to see the difference. This function depends on the platform.
Question: What are the other online platforms, aside from WiSeUp, that one can use for effective teaching and learning?
A: Google Classroom, Zoom, Seesaw, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Microsoft Teams and many more. The internet will also provide you with other tools if you search.
FREQUENCY OF WEBINARS:
Question: How often are we going to have these webinars
A: You are free to send requests for webinars and we will see how we can accommodate you. We are hoping to organise more webinars but we have found that there are complaints about data usage.
A: The Discussion Forum can also be set up for when you perhaps want to have a live meeting or lesson virtually and as a live session or conducting a demonstration.
https://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/eiffel-corp-logo-colour.png00Jolene Du Plessishttps://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/eiffel-corp-logo-colour.pngJolene Du Plessis2020-06-12 11:46:502020-06-12 11:49:29WSU Webinar Recording and Feedback
A Learning Management System and Student Information System are critical systems for both the education and business sectors of today. Both systems have very distinct purposes, with some features in common. With similar functionalities and capabilities, the two systems are often confused as being one and the same thing – and therefore the distinct purpose seems blurry or confusing.
To understand the purpose of each of these systems within educational institutions, it is of great importance to unpack the specific roles fulfilled by each of these systems and highlight their differences. To achieve this, it would make sense to start with the definition of each system.
Defining the LMS
The LMS (Learning Management System) or VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) is a software application that is responsible for the administration of courses, documentation (like progress tracking and grading of students), reporting and delivery of learning material to students. It can also include attendance records and a student’s curriculum information. An LMS creates a virtual space where learners can connect with instructors (and vice-versa) in a controlled environment that encourages knowledge development.
Find out more about our Digikamva LMS services and solutions here.
Defining an SIS
A student information system allows educational institutions to manage student data and courses. This system’s functionalities typically include the admission, enrolment, registration of students, fees management, attendance record management, test and exam management, certificate and document management and management of programmes and courses.
While both the LMS and SIS have administrative functionalities, the SIS does not replace the need for systems that manage the instruction side of things. In fact, the two systems should support each other. What is the difference between these systems then?
Institution-to-student relationship: An SIS enables a university, college or school to manage its administrative relationship with its students. It literally stores and manages student information and automates the management thereof.
Instructor-to-student relationship: On the other hand, the LMS enables the lecturer or faculty to manage their instructional relationship with their students. In other words, it is used for the management of course resources – whether it is within or outside of the physical classroom.
When integrated with each other, the SIS and LMS create a relationship with students that is not only functional but improves their student experience at an institution. When choosing an SIS and LMS, it is therefore important to take note of the capabilities of each, and assign specific tasks to each system, with the integration of some, where possible and/or relevant. Integration avoids duplicate data entry, faster data management and ultimately less manual work for all, with more accurate data management.
We have LMS and SIS services and solutions that suit your unique needs. Please get in touch for an obligation-free consultation to see how we can help you.
https://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/SIS-vs-LMS-Feature.png800800Jolene Du Plessishttps://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/eiffel-corp-logo-colour.pngJolene Du Plessis2020-05-28 09:38:302020-05-28 13:32:47LMS vs SIS: How to tell the difference