The SURMEPI eLearning team has grown substantially since the start of the project and now includes a group of enthusiastic experts with a range of skills and backgrounds needed to support a variety of activities. One of the biggest success stories has been the video podcasting of lectures for medical students which cover the entire six year curriculum. Recordings are placed on a content management system (CMS). This allows access for university staff and students, whether they are situated at the Faculty of Medicine and Health sciences (FMHS) or remote rural sites. Click this link to go to the FMHS Resources Website.
Web conferencing was initially used only for the purpose of virtual classroom teaching but is slowly growing into a tool which is used as a wider, multi-directional means of communication between lecturers and students. The infrastructure needed to support these activities is currently being expanded to allow us to reach remote rural sites more broadly. The tool we most commonly use is Microsoft Lync.
The eLearning team is also involved in developing and maintaining this website, which is used by both focus areas and is also a portal for outside visitors trying to find out more about SURMEPI. Extensive support is also provided for the use of Moodle.
Training is obviously an important task because many of our staff are unfamiliar with the Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) which are being used. Activities range from ad hoc one-on–one training to organised workshops. Participant feedback on training as well as the teaching activities mentioned above has been very positive.
Stakeholders benefiting from our activities are teachers and medical students located at the faculty and outside – at the Rural Clinical School and remote training sites. We are now starting to assist teaching activities not only for medicine but for allied health as well. We are of course also an ICT support structure not only for teachers and students but more broadly for all personnel (managerial, administrative etc.) which make up SURMEPI, cross-cutting both focus areas. We are beginning to extend our activities beyond SURMEPI. This is important in the long run, as we are aiming to develop into a sustainable asset for the whole Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
MBChB, MMed(Int), DipData(Inf), MSc Health Informatics
Dr Walsh has extensive experience in practical ways of using technology in medicine.
Walter Liebrich has a PhD in Natural Sciences from the University of Ulm (Germany). He has been working as a researcher at Stellenbosch University since 2002. He is also registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as Medical Biological Scientist (Immunology). His interest in e-learning comes from his involvement in postgraduate teaching. He is mostly involved with virtual classrooms and conferencing between rural sites. He also assists with e-learning-related cross-cutting activities within SURMEPI projects.
Main Duties include the capture of podcasts – both undergraduate and post graduate lectures at Tygerberg Medical Campus as well as providing training to lecturers on how to make use of the e-learning tool known as Camtasia Relay. I am also responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the Faculty’s Resources Website.
I assist, coordinate and contribute to the development of E-learning and distance learning content as well as various ICT coordination and supportive responsibilities, involving other learning and information platforms deployed within the SURMEPI program.