Feb 062013

With the explosion of technology at a unprecedented rate it is often difficult to find good quality resources to help you come to grips with so many new things “teaching and learning “and especially e-Learning. Luckily there are also a number of very good internet resources that archive and disseminate excellent quality information, resources and networks. A few of them are listed below:

  • E-Learning Beehive – (www.elearningbeehive.com/ ):  “It is a place where you can get interesting and relevant information on elearning trends and practices, and find out about elearning workshops in the the Melbourne (Australia) area.”
  • e-Learning Learning – (http://www.elearninglearning.com/): “Collecting the best information about eLearning”
  • Mphil HSE e-Learning module blog – (http://mphilhse.blogspot.com): A Stellenbosch University Mphil programme module homepage that utilises a blog as central teaching and learning technology. The focus is more on health education e-Learning, but there are also quite a few very interesting broader resources and posts on everything e-Learning.
  • Merlot – (http://www.merlot.org): Putting Educational Innovations Into Practice .Find peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials. Share advice and expertise about education with expert colleagues. Be recognized for your contributions to quality education.
  • Designing and implementing e-Learning – (http://designing.flexiblelearning.net.au/): From the Australian Flexible Learning Frawork – supporting e-Learning opportunities.

Do you have your favorite and very useful e-learning resource websites? Please comment on this post and tell us about them!

Keywords: e-Learning, resources, internet, beehive, elearning learning, mphilhse,merlot

Jan 172012

Towards learning centred use of technology

Clickers or audience response systems are gaining popularity around the world with even the New York Times reporting on the educational potential of this in-class educational technology*.  In South Africa there seems to be a renewed interest in the tehnology’s affordances with a few universities piloting different systems at the start of 2011. At Stellenbosch University (SU) the interest in clickers multiplied at the end of 2010 with a number of educational research projects asking for funding for clickers and some deans enquiring about the possibilities of using clickers to engage, assess and track students. The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) engaged with these lecturers and deans and together with our Information Technology department, formalised a project around the development of a system for e-Clickers, called Maties Mobile Connect. The idea is to plan for the future use of clickers at Maties, a future we feel is definitely cellphone/ multi-device based (as opposed to physical audience response units), and rooted in solid teaching and learning principals**.

The system has been piloted in the second half of 2011 and is now ready for use inside (and outside!) SU classrooms.

* Steinberg, J. 2010. More professors give out hand-held devices to monitor students and engage them. The New York Times, Nov 15, 2010. Online: http://goo.gl/O8X61 (Accessed 15 April 2011).
** Beatty, I.D (et al) 2006. Designing effective questions for classroom response system teaching. Am. J. Phys. 74 (1), 31-39.

To start using the system or for more information, please contact JP Bosman (SOL – jpbosman@sun.ac.za) or Marinda van Rooyen (IT – vrooyen@sun.ac.za).

YouTube Video on the process of Maties Mobile Connect

View a special training site with videos and other material on the Maties Mobile Connect site:

Poster on the system

 Click here to view a poster (PDF) of the Maties Mobile Connect system as presented by JP Bosman and Marinda van Rooyen at Heltasa 2011 in Port Elizabeth.


Other resources

Steinberg, J. 2010. More professors give out hand-held devices to monitor students and engage them. The New York Times, Nov 15, 2010. Online: http://goo.gl/O8X61 (Accessed 15 April 2011).
Beatty, I., 2005. Transforming student learning with classroom communication systems. Arxiv preprint physics/0508129.
Beatty, I. et al., 2006. Designing effective questions for classroom response system teaching. American Journal of Physics, 74, p.31.
Briggs, C. & Keyek-Franssen, D., 2010. Clickers and CATs: Using Learner Response Systems for Formative Assessments in the Classroom. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 33, pp.1-11.
Caldwell, J., 2007. Clickers in the large classroom: current research and best-practice tips. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 6, pp.9-20.
Educause “7 Things you should know about clickers” Available online: http://goo.gl/LPYRk
Lasry, N., 2008. Clickers or flashcards: Is there really a difference? The Physics Teacher, 46, p.242.
Martyn, M., 2007. Clickers in the classroom: An active learning approach. Educause Quarterly, 30, p.71.
Murray, S., Ma, X. & Mazur, J., 2009. Effects of peer coaching on teachers’ collaborative interactions and students’ mathematics achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 102, pp.203-212.
Wieman, C. et al., 2008. Clicker Resource Guide: An Instructors Guide to the Effective Use of Personal Response Systems (Clickers) in Teaching. Vancouver, BC, Canada: University of British Columbia.

Other web-based mobile systems

iClicker: http://www.iclicker.com/ – “i>clicker’s mission is to create reliable, intuitive response solutions that focus on formative assessment and pedagogy.”
Top Hat Monocle: http://www.tophatmonocle.com/  – “A classroom interaction and online homework tool”
Socrative: http://www.socrative.com/ –  “Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.”
Poll Everywhere: http://www.polleverywhere.com/ – “The fastest way to create stylish real-time experiences for events using mobile devices”


Keywords: mobile, m-learning, clicker, maties mobile connect, technology, e-learning, audience response systems