School of Built Environment & Development Studies

Setting up a Virtual Classroom Explored in Workshop

The School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS) recently hosted a workshop on setting up a virtual classroom, led by Community Development lecturer Dr Zifikile Phindile Shangase.
Participants at the Virtual Classroom Workshop.
Participants at the Virtual Classroom Workshop.

The workshop was a collaboration project – Virtual Classroom Africa – between BEDS and the English Department at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Botswana (UNIBO). The project is funded by a grant from the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and is realised through setting up a virtual classroom for co-teaching of research methods and academic writing for postgraduate students.

Dean and Head of the School Professor Ernest Khalema said: ‘This is important for the School since it enhances student learning, links with our strategic goals and fits into the framework of decolonisation and transformation.’

Under discussion at the workshop were tools to assist students’ collaboration, assessment tools applicable in virtual classrooms, tools for holding effective live lectures and Moodle tools that can be used in this venture.’

‘This workshop was relevant for staff as the virtual classroom is at the planning stage,’ said Shangase.  ‘We held the workshop to determine available resources within our learning management system and whether we need to supplement them with any web 2.0 applications that would allow students to create content, collaborate, share and communicate effectively with each other and also have lecturers across the regions,’

She believes the project will contribute towards building capacity and professional development and sustainable partnerships for staff and students at UKZN and UNIBO to use technology effectively in enhancing the quality of teaching research methods and academic writing.

‘This project will lead to the possibility of technology enhanced distance supervision support for postgraduate students between the two universities. The use of ICT technologies by students will also be enhanced because the critical skills set is essential in the 21st Century,’ said Shangase.

Dr Naledi Kgolo, a collaborator from the University of Botswana, added: ‘Collaborating with UKZN on this project showcases the need for comprehensive student learning. It is evident that there is a need for collaboration between African countries.’

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on email
Email
Architecture students Mr Neeshailin Naicker (second left) and Mr Mohammed Shah (second right) walked away with first prize at the South African Saint-Gobain Multi Comfort Student Contest.

Architecture Students to Compete in Global Contest

Architecture students Mr Mohammed Shah and Mr Neeshailin Naicker walked away with first prize at the South African Saint-Gobain Multi Comfort Student Contest. UKZN entered for the first time last year and won first prize in Dubai.

From left: Mr Niq Mhlongo, Mrs Shantha Maharaj, Ms Darniel Small, Dr Patricia Opondo, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, Mr Mbuso Khoza, Dr Saleem Badat, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, Professor Nogwaja Zulu and Ms Xoliswa Zulu.

Humanities Academics spearhead research projects through the Mellon Foundation

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize and academics Professors Ernest Khalema, Maheshvari Naidu, Nobuhle Hlongwa and Nogwaja Zulu recently met with Dr Saleem Badat of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to discuss their research projects that were made possible through funding from the Foundation.