Online Learning Resources Developed for UKZN Academics
The need to provide alternative modes of teaching and learning in the wake of the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to various training opportunities being developed through UKZN for academics.
The following are currently on offer:
• The Online Activated Teaching (ACT) short-course, facilitated by Dr Craig Blewett
• A series of basic and advanced instructional videos developed by ICS for staff and students on using Moodle
• Webinars/Workshops on assessing with Moodle (basic and advanced), facilitated by Dr Upasana Singh
• Instructional guides on using PowerPoint to record slides as teaching videos
• Instructional guides and videos on Zoom and Microsoft (MS) Teams for live lectures
• Instructional guides on HandBrake and VideoLAN Client (VLC), which are free video compression tools
• Details of the ICS help-desk support
• Various other resources, including those from other universities
Most of the above offerings are freely available with no limits to participation. Those that limit class sizes will be repeated - with appropriate notices issued by the Teaching and Learning Office (UTLO) - until demand has been met. Additionally, recordings of workshops and webinars are or will be available at http://utlo.ukzn.ac.za/utop/Webinarrecordings
The offerings are available in the UKZN repository: the TEACH ONLINE PORTAL (UTOP). To access the Online Portal, go to the UTLO homepage via Google Chrome http://utlo.ukzn.ac.za and click on TEACH ONLINE PORTAL. The UTOP website houses instructional guides of online solutions in text, image, and video format. Mr Abdulbaqi Badru, a Technology Practitioner at UTLO, who conceptualised and designed the portal, said: ‘the instructional guides will be useful in assisting staff and students develop their capacity to engage in online teaching and learning.’
The portal is intended to be an evolving “agnostic communal facility” where colleagues share their online resources with the University community. The content is curated by the UTLO and the Teaching and Learning leadership. The site also foregrounds the UKZN Teach Online Forum, which enables academics to support each other: https://dmssupport.ukzn.ac.za/utlo/UTOF/
We invite academics and professional staff to contribute to the development of the portal by sharing teaching and learning resources. Please send contributions to email@example.com
Academics have highlighted the limitations of Moodle as the official UKZN Learning Management System, especially its capacity to accommodate videos and other blended learning materials. In response, UKZN is now offering Kaltura as an add-on to Moodle, which will offer seamless integration of a range of teaching resources.
Some staff members are concerned about access to data and devices for staff and students. The EMC Teaching and Learning Task Team will make an official announcement on this aspect as soon as the ongoing negotiations with service providers are concluded.
The UKZN Director of Teaching and Learning, Professor Rubby Dhunpath, said: ‘UTOP is intended to be an evolving “agnostic communal facility” where colleagues share their online resources with the University community. The content is curated by the University Teaching and Learning Office and leadership. The site also houses the UKZN Teach Online Forum, which enables academics to support each other.’
To contribute to responsive teaching innovation, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and advise us of your training and development needs and offer your expertise and services to expand the suite of training opportunities.