Durban University of Technology Distance Learning
The e-Learning Unit of CELT has established itself as a key player in learning innovation at DUT. The unit promotes and implements e-Learning in the various programmes offered by the university. Over the last fourteen years we have offered our services to academics towards establishing an inter-disciplinary e-Learning community of practice. Up until 2013, individual lecturers who have an interest in e-Learning have attended e-Learning training on a voluntary basis.
We have seen many lecturers applying e-Learning in creative ways, focusing on solving educational problems. In preparing learners for the 21st century world of work, lecturers use e-Learning tools to stimulate learner motivation and engagement with the learning process, creating opportunities to interact with content and collaborate within learning communities. E-Learning also has many benefits for lecturers in other ways not related to distance education per se, e.g. by automating assessments and time-consuming classroom management tasks.
Wired generation Y learners are keen to learn as they live. We work to close the gap between Generation Y and lecturers, who are largely still Generation X. We believe in blending the best of face-to-face education and online tools. Humans need contact. However we have to keep realities in mind and access to computer resources is still the biggest challenge for many institutions. In this respect mobile learning research is now exploring pushing online content to cell phones, a commodity most learners already own and depend on. It will take a while, though, to test the waters of M-Learning. Regarding what institutions like DUT offer the community, online or e-Learning requires clear communication and writing skills. It’s all in the blend!
EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGISTS / E-LEARNING SPECIALISTS
There are three persons supporting staff in developing e-Learning courses on the Blackboard Learning Management System. Each of these persons uses their own approach to fulfill this broad brief, presently they each have two Faculties that they maintain, however, this is flexible depending on their availability. It is best to liaise directly with them to confirm their availability. (See below UNIT MEMBERS for their designated Faculties).
Preggy (firstname.lastname@example.org) can be contacted for server-related issues such as integrations with the Student system, Building block suggestions, and exception requests for enrolling students that are not on the ITSS system. He is responsible for the upkeep of the Blackboard LMS, and activities related to this such as upgrades, backups, user management, integrations, and so on. Building block suggestions, and exception requests for enrolling students that are not on the ITSS system should be referred to him. He also interfaces with suppliers although this is limited to the technical aspects and not with respect to financial commitments, which can be directed to his senior (Prof Thengani Ngwenya).
HELP DESK ADMINISTRATOR
Prega Naidoo (email@example.com) supports end-users including lecturers and students with access issues (resetting of passwords if applicable), course creation, cloning of courses, technical training and related issues. He also maintains the Help Desk website (http://elearning.dut.ac.za).