ECP Orientation Video – released

Our special orientation-focused promotional video about the ECP experience is finally available after almost nine-months of development and production. The video is aimed specifically at new ECP students and staff. Ideally it can be used for orientation activities. Classroom support activities to accompany the video were developed by ECP lecturers in Business, Design and Engineering. These activities can be found on the Resources page on the blog. Lecturers are also encouraged to provide feedback on their experiences of using the video and the classroom activities. They can also contribute to the development of additional activities that will be added to the resource repository.

Youtube link for the video.

Site visits with departments start on a high note

View from Architecture Design Studio

The view from the Architecture Design Studio

The first round of visits to the various departments offering ECP started today. James Garraway and Lynn Coleman meet with ECP lecturers from the Design, Architecture and Interior Design programmes at Media City on the Foreshore.

Student work:  Design Foundation Programme

Student Work: Design Foundation Programme

The fierce and notorious foreshore wind that greeted our arrival to the Media City building was no challenge for the bright, colourful and visually stimulating learning environment created for students by the various Design departments housed in the building.

Over coffee and biscuits staff discussed admission and selection criteria used for their ECP programmes, ideas around initiating relevant and stimulating student field trips and excursions, staff development needs, teaching and learning concerns and challenges, cross-fertilization and practice-sharing opportunities across the different ECP offerings in the Design faculty and how staff can be supported to engage in (and publish) their own practice-based research.

(L-R) Kelly-Ann, Tasleema, Nike, Alex, Diane

(L-R) Kelly-Ann, Tasleema, Nike, Alex, Diane

Site visits will continue for the next two weeks with Fundani staff scheduled to meet with colleagues in Dental Technology, Nursing, Graphic Design, Emergency Medical Care and the Applied Sciences.

Celebrating student work in Design Foundation

Mari Arnott, the co-ordinator for the Design Foundation programme in the Faculty of Informatics and Design, shares the reasoning behind the move to draw attention to the creative work of the progammes’ past students. The exhibition presents a novel way of showcasing student creativity but also acts as a vital platform to orientate new extended curriculum students into the learning and development environment fostered by their course.

Sometimes, when unplanned difficulties arise, they bring about positive change. 

invitation DFY student exhibition 13 FebOwing to the student unhappiness at CPUT during the November examination period in 2015, the annual FID End of Year exhibition could not take place in late November as usual. The Design Foundation staff felt that it was important to acknowledge the 2015 students’ hard work, so with the approval of our Dean, Professor Cronje, we will be holding an exhibition of the 2015 Design Foundation student work to celebrate their achievements with their families and friends.  The new intake of Design Foundation students for 2016 will be participating in the first-year orientation programme for the Department of Design from 10-12 February.  We will be inviting the new 2016 foundation students to see the 2015 student exhibition. A group of the 2015 students will be doing a PowerPoint presentation about their year in foundation.  The foundation staff will be making home baked treats which will be served with tea and coffee, by which time we hope that the new students and past students will be happily networking. We think that perhaps celebrating what has passed with what is to come might be the new format for the annual foundation students’ exhibition.

Writing at University:Thinking Differently workshops a great success


35 ECP lecturers kick-started their 2016 academic engagements on a high note by attending the workshop Writing at University: Thinking Differently – facilitated by renown international scholar on student writing development – Mary Lea in January. These one and a half day workshops considered what it means to be a successful student writer in the context of professional and vocational study at university. Participants were invited to engage in a range of activities and relate these to their own particular discipline and subject.


Participants at the Bellville Workshop

The workshops provided many opportunities to discuss topical issues like assignment preparation, unpacking assignment expectations, elements of university writing, working with grammar, plagiarism and giving feedback. Relying on experiential learning approaches, lecturers were also asked to reflect and comment on their own experiences of academic and professional writing as a means of developing empathy for their students’ writing journeys in the university setting. Participants also meet after the workshop to share their ideas for incorporating some of the strategies and approaches explored during the workshop to their own teaching practices. The strategies and ideas suggested at this feedback and presentation session, showed that many participants are keen to explore more creative ways of embedding writing development as part of their subject teaching. The idea that writing is a vital element of constructing knowledge in all ECP subjects was therefore fully acknowledged by many of the worksML_Bellville_2hop participants.

Initial and informal feedback received from participants highlight the value they derived from attending the workshops. One participant had the following to say about attending the workshop

It is good to be reminded of things one knows, learning new things and listening to how colleagues in other disciplines deal with similar and sometimes different problems.I like Mary Lea’s gentle but clear style. She makes it easy for one to open up about things without feeling threatened or defensive. It is as if she values all of our opinions.