WS5 Using Respondus to create online assessments


WS1: Antoinette Van Deventer & Donna Lewis, CIET
WS 2: Mavi Mavela and Sonwabo Jongile, CIET

Date and location:

  • 12th of April 2018, 13.00-15.00, Centre for e-Learning, Cape Town – (note the change in starting time!)
  • 19th of April 2018, 13.30-15.30, Lab303, IT centre, Bellville (repeat)

Workshop description:
Respondus is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be printed to paper or published directly to Blackboard Learn. Exams can be created offline using a familiar Windows environment, or moved from one LMS to another. Whether you are a veteran of online testing or relatively new to it, Respondus will save you hours on each assessement – be it formative or summative. In this training course, you will discover how Respondus can help you create quality assessments that can be added to your LMS or stand alone. You will explore the various ways to create Respondus files, the tools that are available to you to add quality to your assessments, and the different ways you can deliver your Respondus quiz. We will show you how to install the software, create questions directly in Respondus or import an existing quiz from Word or Excel. We will show you how the integration with Blackboard works and how to release test to your students. Practical tips around online assessment will round up the training.

For background information on designing online assessment please have a look at the recordings of our previous seminars:

To book you place please use our online booking system.
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WS21 Designing online exams


Seminar 1: Daniela Gachago, Faiq Waghid, Eunice Ivala (CIET) and Bronwyn Swartz (Engineering), CPUT

Seminar 2: Alan Cliff, CILT, UCT

Dates, time and location:

Seminar 1: 15th of March, 13.30-15,30, Centre for eLearning, Cape Town campus

Seminar 2: 22nd of March, 13.30-15.30, online (Blackboard Collaborate)

Seminar description

Recently there has been a significant increase of interest in online assessment at CPUT due to campus closure but also as a response to large student numbers and in general to provide more flexibility to students. However, lecturers who have ventured into online assessment soon realise that it is not simple to design online exams that are meaningful and test students on the appropriate cognitive levels. These two seminars will offer you an opportunity to engage with lecturers and staff developers’ experiences on how to best design for and implement online exams. We will address questions such as:

  •  ‘Doing assessment’ online – is it a case of transferring face-to-face assessment to an online environment?
  •   The affordances and challenges of online assessment – a continuum from formative to summative assessment?
  •   Online assessment practices – what is the purpose?   what formats are there? how do I grade online exams? how do I give feedback?
  • Academic integrity: How do you deal with issues of academic integrity when students write exams off campus? What options are there to create safe and authentic contexts for online exams on and off campus, such as the Respondus Lockdown browser or the Respondus Monitor?

Seminar one, in which Bronwyn Swartz (link to recording) will share her insight and practical experience on designing and deploying assessments on Blackboard in a numbers based subject, but also to assess research, and in more theoretical or even practical courses, will be held at the Centre for eLearning, while seminar 2, which will be facilitated by Alan Cliff from UCT, will be done online using Blackboard Collaborate.

To book your place please use our online booking system.

For more information please email 

Workshop resources:

Bronwyn’s presentation (recorded on YouTube, 30 mins)

Alan and Sam’s presentation (recorded Blackboard Collaborate presentation, app. 1 hour 15 mins)

CPUT guide on online assessment (Blackboard Collaborate recording, 1 hour 12 mins)

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WS20 The Learning Designer – designing the perfect blend for your students

Facilitator: Faiq Waghid, Centre for Innovative Educational Technology

Date and venue

  • 22nd of February 2018, 13.30-15.30, Centre for eLearning, Cape Town campus
  • 1st of March 2018, 13.30-15.30, 303, IT centre, Bellville

 Description of seminar

The Learning Designer is a web-based lesson planning tool to assist lecturers in the design of teaching and learning activities and to share their learning designs. Developed by the University College London (UCL) Knowledge Lab, under the leadership of the Professor Diana Laurillard, this free tool is based on the six types of learning from Laurillard’s Conversational Framework – a model of the conditions necessary for effective learning to take place focusing in particular on feedback loops between students and lecturers. Laurillard refers to these six ways of learning as a distillation of the main theories of teaching and learning.

With the six ways of learning serving as a framework, the lesson planning tool affords lecturers the opportunity to computationally design a sequence of learning activities with visual feedback. In this hands-on workshop, we explore how the Learning Designer can be used to design possible blended teaching and learning interventions. For more information visit the site

To book your place please use our online booking form.

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WS19 Seeing the unseen in medical imaging – using Virtual Reality in Radiography

Facilitator: Lizel Hudson, Lecturer: Medical Imaging and Therapeutic Sciences, Health and Wellness

Date and venue

  • 9th of November 2017, 13.30-15.30, 303, IT centre

 Description of seminar

The Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training (VERT) software provides a realistic virtual environment of a radiotherapy treatment room. When coupled with a suitable stereo projection system, it provides a life size model of the treatment room, which demonstrates many of the capabilities of the real machines and accessories. VERT has been specifically designed as an educational and skills training tool. It has numerous facilities that make learning more effective and enjoyable for students.

VERT is a useful supplement to conventional training, and offers a number of advantages:

  •  VERT is cost effective because training on real Linacs is very expensive.
  •  Students have unlimited practice without risking harm to patient or equipment.
  • Clinical technique and realistic clinical experience can be gained outside the clinic.
  • Radiotherapy treatment rooms become more efficient by reducing training
  •  The VERT treatment room provides a realistic insight into the experience of using the equipment, but without the stress of being in a clinic.
  • Visualization is a powerful aid for showing plans, anatomy, dose distributions etc.

The Physics module is designed to provide a variety of simulated Physics and QA equipment which can be used to assist in teaching the basic principles and practice of radiation physics. The simulated equipment is fully interactive, allowing students to gain hands on experience in a realistic environment. The ability to vary parameters (such as field size, depth of chamber in water) makes it possible to conduct virtual experiments, and to record and (in the case of the plotting tank) to produce graphs of the results.

This presentation will be a 2D demonstration of how the software package is used for student recruitment (e.g. at Open Days) and as an educational tool (teaching general Anatomy, Radiation Therapy practice and Physics concepts).

 To book your place please use our online booking system.

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WS18: Self and Peer Assessment- promoting student engagement and active learning

Facilitator: Sonwabo Jongile, Centre for Innovative Educational Technology (CIET)

Date and venue

  • 12th of October 2017, 13.30-15.30, eLearning Centre, Cape Town campus
Description of workshop
During this workshop we will focus on the Peer Assessment tool in Blackboard. According to the Oxford dictionary, peer assessment refers to the “evaluation of scientific, academic, or professional work by others in the same field.” In the higher education context, peer assessment refers to student-driven assessment. Peer and self assessment promotes student engagement and active learning as it allows students  to review, evaluate and learn from their own work and that of their peers. This way, active learning takes place in a form of social constructionism – the joint construction of knowledge through discourse. Furthermore, this practice allows students to co-design and engage with criteria/rubrics set up in collaboration with their lecturers and apply it when assessing and making decisions about their own and their peers’ work.
In this workshop we will first discuss the types of peer assessments available on Blackboard and secondly, the challenges in relation to each peer assessment type selection. Finally, using the Peer Assessment tool we will create a peer assessment area and set up a rubric to which students will make use of as criteria for evaluating the responses.
To book your place please use our online booking system.
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WS17: Becoming a digital scholar

Facilitators: Daniela Gachago, Centre for Innovative Educational Technology (CIET)

Date and venue

  • 28th of September 2017, 13.30-15.30, lab 303, IT centre, Bellville

Description of workshop:

Connecting and engaging with fellow academics online using social media has become an important part of an academic’s research practice. Academic reputations today can be considerably enhanced by developing an online profile or ‘academic digital identity’, broadening the reach of your research beyond conventional publishing channels or conference attendance.  Academic social networking sites such as or are important platforms to increase one’s academic visibility. Platforms such as the Conversation allow you to reach a broader public and increase you research impact. These workshops will introduce some of the tools that can help you maintain, look after and monitor your online academic identity while setting up a personal research environment, such as Twitter, Slideshare, Google citations,, Researchgate, Mendeley and blogging.

To book your place please use our online booking system.

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WS16: Adaptive learning – are we ready ?

Facilitator: Sakkie Smit, Centre for Innovative Educational Technology

Date and time: 21st of September 2017, 13.30-15.30

Location: Centre for eLearning, training venue, Cape Town campus or Blackboard Collaborate (online)

Seminar description

Adaptive learning technologies, according to EDUCAUSE, “dynamically adjust to the level or type of course content based on an individual’s abilities or skill attainment, in ways that accelerate a learner’s performance with both automated and instructor interventions.” Enabled by machine learning/artificial intelligence, these technologies can adapt to a student in real time, providing both instructors and students with actionable data. The goal is to accurately and logically move students through a learning path, empowering active learning, targeting at-risk student populations, and assessing factors affecting completion and student success. Advocates for adaptive learning believe that it can be a solution for the “iron triangle” of educational challenges: cost, access, and quality.

Are we ready for Adaptive Learning? Let us come together for an interactive discussion.

To book your place please use our online booking system.

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WS15: Facilitating online seminars using Blackboard Collaborate

Facilitators: Antoinette Van Deventer and Jody Boltney, Centre for Innovative Educational Technology

Date and time: 31st of August 2017, 13.30-15.30

Location: Online or Centre for eLearning, training venue, Cape Town campus

Seminar description

Tired of travelling between campuses for meetings? Supporting students who are geographically distributed? Blackboard Collaborate is a realtime video conferencing tool, that lets you communicate with dispersed participants, present and share files and applications and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate with the Ultra experience opens right in your browser (no login to Blackboard needed). You can invite external guests as well and record your session for future reference.

This session will introduce the tool, discuss tips and trick of facilitating online meetings and open up a discussion for potential uses of Blackboard collaborate at CPUT.

To book your place please use our online booking system.

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WS14: Improving your MCQ tests using Blackboards Item Analysis

Facilitators: Jonathan Aspeling and Janine Lockhart, CPUT

Date and location: 

  • 17th of August 2017, 13.30-15.30, Centre for eLearning, Cape Town campus

Seminar description

Are you using multiple choice tests? Do you want to use them but don’t know how? How can you get better at doing this? How do you know what a ‘good’ multiple choice question is? This seminar will introduce you to a technique called factor or item analysis, which allows you to analyse student answers’ to your online assessments and help improve them. Jonathan and Janine have both vast experience in utilising the Blackboard item analysis tool. It allows you to – after students have taken a Blackboard test –  view statistics such as Discrimination, Difficulty, and Standard Deviation that may help you identify questions and answer options that could be improved.

To book your place for this workshop please use our online booking system.

Workshop resources:

Janine’s presentation

Jonathan’s presentation

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WS13 Analytics for Learn: Increasing Throughput and Success (hands-on)

Facilitators: Prof Izak Van der Zyl, Faculty of Informatics and Design, and Sonwabo Jongile, Centre for Innovative Educational Technology (CIET), CPUT

Date and location: 

  • 27th of July 2017, 13.30-15.30, Centre for eLearning, Cape Town campus

Seminar description

There has been a spate of learning analytics interventions in global higher education. This is coupled with the rise and significance of big data in the wider economic context, but also in tertiary environments. The analysis of big (complex) data offers quantitative, statistical and algorithmic means to aid decision making in organisations, for whichever purposes. Broadly, analytics aims to identify meaningful or otherwise useful patterns, ideas or solutions that can support the way an organisation performs its core function(s).

In this seminar, Izak will provide a critical overview of the notion and practice of Learning Analytics and what it may offer in a constrained higher education environment, with a particular focus on what it can reveal about your learners.

Furthermore Sonwabo will do a short demonstration of the Retention Centre on Blackboard, which offers lecturers an easy way of discovering at-risk students. The four main rules use for identification pertain to grades, online attendance, levels of activities and missed deadlines. Blackboard also provides a simple way of communicating with these students.

To book your place for this workshop please use our online booking system.

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