Tuesday, 10 July 2018

E-learning is here to stay

WELCOME: Centre for Innovative Education Technology Director Sakkie Smit address ICEL conference attendees. WELCOME: Centre for Innovative Education Technology Director Sakkie Smit address ICEL conference attendees.

Academics and researchers from 24 different countries attended the 13th International Conference on e-Learning, hosted this year by CPUT.

ICEL 2018 took place at the Granger Bay Campus from 5 to 6 July. It saw 61 academic research papers, three PhD research, three Masters research and two Work in Progress papers published in Conference Proceedings. The actual conference broke up into five different streams on the two days to explore various topics pertaining to e-learning.
Conference organiser Louise Remenyi said the 120 people attending the conference presented or listened to talks covering a broad spectrum, with much emphasis placed on the use of social media and blended learning.

“There was a positive response to lots of collaborative discussions and positive feedback to the high quality of work.

“I am hearing a lot of talk of new collaborations. The big thing being discussed is that universities have less funding available which makes it less likely that people are sent to conference. But, the argument against that is that you can get more out of conferences because of the possibility of further research that gets discussed,” said Remenyi.

The conference included five keynote presentations on a diverse range of e-learning issues, including CPUT Prof Johannes Cronjé’s ‘What Pokémon Go taught me about collectionism in e-learning’.
Cronjé also discussed how using the characteristics of games could change teaching techniques.

Gamifying the learning process could be something as simple as allowing a student to retake an online test over and over again until they get full marks, just as gamers often retake a game stage until they perform perfectly.

“I’m not in it for the marks. I’m in it for the value the students can get out of it,” Cronjé remarked as he spoke about the benefits of allowing peer review as a way to assess tests.

“Do they have to be in the classroom to perform a particular activity? There must be a reason for them to be in the class,” Cronjé challenged his audience.

Conference attendees voted for their choice of Best PhD poster with Mohamed Tauheed Ahmad of Benha University, Egypt and Kathrin Hohlbaum of the RWTH Aachen University, German both winning the top spot. Johan Vorster, manager of the IT department at Monash South Africa, won for best PhD paper presentation.

Written by Theresa Smith

Email: smitht@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Applied Sciences and Engineering Faculties and the Wellington Campus.