Teaching and learning: Are computers the answer?

15 September 2003
Have UCT staff and students got reasonable access to computers, in the broadest sense of the word? How are computers being used to support teaching and learning at UCT?

These are some of the questions that staff at UCT's Multimedia Education Group wish to ask as part of a cross-institutional, Carnegie-funded project entitled Enhancing Quality and Equity in Higher Education Through the Innovative Application of Information and Communication Technologies.

The project aims to improve our understanding of quality and equity in educational technology in higher education in the Western Cape. It also aims to identify delivery and usage trends in the region. Consequently, one of components involves a survey of academic staff and students in the five higher education institutions in the region.

The survey (which will be conducted in October this year and again in 2004), will: examine the different types of resources people need in order to have access to new technologies for higher education; consider the factors which encourage or inhibit people's take-up and usage of new technologies for teaching and learning; and identify the teaching and learning activities which people engage in (with a view to ascertaining whether people are exploiting all the possibilities of the new digital media forms).
This is ground-breaking research that has not been conducted in South African higher education before. The group's appeal is therefore: "We realize that staff at UCT are near 'surveyed out' at this time of year, but hope that you will find time to answer our online questionnaire, which will be coming to you in the next few weeks. Your response really can make a difference as the outputs will help us recommend and make suitable interventions to support and develop both staff and students."

For more information contact Cheryl Brown ext 5035 or e-mail cbrown@ched.uct.ac.za

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