Wits University will look to increase the ways students’ knowledge and understanding of concepts are assessed, to optimise learning in 2023.
Professor Diane Grayson, senior director of academic affairs, says learning plans are a work in progress. “Using diverse forms of assessment allows us to assess a wider variety of skills, knowledge and competencies.” The university is orientating lecturers this semester on the new standing orders.
Roger De Mello Koch, a fourth-year electrical engineering student, agrees that assessment needs to be enhanced especially for online examination, saying multiple choice does not allow students to show understanding of a concept.
Wits implemented the blended learning programme after two years of remote teaching and learning due to the covid-19 pandemic. Grayson says the main problem with remote learning was students and lecturers became isolated. Brett Freeman, a lecturer in the school of mechanical, industrial and aeronautical engineering, agrees: “You don’t grow as a person socially if you [are] sitting in your bedroom listening to lectures.”
Students who experienced in-person, remote and blended learning agreed that the lack of social interaction hampered their learning. De Mello Koch says online lecturing results in less engagement because students are not forced to engage with the material as at an in-person lecture.
Computer science honours student, Sonia Bullah, believes the blended learning programme needs to be developed further to assist with revision. “It would be really beneficial to record in-person lectures and post them online later,” she says.
Both De Mello Koch and Bullah said students of the future should always look to ask for help if they do not understand a concept. De Mello Koch adds: “Often other students can provide more clarity on something you are struggling with as they will explain it in a different way that may make more sense.”
FEATURED IMAGE: Second year chemical engineering student works through a blended learning lab. Photo: Colin Hugo
- Wits Vuvuzela, Wits to continue blended learning indefinitely, May 2022
- Wits Vuvuzela, Student dropouts overwhelmed by remote learning, December 2021
- Wits Vuvuzela, First-years face challenges with wits online learning, April 2021