Technology-enhanced learning to benefit both student and institution: TELIT-SA

Belinda Bantham -- Thu, 03/16/2017 - 09:57

Technology-enhanced learning to benefit student and institution: TELIT-SA

Researchers within the new research focus area of the North-West University (NWU), TELIT-SA, is hard at work to not only vest the entity but also to expand its reach and impact. TELIT-SA focuses on the theory and practice of learning technologies across an array of disciplines in higher education. In short: a dedicated focus on the practice of technology-enhanced learning.

Heading-up this dynamic entity is Prof Seugnet Blignaut, a seasoned and highly regarded expert in educational technology. Prof Blignaut elucidates that the first aim of this entity is to provide a research home for all scholars to hang their research hats relating to technology-enhanced learning.

“Theory of practice assists in bridging the divide between basic disciplines and theoretical underpinnings of the pedagogical use of technology-enhanced learning,” says Prof Blignaut and furthermore explains that this will assist in creating a specific formal technology-enhanced learning knowledge base that in turn will act as a legitimate, valid and crucial resource and change agent across academic disciplines.

Theory of practice also assists in bridging the gap between basic disciplines and theoretical underpinnings of the pedagogical use of TEL in order to create a specific formal TEL knowledge base as a legitimate, valid and crucial resource to act as change agent across disciplines.  The blurred distinction between learning about (vocational) technology and learning with technology (pedagogic) becomes less and less real as TEL increasingly becomes integrated into every aspect of teaching and learning, to the advantage of students and the institution. 

“As the entity evolves, we foresee increased involvement of scholars from all disciplines,” says Prof Blignaut and adds that TELIT-SA supports three discrete, but interrelating sub-programmes (SP):

  • Designing and developing of higher education and training technological artefacts mindful of educational theory and practice and human-computer interaction principles. These artefacts are in support of university modules for higher education and health care training programmes.
  • Using and reflecting on technology for innovative discipline-based higher education and training.
  • An institutional perspective on using and evaluating technology for learning in higher education and training, as well as industry.

“The blurred distinction between learning about (vocational) technology and learning with technology (pedagogic) becomes less real as technology-enhanced learning increasingly becomes integrated into every aspect of teaching and learning, to the advantage of students and the institution,” says Prof Blignaut.

Team members

The three sub-programmes encapsulated by the entity are managed by Dr Carin Venter, Prof Dawid Jordaan and Dr Verona Leendertz respectively.

In terms of research, TELIT-SA boasts with seven areas of emphasis:

  1. Board Games (Ms Veruschka Pelser Carstens)
  2. Serious Games and Artificial Intelligence (Mr Japie Greeff)
  3. App Development (Prof Dawid Jordaan)
  4. Robotics (Ms Suné van der Linde)
  5. Data Science (Prof Phillip Pretorius)
  6. iTLT and PDTLT (Dr Verona Leendertz)
  7. Critical Systems Thinking in Information Systems (Dr Carin Venter)

* The administrative home of TELIT-SA is in the School of Information Technology within the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the NWU. For more information contact the TELIT-SA liaison officer by sending an email to Noory.Yusuf@nwu.ac.za

Prof Seugnet Blignaut