Innovative online classrooms and smartboards are transforming teaching and learning at DUT’s Fashion Department on the Brickfield Campus. Under the leadership of Department Head, Sunthra Moodley, Fashion lecturers are moving to online delivery as an integral part of their teaching practice. Lecturers Fezile Mdletshe, Kaila Goss and Suheena Singh (pictured here) along with Tando Mbanga and Bianca Van Rooyen are providing their students with learning materials and instructional videos on the university’s Blackboard LMS.
A collaborative venture by Fashion Design and DUT Multimedia has shown how teaching videos can be successfully incorporated into online classrooms. Working closely with Nelson Munsamy and his Multimedia team, Fashion lecturer Kaila Goss has started using instructional videos in her Blackboard classroom. These new fashion videos are in line with international best practice. Salman Khan (of Khan Academy) has attracted world acclaim for using teaching videos as a key ingredient of quality online education, providing students with step-by-step instruction that can be paused, re-played and reviewed to suit the learning style of each individual student.
As Kaila wrote to Keith Kenneth of Multimedia: “Great news! I showed the first 2 videos to my first class today and they were very positive about it. I had some really good feedback from them, and they even asked who made it because it looks so professionally done.They said it makes patterns so much easier to understand because they can see it up close. From my side, it seemed to help get the concepts across to students much faster, so I had more time to work with them on their practical class work. So a big thank you to you and the team!”
Important takeaways from the recent TIME article by MIT President, Rafael Reif, are that some teaching is actually better online, and that e-learning in a blended environment allows lecturers more time for classroom engagement with their students. Reif quotes findings that show that online exercises enable students to retain introductory material through practice, feedback and reinforcement. By shifting the content component of their courses online, lecturers are released to explore innovative teaching during face-to-face sessions with students.