In a study run by Via Afrika, less than 35% of South Africa’s teachers had been trained in basic digital and ICT skills in 2011. Five years later, the landscape had not changed much until now. Eiffel Corp, role players in education technology across Africa have been accredited by Blackboard as the first partner worldwide to offer the Digital Teaching and Learning Series Certification and the first institutions in SA to ensure their academic staff are upskilled and equipped with best-in-class ICT training, aligned to the standards of the UNESCO ICT Framework for Teaching are the University of Johannesburg and the Independent Institute of Education (IIE).
According to Marelize Malan, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accountancy: “Many lecturers have limited knowledge of the current Learner Management System (LMS), Blackboard. This series will provide lecturers with knowledge of digital teaching and learning and the ability to function fully online on the LMS. It will also make our current face-to-face programmes and modules more digitally integrated and give our students a richer learning experience.
“Ninety lecturers in our Faculty will participate in the first training session, and we plan to have all Accounting Faculty academics certified to level 2 by the end of 2018,” added Malan.
Stefan du Plessis, Commercial Director at Eiffel Corp said the ultimate objective with this programme is driving student success.
“It’s imperative for SA’s leading insitutions to ensure their academic programmes produce students that are equipped for the workplace and that teaching pedagogy delivery using technology is consistent”, he added.
“Academic staff and instructors can deliver best-in-class teaching and learning experiences for their students, giving students an advantage in the workplace”, he added.
“An essential factor to achieving student success is whether faculty have the right skills to use the learning technology that the institution has invested in. For many institutions, while faculty have strong academic experience, and competency to teach, some are less confident teaching with technology.”
Key skills such as technical and IT skills are critical for student employability.
“As students engage with digital literacy via social media, they have the same expectations of their education experience. They want to learn using multi-media tools, that are available 24/7.
“The first SA cohort of the Digital Teaching and Learning Series Certification, conducted recently at the University of Johannesburg, achieved a 100% pass rate, which bodes well for the upskilling of teachers in South Africa.
“I am really pleased that Blackboard plans to use our experience in South Africa as a global case study when working in more advanced markets such as the UK, Australia and South Korea”.