Best practices in action

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Exchange best practices to put ideas into action

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Confucius

BbWorld is the once-a -year event that brings together the brightest learning professionals from all over the world. Attending this event, affords you the opportunity to see and do. Experience innovation in education and professional development, participate in peer-driven discussions, network and learn about tech best practices. Over three days, you get to choose the deep-dive sessions that suit your background and expertise and take away practical insights that you can apply to your learning programmes.

When: 23-25 July 2019

Where:  Austin, USA

Why…

IMPROVE YOUR ORGANISATION

Invest in your organisation or institution! Attending BbWorld gives your team the chance to participate in sessions and programmes that are specifically designed to empower users. This means it is so practical, it equips participants to take back what they’ve learnt and apply it in their work environment. The main focus is on creating a greater impact overall.

CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY

Networking will always stay relevant. With higher education, K-12, corporate and government industries represented, you’ll have the chance to speak with peers from around the world. Share and learn from best practices with others, while making new connections throughout the event.

BECOME A POWER USER

We offer ample training opportunities to ensure you’re well acquainted with our technology. By attending BbWorld 2019, you’ll be better suited to use the tools you already have and come up with new ways to enhance the learner experience.

STAY IN THE KNOW

Stay up to date with the latest in tech trends, with leaders in the industry as keynote speakers and trending topics in edtech. We also address challenges and give you a chance to speak with industry leaders.

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Arrive a few days earlier and make the most of your time in Austin. The Blackboard Analytics Symposium also in Austin, TX on July 22-23, as is the Leadership Summit, followed by BbWorld 2019. Learn more about the BB Analytics Symposium here or the Leadership Summit here.

Get in touch

Learning in the hands of technology – is revolutionary.

Eiffel Corp

Eiffel Corp. Education. Technology. Innovation

Future-fit Institutions

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Is your institution future-fit?

We are almost halfway through 2019! While the year seems to be moving fast, it is noteworthy how technology is moving even faster. Robots are teaching themselves to manipulate an object through trial an error; AI assistants are becoming smoother and more versed in speech (search Google Duplex for more) and ECG-enabled smart watches could predict your likelihood of a heart attack or stroke.

In the face of this 4th industrial revolution, institutions need to stay relevant. With Workers Day on the 1st of May, we have to ask ourselves what will the future hold for South African graduates?

While we don’t know exactly what future jobs will look like, we do know new jobs will replace traditional ones, and these will require an entirely different skill set.

According to our Digital Teaching and Learning Director, Myles Thies, “Future learning is micro- and blended-learning and curriculums will be online. The workplace will be transformed and digital will be utilised to reskill staff.”

Artificial Intelligence can learn fast, memorise patterns and strategies and execute tasks repetitively with precision. It would be almost impossible for a human to compete with this within the workplace. In fact, robot automation is estimated to take over 800 million jobs by 2030. Furthermore, it is predicted that the half-life of a job skill would be five years. This means that every five years, that skill is half as valuable as it was before.

Therefore, skilled workers need to stay ahead and relevant, otherwise their value as employees will keep on declining.

But how can institutions instruct students in manners that will aid them in staying ahead?

According to Myles, there is no easy quick-fix solutions, but there are some key factors that would play a role.

INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY AND UPSKILL INSTRUCTORS

While it is important to consciously invest in technology, it is only a small part of the solution. It is even more important for educators to acquire the skills and capacity to impart skills in the technology-dominated environment.

ADAPT

Institutions need to be able to adapt. Learners often seek out new modes of learning based on their current use of technology, but educators are not always able to meet them at that level with digital teaching and learning techniques.

BE RESPONSIVE

The ability and speed of adaptation must be robust enough to cope with the increasing pace of innovation. Teacher & lecturer skills are not keeping pace with innovation and capabilities.

OFFER QUALITY

Learners are more discerning, and the tertiary education is becoming more competitive. The quality on every level of the institution should be agile and flexible. There should be benchmarked standards for quality when it comes to digital teaching and learning execution in courses.

 

Get in touch

Learning in the hands of technology – is revolutionary.

Eiffel Corp

Eiffel Corp. Education. Technology. Innovation

Original writing ensures academic quality

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Original writing ensures academic quality

 

The University of Pretoria (UP), is one of South Africa’s largest research universities. The University boasts 1357 study programmes, an 82% undergraduate pass rate and 85% of graduates employed within a few months of graduation.

To maintain their reputation and standards, the University must ensure students deliver high quality academic writing that is original.  “There is an international trend of plagiarism due to easy access and consequent ‘copying and pasting’ from academic writing on the internet.” Contract cheating is the newest form of plagiarism, where students pay a service provider to write papers on their behalf. While the motivations for students to commit plagiarism vary – some are not even aware that they are committing plagiarism. Students need to understand the seriousness of plagiarism.

That is why UP has opted to adopt an institutional policy that encourages original writing and avoidance of plagiarism. Their policy is enforced with a robust and effective online programme, namely TurnitIn. For them the proof has been in the submissions.

Since implementation at the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2008, 4 354 papers were submitted to TurnitIn. Nearly half those papers had similarity scores of 25% and higher. This means these papers resembled material published on the web or assignments submitted by other students. As high similarity scores might indicate the presence of plagiarism, UP started with a drive to increase the originality of assessment papers, inter alia through adopting an academic integrity and plagiarism policy that created channels for severe punishment in cases of proven plagiarism. The policy was shared on the Library website and to academic departments, and subsequently widely noted and incorporated in assessment instructions across the university.  In 2017, the use of TurnitIn confirmed an upward curve in the growth, with 150 563 submissions and a staggering 243 445 similarity reports.

 

More UP lecturers are using TurnitIn to screen student assignments before marking in order to verify that the work is the student’s own. The number of papers submitted to TurnitIn also increases annually. In UP’s experience, TurnitIn has helped students improve the originality of their papers, and therefore their papers’ academic quality.

Get in touch

Your culture of academic integrity begins with Turnitin.

Eiffel Corp

Eiffel Corp. Education. Technology. Innovation

The state of mental health in South African tertiary institutions

EdTech Insights

THE FUTURE IS NOW

Mental health status of South African students is shocking

“We are seeing increases in mental health challenges worldwide – more stress, more anxiety, more depression and more suicides,” Kevin Kruger, president of the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education or NASPA, told University World News.

The state of the mental health of students at tertiary institutions has become a major crisis in South Africa – as well as the rest of the world. One of the biggest challenges relating to this crisis is that the magnitude of the issue is often neglected or ignored at national and local level. In South Africa we are faced with so many other challenges when it comes to the Education sector, that often no systems are put in place to identify and treat students who are suffering from mental illnesses.

In 2017, a study by UCT brought to light that at least 12% of university students exhibit “moderate to severe symptoms of depression.” And stats indicate that these figures are rising. In the UK, reports show that at least 27% of UK students have some form of mental health challenge.

These concerning figures reiterate the importance of tackling mental health issues at universities and colleges. In South Africa students face financial constraints, social situations and other challenges that come with adjusting to tertiary education. These stress factors place strain on the mental health of to their students.

While developing policies and task teams to address mental health at universities and colleges are great initiatives, more can be done to monitor mental health on campus. There is a solution in the form of an automated system. A system that not only monitors existing cases, but flags potential cases and offers data and insights that help tertiary institutions identify potential risks before tragedy strikes. 

Get in touch

Apply a 360 degree model of campus safety—from behavioural intervention to campus security.

Eiffel Corp

Education. Technology. Innovation