The following lessons apply to learner-focused ICT projects:

  • The way in which an ICT-related learning intervention is structured in relation to length and sequencing has a major impact on the success or otherwise of the learning activities. For example: 
    • In LearnThings it was found that the portal content session of 1.5 hours was too long, especially as tutors were not always available to guide learners’ interactions with portal content
    • LearnThings did not yield clarity on what is the best way to integrate and balance portal learning with face-to-face tuition
    • The recommendation that face-to-face and portal interaction be structured in shorter ‘turn-taking’ segments has not yet been tested.  This would require careful structuring of content and guidance from a tutor who is not distracted by technical issues
  • Self-paced learning interventions work best with stronger learners who are already relatively comfortable with the content. But self-paced learning needs to be carefully monitored by a systems administrator to ensure that the right content is being covered. 
  • Whether learners are engaged with self-paced learning or e-learning combined with face-to-face learning, it is vital that a tutor is available to guide learning interactions, and selection and navigation of ICT content. The following constraints can affect both types of ICT learning.
    • Because of navigation difficulties, learners sometimes do not complete all the activities within a topic.
    • Because of lack of availability of tutor assistance, learners sometimes miss out on sequencing of tasks, or selection of the right content.
    • Ideally, ICT-based learning needs to be guided by tutors and reinforced or linked to what is done in face-to-face teaching.
  • For learners to benefit, ICT learning content issues need to be managed:
    • Where e-learning content is misaligned to CAPS content, tutor guidance becomes even more important.
    • ICT-based learning should work in tandem with the same content that learners do in class time. But getting the timing and sequencing of this right is difficult, as teachers face their own challenges in relation to following  pace-setter and work schedule guidelines.
    • Individual learners will be at different stages in their self-paced learning. This suggests perhaps that ICT-based projects need a mechanism which will help guide individual learners in ICT-based content choices, and whether or not they should be focusing on supplemental practice or remedial tuition.  
    • The programme content of ICT-based projects should be presented in the appropriate language and relevant to the South African context. Non-SA terms such as pounds instead of rands and miles instead of kilometres should be changed if possible.
  • Learners see many benefits to ICT- based learning in general.
    • It improves their technology skills.
    • It is a fun way to learn.
    • It improves their self-confidence in that they are able to learn independently.
    • Explanations, rules and steps are sometimes easier to understand than those that teachers give.
    • It enables them to revise concepts.
    • They can do examples and get immediate feedback and answers.

The following lessons apply across projects in general:

  • Learners need to get sufficient exposure to the learning intervention in order to benefit. Timing of any learner-focused interventions needs to be carefully planned, and various factors need to be taken into account.
    • Note potential competing demands on learners, as these may impact attendance and access to technology
    • In contrast, remediation after-school extra lessons (non-ICT) have regular attendance, popular lessons, and are perceived by learners as beneficial.
    • Saturday schools are valued by learners, but the preferred option is sessions during school time (but not afternoon sessions).
    • Overall attendance in all learner-focused interventions trails off towards end of the year because of exam pressures. Programmes should plan for activities to take place in the first half of the year.
  • Human resources support to teachers such as the team teaching approach has directly observable benefits to learners: because the teacher: learner ratio comes down, learner work can be checked and feedback given, learners have more access to teachers to ask questions, and struggling individuals can be helped while class teaching continues
  • Human resources support to teachers such as extra lessons and remediation by an additional teacher is also seen as beneficial. The following points are noted:
    • Learners can engage with the same topic from a different perspective.
    • Learners can do immediate revision on the topic.
    • Extra classes give more opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification than normal classes.
    • Teachers can focus on individual learners and are released the time-pressured curriculum focus typically followed in large classes.
  • Adopting a deliberate strategy to improve the ‘reputation’ of a particular subject can have positive effects.
  • Team teaching facilitates a more interactive approach between the teachers and learners, and appears from learner comments to succeed in promoting the idea that learning Maths can be fun.
  • Programmes aimed at enabling leadership and commitment to social action such as the GIBS Spirit of Youth programme need the right mix of activities at personal and community levels.

Work with us

The GEDT works with a wide range of local, national and global organisations and individuals who are passionate about access to quality education in Gauteng.

Any business, organization or person interested to work with us can get in touch with.