TECHNOLOGIES TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING IN STUDIO-BASED SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION SPACES
1 Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) (SOUTH AFRICA)
2 University of Zululand (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:That the post 3G networked technology tools can help enhance teaching, learning and administration in higher education spaces is almost undisputed in academia. Rather, if there is anything to dispute, is the level to which the tools are exploited within and across academic disciplines in universities. Indeed, there is a wealth of scientific and anecdotal evidence to suggest an overwhelming uptake of e-Learning systems in almost all universities, yet usage emerges to be selective, with skewed patterns between academic disciplines. In this equation, studio-based design courses such as graphic and architecture design in particular, reflect the least adoption rate of electronic learning (e-Learning) tools and systems. Cynicism seems to be the core of the problem, with claims that there is no room for artificial intelligence mediation in these design projects, but only a hands-on “trial and error” human touch is needed. A confusing paradox on the other hand however, is that computer assisted learning research portray educational technology as a useful vehicle to facilitate experiential learning in almost disciplines, including architecture and graphic design education. Therefore, one is left wondering whether practice is actually in touch with the continuously innovating technological trends, if research is (or is not) talking to practice at all. As such, we wanted to understand the appropriateness of existing educational technology solutions in enhancing the practical, studio-design based learning in higher education design institutions. Using interpretive qualitative measures, we analysed interview data from design students and lecturers at the cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). As it emerged from the findings, the basis for usage limitations are unsubstantiated, but mostly based on misperceptions, fed by poor technology choices (and or lack of). Design education institutions and the industry should extend their communication beyond a creation of design solutions and skills sets, to include updated electronic training solutions for faculties. To this end, a collaboration between technology vendors and educators in the practical studio-based design courses, and the earnest effort by the educational technology support units to orientate educators on aligning relevant technology solutions with academic needs in affected higher education processes is strongly recommended in this paper.
Keywords: Studio-Based Spaces, Relevant educational technologies, technology choices, Learning Management Systems, Activity Theory, e-learning, Virtual Design Studio.