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28 January 2021
Learning Science teaching innovation award for UWC
The Centre for Innovative Education and Communication Technologies (CIECT) at the University of the Western Cape has been awarded the international 2020 Learning Science Teaching Innovation Award for its effective Learning Science laboratory simulation programmes. 

There were 41 nominations from universities around the world, and UWC was one of five winners selected from 12 finalists.

The Dean of Natural Sciences, Professor Mike Davies-Coleman, who nominated CIECT for the award, said: “The Science Faculty congratulates Dr Juliet Stoltenkamp, Director of the CIECT and the CIECT team, who are recipients of a prestigious 2020 Learning Science Teaching Innovation Award, for their extremely effective roll-out of the Learning Science laboratory simulation programmes in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.”

Of the CIECT’s submission, the judging panel said: “A highly impressive, transformative project where numerous academics across multiple departments implemented LabSims into their teaching with great success. Collaboration between the IT team and faculty departments was vital and the deep level impact is evident.”

UWC received has received this prestigious 2020 Learning Science Teaching Innovation Award

COVID-19 resulted in a significant increase in use of the CIECT’s iKamva Learning Management System platform. When undergraduate laboratories were closed at the start of the lockdown last year. CIECT helped lecturers integrate the LabSims into their teaching modules, accessible via iKamva. “This was critical to keep students engaged remotely with practical lab techniques,” said Dr Stoltenkamp.

The integration was so successful that within the first three months of implementation, UWC set a Learning Science record with over 3 500 activities undertaken. This is the single largest engagement across Learning Science’s interactive programmes by any university in the world.

“This is really good news and reflects how much our  partnership with Learning Science is not only impacting positively on our teaching and learning in the Faculty, but that our efforts are also being recognised internationally,” said Prof Davies-Coleman.

Read here for more about the diversity of nominations, as well as the feedback from the adjudication panel.