Unisa launches innovative teaching and learning tool


From left: Dr Louise van Dyk, Dr Hannelie Marx, Dr Elnerine Greeff, Prof Blessing Mbatha (CoD: Communication Science) & Prof Yolandi Slabbert

A team of lecturers from the Department of Communication Science in the College of Human Sciences (CHS) recently launched a teaching and learning tool to assist students to overcome the pitfalls of plagiarism. The new Writing for Academic Integrity tool was developed by Dr Elnerine Greeff, Dr Hannelie Marx, Prof Yolandi Slabbert and Dr Louise van Dyk.

The team says that the tool not only forms part of a bigger college project, but it utilises Google sites and offers a series of fun and informative video tutorials. These tutorials guide students through a variety of topics that are integral to academic writing: technical guidelines in academic writing, plagiarism, how to reference and advanced referencing.

The importance of this tool cannot be overstated, says the team, adding that academic writing, referencing, and subsequent issues surrounding plagiarism are areas that students tend to struggle with consistently. By providing them with this tremendously helpful and innovative tool, they now have all the crucial information at their fingertips.

“The video tutorials on the site are designed to act as a tool to add to the students’ academic arsenal to improve their writing and the academic integrity of their work,” Greeff explained. The site also provides students with the opportunity to interact with the creators – encouraging them to comment or ask questions.

However, it is not only the students who will benefit from using this tool. It provides lecturers with the opportunity to brush up on technical requirements and to always be ready with an answer at hand.

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The team is currently negotiating the development of a mobile application. This is particularly significant, since it will be the first mobile application to be developed in CHS.

Greeff and the team encourage departmental staff to utilise the Writing for Academic Integrity site and to spread the word to students about this exciting new teaching tool available to them.

Click here for the link to the site.

*Compiled by Martine van der Walt-Ehlers, Tanja Botha & Janette Hanekom