Innovative approaches to blended learning during times of disruptions at a University of Technology in South Africa

PresentersDr Daniela Gachago, Centre for Innovative Educational Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa
Cheryl Belford, Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying, Faculty of Engineering, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa
Bronwyn Swartz, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa

Format: Two one hour webinars Monday 5 June and Tuesday 6 June, both days at 1 pm (SAST)

Blended learning is a key concern in recent times in higher education. Blended learning will manifest itself differently in different institutions as it becomes part of the core organisational culture. This seminar is part of a larger project aimed at understanding the breadth and depth of blended learning practices in the institution, with a particular focus on the use of open educational resources in teaching and learning. We will describe two lecturers’ attempts at moving their teaching and assessment into an online space during the 2016 student protests after campuses shut down and face to face teaching was not longer possible. While the disruption could be seen as trigger for innovation, they also raise difficult questions around the ethics of online learning in a context of inequality. Framed by Joan Tronto’s Ethics of Care qualities, we will explore what it means to ethically engage in open/blended practices in the context of the current higher education climate with the continued call for equal access to educational resources.

This seminar will run in two parts. Part 1 will introduce blended learning and the ethics of care and share the two lecturers’ experiences during the FMF protests. Seminar 2 will be a collaborative and reflective space, where participants will reflect on their own practices and address the following questions framed by the Ethics of Care principles:

  • How does an ethical blended learning practice look like?
  • What conditions need to be in place for an ethical blended learning practice?
  • What do we need to know about our students?
  • How does our practice relate to the institutional context?

Playlist with two webinars and videos by and with the presenters:

Daniela Gachago is a senior lecturer in the Centre for Innovative Educational Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Her research interests lie in the potential of emerging technologies to improve teaching and learning in higher education, with a particular focus on using technologies such as social media and digital storytelling as socially just pedagogies. She completed a PHD at the UCT School of Education where she explored the role of emotions in transforming students’ engagement across difference and a Masters in Adult Education at the University of Botswana.


Bronwyn Swartz is a lecturer on the Quality Programme in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at CPUT. She lectures Statistical Quality Techniques III and Quality Techniques IV, and supervises students research projects on both BTech and MTech level. She is passionate about her students, which prompted her to actively look for ways to support her teaching. Embracing technology for teaching has opened up a new world of possibilities for her and her students. She obtained a MTech Quality (Cum Laude) from CPUT and is currently a registered student completing a DPhil Quality Management at DUT.



Cheryl Belford is a lecturer on the Transportation Engineering Programme in the Department of Civil Engineering at CPUT. She lectures Transportation III, Transportation Planning IV and Transportation Technology IV and supervises student’s research projects on BTech level. Her research interests lie in the effect of changing mobility practices on the everyday life of commuters in South African cities. She is committed to ensuring a robust academic experience for the next generation of Civil Technologists. Her pedagogy has shifted toward Open Educational Practice as it encourages peer to peer learning and empowers her academic identity. She obtained a MEng Transportations Studies from UCT in 2008.

Facebook discussion group

e/merge Africa Facebook Group


Take part in Twitter using #emergeafrica

Skip to toolbar