Conference Proceedings (Information Science)

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    Lecture capturing utilising enhanced podcasts
    (Nashville Tennessee, USA : Information Systems Educators Conference, 2010) Ehlers, Kobus
    The advent of podcasting technology has transformed lecture capturing and enabled easy and cost-effective delivery of recorded lectures to students in Higher Education. This paper investigates the use of an Enhanced Podcasting model to distribute audio recordings synchronised with the slides used in the lecture. A pilot study was conducted with two groups of students (first years and third years) to evaluate the acceptance and use of this technology as a supplement to traditional lectures. Enhanced Podcasting was evaluated as a model suitable to the South African context, enabling a richer experience than simple audio recordings, but still limiting bandwidth demands and equipment costs. The results reveal that a notable portion of students utilised these recordings and gave Enhanced Podcasting a high usefulness rating. The most popular uses of this technology were for test preparation and revision. Issues relating to access were identified and the viewing behaviour of students was also studied. Survey responses indicated that most students either download or stream the recordings for playback on computer with mobile viewing receiving almost no use. The vast majority of students reported receiving benefit from using the recorded lectures and indicated that they would prefer podcasting as a permanent service. They were also polled on possible alternative teaching modes. Both attendance tracking and survey responses indicated that podcasting had almost no effect on lecture attendance among first years with a small group of third years indicating that their attendance has decreased. This study suggests that the use of podcasting as a supplement to traditional lectures is clearly perceived as beneficial by the surveyed students, especially as a revision tool.
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    A decision support system for institutional research management in higher education : data mining to determine research focus, intensity and synergy
    (IEEE CS, 2009) Ehlers, Kobus; Joubert, Malan; Kinghorn, Johann; Van Zyl, Arnold
    Research orientated universities face a conundrum. On the one hand research areas are increasing and expanding; on the other research resources are – in relative terms – diminishing. As a consequence a more active approach to shaping the institutional research profile is called for. This presupposes a clear view of research activities at the institution, but this is notoriously lacking, universities being what they are. This paper reports on a DSS which was developed for research management at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Within the context of a rather unique national management system for higher education, a data mining approach was developed and tested. A modified ontology model was built to bridge the inherent ambiguity when clustering outputs across different academic disciplines. The results enabled research managers to correlate (in a meaningful way) strategic goals with actual output. The outcome points to a number of further possibilities for the application of this system.