Wits taking a digital move

Article from African Independent 24 June 2016

The University of Witwatersrand is to launch free courses which will revolutionise access to higher education.

The university is to introduce free online courses later this year, in a first for Africa.

Professor Andrew Crouch, Deputy Vice-chancellor Academic at Wits University says: “There is no doubt that there is a dire need for more places at South African universities and for access to quality post-school training.

“Wits is proud to be the first African university on the edX platform, where we offer online courses unique to South Africa.’

Massive open online courses (MOOC) offered by WitsX are free although a certificate of completion can be bought for $49 (about R725 at the current exchange rate). The first three MOOCs will be available within the next six months. They are the System Dynamic for Health Sciences which launches on August 3, 2016, Research Methods: An Engineering Approach launches on September 7, 2016 and the Result-Based Project Management: Monitoring and Evaluation which launches October 5, 2016.

“Developing these three edX MOOCs has been an exciting collaboration between eLearning staff in the Centre for Learning, Teaching and Development (CLTD) and teams of academics.

“We envisage that the capacity and systems we have developed will inform and strengthen future institutional online course development and other blended learning initiatives,” says Associate Professor Christine Woods, Wits CLTD director and head of WitsX.

Photo: From left to right: Mrs Robyn Letts (MOOC facilitator, lecturer at Wits), Prof Ivan Hofsajer (MOOC facilitator, Wits), Mr Bongani Khoza (WitsX team, eLearning at Wits), Dr Nico Baird (Head of eLearning and Deputy Director of CLTD, Wits), Prof Andrew Crouch (Wits DVC), Ms Dominique Wooldridge (WitsX team, Team Leader at eLearning, Wits), Prof Christine Woods (Director of CLTD, Wits) and Mr Kieron Crawley (MOOC facilitator, Wits)