Gauteng-based TVET uses EdTech to enable blended learning


During the Covid pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, in-person teaching and learning could not continue at tertiary education institutions around South Africa, and several took the decision to offer classes online in order to ensure that the academic progression of students was not neglected.  One such institution was a  Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) College based in Gauteng, which was looking for a solution that would enable it to reach out to all students, continue teaching and learning, and save the academic year. 

It also came to be part of the institution’s strategic vision to digitise its operations to better equip students to be part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). As such, there was a need for the TVET College to rapidly deploy technology at its campuses to address both blended learning as well as remote learning, and to move away from static educational content to digital content.


VastraTech was awarded a 3-year contract to deploy 60 Virtual Classrooms, provide lecturer continuous professional development (CPD) and support EdTech services. VastraTech implemented Classroom Technologies, such as Interactive Smart Boards with lesson delivery software and video conferencing systems – enabled using technologies from partners such as SMART, Huawei, Panopto and Logitech – which are used to deliver in-class and/or lesson streaming for students joining remotely. 

In addition, a Brightspace Learning Management System (LMS) was deployed, giving all academic staff access to the tools needed to deliver lessons in-class or remotely, and to set up and mark assignments. The LMS also enabled 25 000+ students to continue their learning from anywhere and on any device. This includes being able to access classes, receive text-based or video lessons, complete and submit assignments, and to receive assessments. 

The entire implementation took 12 weeks, during which the LMS was activated, with the content of 460 staff members being converted to digital format and uploaded to the system. In addition, all enrolled students were uploaded to the system and provided with login details.


While there was some initial resistance to the change – staff were unsure about how to work on an online platform and as to the effectiveness of this method, while students indicated that they didn’t have devices or data – there was the realisation of the importance in saving the academic year. These doubts that educators had were addressed through change management for all staff members, which also ensures that new technologies are better used. 

As with the adoption of any new system, there was a period of adjustment, after which there has been a more positive attitude towards hybrid or blended learning. By the end of 2020, the TVET College’s NCV results dropped by less than 1%, while staff and student logins, which are closely monitored, have recorded steady improvement since the implementation of the LMS.

Features that were especially appealing, and appreciated by lecturers, include the capability for third-party integration, the ability to upload recorded lessons for students, and even accommodate eBooks – all using Snaplify.

Such has been the success of this implementation that the TVET College is now looking to install more Interactive Smart Boards at each campus to teach all part-time students online by 2023, and to put in place Student Support Services to help them make better use of the system. Certain identified subjects will also be taught only online by 2023, with students being issued with eBooks and assignments being completed and marked online. It is also looking to expand access to education opportunities to students with disabilities, who will in future be able to use the LMS to file all of their work portfolios.

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