The Durban University of Technology aims to support students’ learning through the appropriate use of technology. This is primarily achieved through the use of DUT’s online learning management system, the ThinkLearnZone.
What is digital learning or e-learning?
Digital or e-learning can mean any use of technology that assists your learning. For example, you might use a smartboard in class, or do an online quiz, or look at your lecture notes on your cell phone, or perhaps record your own video as part of an assignment. But when we talk about e-learning at DUT, this usually refers to the ThinkLearnZone.
What is the ThinkLearnZone?
The ThinkLearnZone (TLZ) is where you will find online ‘classrooms’ for all your taught modules, based on your DUT registration; http://thinklearnzone.dut.ac.za/. ThinkLearnZone uses the Blackboard learn platform so you may also hear it referred to as Blackboard. It is important to log on to TLZ because this is where you will find study guides and any other course materials, such as video clips or quizzes. TLZ can also be used to communicate with you, for example when a lecturer sends out an announcement or allows you to work interactively with each other in the class through sharing journals or chatting on discussion forums.
How can I keep up with what is happening on TLZ?
TLZ connects to your DUT4life email, so if a lecturer sends an ‘announcement’ or adds new materials to the classroom a message will go through to this email. So make sure you know how to access your DUT4life email! Did you know that you can set up your DUT4life to forward an email on to your preferred email address? You can find a guide showing you how to do this on the FAQ students section of the e-learning help desk site: http://elearning.dut.ac.za
Can I use TLZ on my phone or mobile devices?
Yes either use the link http://thinklearnzone.dut.ac.za or you can download the Blackboard Mobile Student App, which is free to DUT students.
What if I haven’t used a computer or technology before?
Every year many students join DUT who have not yet had the opportunity to work with computers. Your lecturers are aware of this and you should be given instructions on how to access TLZ. If you don’t have your own device the libraries and some of the laboratories on campus provide devices where you can practice and develop your skills. Getting to grip with computers and technology is vital for your future career, so take the opportunity to develop your skills whilst at DUT.
Where can I find out how to log it?
You can find frequently asked questions such as how to log in to TLZ helpdesk site: http://elearning.dut.ac.za/. You can also email the TLZ helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone them on 031 373 6758
How does e-Learning help me?
e-Learning gives you access to the means to study outside of the classroom at any time of the day which suits you. Although it is not a substitute for lectures, it can make it easier to catch up if you missed a class. It also makes it easier to communicate in a timely way with your lecturer as you don’t have to wait for class but can send a message using TLZ. Online quizzes can help you test your own knowledge before you reach an assessment stage. Working online with others in your class to complete projects and engaging in online discussions, helps to prepare you for the digital workplace you will be entering one day.
Pictured: Students accessing DUT4Life to gain access to announcements made by their lecturers.