Educational Output: Notes

All DCT-REES partner institutions have different profiles and specializations, as well as different needs. These profiles are reflected in the skills and knowledge of staff members. The DCT-REES partners agreed in 2018 on a development strategy whereby each partner (in some cases in conjunction with other partners) develops particular sets of NOTES which in turn will serve as building blocks for labs, courses, classes and even partial programs. NOTES have been constructed around 4 use cases, each representing a DC system or a sub-system. Some of the NOTES have been found to be relevant for more than 1 Use Case. They are labelled ‘General’.

dct-rees diagram

A NOTE in DCT-REES context is a separate material, that can be used as a flexible building block to develop courses and programs. A NOTE has several characteristics:

  • A NOTE answers 1 specific question
  • A NOTE has an owner (institution ánd staff member)
  • A NOTE has focussed content on a topic, containing maximum 20 pages
  • A NOTE contains raw yet validated material
  • A NOTE refers to its sources
  • A NOTE refers to prerequisite and follow-up NOTEs, to read items in a specific order


Each NOTE comes with a Front page, containing Study Load, Author, Topic, Summary, Prerequisite knowledge and version / quality management indicators. Content is being developed in the form of Full NOTES and Front Pages. Categories are: Knowledge, Application and Implementation. Some of these NOTES are already being implemented in the curriculum by some of the partners, for example, B.Eng. Tech Honours programme of DUT – Durban University of Technology.


There are several advantages to the DCT-REES educational materials development strategy with flexible building blocks:

1.     Every institution can develop NOTES or short courses suited to its own profile (in the disciplines of electrical power engineering, industrial automation, electronic and computer engineering, etc.). Any user can use these as building blocks to suit their needs in terms of content, skills and knowledge.

2.     Every partner can contribute new educational content. Updating materials is more sustainable with NOTES, as ownership of each NOTE is clear.

3.     Students from other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can browse materials (via the educational community) and search for courses tailored to their personal needs. The information required will be provided in ‘Front Pages’, which contain learning objectives and required knowledge. As such, the Project can support every individual institute with implementing curricula for new qualifications.

4.     Several South African partners are currently refining development of the new Bachelor of Engineering Technology qualification. The needs, identified in 2016, is the emphasis on fundamentals of DC technology and its applications which differ substantially from the AC mains systems currently included in most curricula. DC technology content continues to develop at a rapid pace, notwithstanding the lack of coherent standards, the very limited availability of products, and the very limited experience of professionals and industry with this new technology. Offering Flexible Building Blocks help accommodate different paces of implementation.