Original Research

Moving beyond the tools: Pre-service teachers’ views on what they value in a digital literacy short course

Sonja C. Strydom, Helena Wessels, Casey Anley
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 11, No 1 | a929 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v11i1.929 | © 2021 Sonja C. Strydom, Helena Wessels, Casey Anley | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 August 2020 | Published: 24 June 2021

About the author(s)

Sonja C. Strydom, Centre for Learning Technologies, Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Helena Wessels, Department of Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Casey Anley, Department of Education, Faculty of Educational Psychology, Diocesan College, Cape Town, South Africa


Background: A digital literacies short course, rooted in a pedagogical model of authentic learning and mapped against the TPACK model, was conceptualised and implemented to enhance the existing digital literacies and technological pedagocial content knowledge of student teachers and to promote an awareness of technology-enhanced curriculum practices.

Aim: In aiming to inform course improvement, our study interrogates student teachers’ perceptions of the aspects that they valued in the short course.

Methods: Guided by social constructivism and situated within a qualitative paradigm, twenty-four 2nd and 3rd year Bachelor of Education (BEd) students who completed the course participated in three semi-structured focus group interviews whereby data was analysed by means of constant comparison analysis.

Results: Findings suggest participants found value in authentic tasks and assignments as well as the process of knowledge creation. They did, however, differ in their views of the purpose and aim of such a course.

Conclusion: This study contributes to the gap in South African research and the growing South African interest in preparing teachers in adopting technology-enhanced practices and curriculum changes in schools, and argues that standardised theoretical training courses ignoring psycho-socio-cultural factors and individual differences should be reconsidered.


authentic learning; digital literacy; learning technologies; teacher training; TPACK model


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