Change the world


Shelley Saunders speaks to us about her teaching and learning experiences.


A Blended Learning approach to teaching is rapidly becoming the norm in schools and universities globally. Nelson Mandela University encourages a blended learning approach by offering ICT and teacher training support.

Lecturers at Mandela University make use of Moodle as a platform to enhance their blended learning approaches and supplement in-classroom teaching. It allows lecturers to tailor their courses and provide supplementary videos, articles and links for students to continue learning beyond the classroom. A greater emphasis on interaction can also be achieved by using the feedback tools provided, and it is also easily accessible on mobile devices.

Moodle was of course an invaluable resource during the Fees Must Fall movement, when students had limited access to campus facilities. The amount of data needed to simply get into the site and download the necessary documents however, was too costly for students.

A simple yet innovative solution by Business Management lecturer Shelley Saunders was the implementation of the “R5 Moodle site”, which encouraged lecturers to simplify their Moodle pages to include only what is necessary for students to download so that they can access the page and log out as soon as possible with a lower cost implication.

Apart from student and lecturers appreciation of this approach, she also mentions a greater understanding of the challenges students face and what they appreciate most in their teaching and learning environment. This new understanding changed her teaching approach to a more flexible one, in order to incorporate all that she has learnt from her interaction with students since.

Her teaching style is very inclusive, and considers and caters for different student’s learning styles and challenges. This stems from her own experiences of learning, and the methods she used successfully as a student. It is therefore important for her to be able to offer different avenues of learning so that each student can use the strategies that are most useful to them.

She also tries to include a humanising pedagogy in her teaching space, recognising that each of her students are unique in their upbringing, and that each student brings with them a rich background that could contribute to and facilitate their success in learning, as well as their role in society. Whilst business management is a very western profit based idea, she also tries to Africanise the content by using case studies that are closer to home, and asserting that business has social responsibilities.



Contact information
Mrs Nadia Mukadam
Research Assistant and Administrator
Tel: 0415043266