Bingo 2.0

Bingo - 2.0

“Bingo 2.0” is a great icebreaker activity

You’ve probably heard about the game Bingo. It’s a popular game of chance. The format is simple. A host hands out a set of printed cards, each with a square grid. Every card has random numbers printed in each square of the grid. The host then draws a number from a hat, announces it to all playing participants and if players have a corresponding number on their own grid, they mark off that matching square. This process is repeated until one lucky participant has completed a row (vertical, horizontal or diagonal) of squares on their card. With their clutch of lined random numbers, they then shout BINGO.

I’ve taken the Bingo format, and updated it for the web. I’ve removed “chance” from the game and replaced it with a grid of skills. Each participant receives the same bingo card that contains a grid of instructions or tasks. Participants read the various tasks on their cards and select certain which ones to complete. As in Bingo 1.0, the aim is for participants to fill up a line of marked tasks on their own grid. Once the skilled and quick participant has filled their row of squares on their bingo cards, they then shout BINGO.

Here are a selection of Bingo 2.0 cards that I have created.

  • Digital Footprint Bingo – intended to encourage participants to explore each other’s online presence. Good for digital literacies.
  • LMS Bingo – intended for students to show each other what they can do on the LMS. A more active way to orientate students to the LMS
  • Mobile Bingo – intended for participants who own smartphones, but are not aware of all its functionalities. Good for mobile or BYOD focused events.

These “Bingo 2.0” style activities make good workshop ice-breakers. They encourage participants to get out their huddles or comfortable zones, mingle and explore a topic that will be covered and offer the workshop facilitator informal feedback about the skills levels of participants.

You are most welcome to use them, improve and adapt them. I’d be interested to hear about how well they worked.

Wits-e/Sakai developers have been redeployed

Sakai Developers

E-learning is being affected by the re-deployment of the developer team.

Sakai is an open source platform and developers from the higher education community are key to service, manage, maintain and develop Sakai.  In late 2013, Prof Crouch instructed eLSI management to move the Wits-e / Sakai developers out of the unit and into CNS for operational reasons.

The impact of this redeployment of developer support Wits-e / Sakai has been enormous. Since their redeployment, satisfactory developer maintenance and support has been degraded. The lack of immediate technical support has led to a range of problems being for academic users. At the moment there are large numbers of tickets (fault reports and requests) outstanding. The development of integrations and the timeline for addressing larger issues has taken a back-seat. Upgrades will also suffer.

The withdrawal of an in house development team is not only a technical issue. Multiple poor experiences with technology will have long term implications for institutionalizing technology enabled learning. If blended learning is to flourish then it is vital that the institutional LMS function properly. When Wits-e/Sakai is down, when numerous complaints about errors and issues on the system remain unresolved, when there aren’t the personnel available to manage and maintain a system, then resistance by lecturers to technology enabled learning will rise.

An audit report, commission by the eLSI in 2013, highlights many of these problems. CNS has not been able to respond to the issues raised. To address this matter, eLSI management proposed the appointment of an external company with expertise in the maintenance of Sakai. Quotes were requested and received. These quotes are extremely reasonable and they have the support of eLSI management. But as of today, they have yet to be “actioned” by Prof Crouch and other senior management. A key part of e-learning has gone missing. Unless this is addressed, e-learning at Wits will be badly affected.

It’s official – Sakai is the new virtual learning environment at Wits

Sakai Logo

News: Wits has formally adopted Sakai 

The wheels of Wits take a while to turn…but a decision has been made. Wits is going to move from KEWL  and WebCT to Sakai. A copy of the press release is below.


At the Senate meeting on the 10th of November, Prof Ballim, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, formally announced Wits’ decision to adopt Sakai as the new electronic learning environment at Wits. According to Tessa Murray, project manager in charge of this transition from Web CT to Sakai, the project is on track and the process of installing, configuring and customising Sakai is almost complete. Launching, implementing and supporting a replacement for WebCT by the end of 2012 will be a challenge for the next year, but eLSI (elearning, Support and Innovation) – the unit charged with replacing the current Learning Management System – is putting together road shows, presentations, workshops, training programmes and online support to ensure that Wits is ready for the new system.
The decision to adopt Sakai has involved extensive consultations, conversations and meetings. After a comprehensive study, undertaken in 2008, to consider the feasibility of both open source and proprietary alternatives to WebCT, the Senior Executive Team (SET) recommended that Wits adopt an open source approach platform. Following this approval, the University also took the decision not to renew the WebCT license after 2011 and began to explore its options regarding a campus-wide implementation of an open-source Learning Management System (LMS).

In early 2011, the Working Group concluded the evaluation and recommended that Wits adopt the Sakai collaboration and learning environment (CLE) as its eLearning platform. The recommendation was based on: the functional advantage of Sakai over other LMS solutions; the suitability of the Sakai technology in respect of established criteria; the initial and ongoing costs; the viability of the Sakai track record, user-base and pedagogy and technical support community; and the sustainability of the platform for Wits’ teaching, learning and research goals. In July 2011, the Wits SET approved the recommendation.

“Throughout 2012, Wits will run both WebCT and Sakai in parallel,” said Fatima Rahiman, lead learning designer at eLSI. Rahiman and other members of eLSI have been working in association with faculty nominated representatives in the Sakai Working Group to ensure that the new environment is ready for WebCT users to shift seamlessly over Sakai. In addition to ensuring parity with WebCT, faculty representatives and staff from other University units such as the library, Central Networking Services and SIMS have been drawn into discussion about the development of new functionalities – scheduled for 2013.

In the new year and over the first semester, staff from eLSI will be updating academics about the Sakai migration via Wits Clips articles, training sessions and meetings with individual faculty members and groups. If faculty have questions about Sakai or want to take a lead in the migration of their courses, Rahiman said that they should contact her or visit to find out more.


Deadlines are tight. The WebCT license expires at the end of 2012. eLSI has got a year to familiarize academics with the new learning environment,  migrate existing courses accross from KEWL and WebCT and train academics on Sakai.