n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - The development of a fully online interdisciplinary module within the College of Law : a case study

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In keeping with its mandate as a comprehensive, open and distance learning tertiary institution offering a variety of academic and career-focused programmes, UNISA dedicated to distance education, undertook to develop a signature module for each of its six colleges. The College of Law developed a fully on-line module entitled The Social Dimensions of Justice using the Sakai platform as a means of delivery. This article looks at how the module represents innovation in teaching and learning because besides being a new advance in online learning in South Africa, it also offers an interdisciplinary module to students. In order to design this new module it required inter-disciplinarity to transcend the traditional departmental and modular boundaries. This module introduces Criminal Justice and Law students to the South African context in which they will have to perform as future legal and criminal justice functionaries. The module allows for the development of a basic understanding of what shapes our legal system, the nature of South African law and the criminal justice system and how law and justice is applied and administered. Students are sensitised to how they, as legal and criminal justice functionaries, can contribute towards building a safer and more just society in conformity with the South African Constitution. Law and justice is an intrinsic part of our lives. The signature model contains a new and unique curriculum, capturing the essence of both the School of Law and the School of Criminal Justice, to a final product that blends two very diverse disciplines. The pedagogy is based upon methods that break down the space-time barriers to 'learning', and aspects separating 'learner and teacher' by means of the use of technical devices and online technologies.


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