CAT: Meet the team
Hemali Joshi is the Director at the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT). Prior to joining CAT, she worked at the Academic Development Centre (ADC) on integrated student success. She also has seven years’ teaching and research experience as a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at UJ. In her research capacity, Hemali has submitted her PhD in Urban Anthropology (awaiting finalisation). Her other research interests include education and technology, performance, and engaging with any questions of social justice. She is passionate about student success and believes education is about what anthropologist Michael Wesch terms as “soul making”.
Hemali has recently joined CAT in her capacity as director (January 2022) and is excited about learning and teaching with technology. She is passionate about the way in which data and care can inform and support the teaching and learning process in higher education.
Vicky Groenewald is the secretary at CAT. Her professional career started at the University of Stellenbosch as typist, where she gradually progressed to the level of senior secretary. She worked at the University of Stellenbosch for 12 years before exchanging the Cape for Gauteng. In 1999, she joined the Centre for Distance Education at the former RAU as secretary. She has been the secretary for CAT since the Centre was established in 2002.
Vicky holds two National Secretarial Certificates (Medical Secretary and Private Secretary).
Retha Bosman is responsible for quality assurance and language editing in the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT). This includes annual and other reports (for CAT and Academic Development and Support), motivations, proposals, CAT information for UJ publications, external and internal communication regarding services, training and products offered, CAT website information, CAT-specific content on Blackboard, etc.
Her qualifications include an MEd from the former Rand Afrikaans University and a BA Hons in Language Practice from the University of the Free State.
Franci Janse van Vuuren
Franci Janse van Vuuren is a senior manager in the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT). She is involved in the co-management of a variety of learning-with-technology projects within CAT and the broader Academic Development and Support (ADS) division.
She obtained a BA degree, as well as a Higher Diploma in Education at the former Potchefstroom University and later furthered her studies at the former Rand Afrikaans University to a Master’s degree in Afrikaans Prose. Her previous experience includes teaching Afrikaans and English at high school and FET college level, designing learning material, and practicing as public relations and publications officer.
Franci joined the CAT team in 2003.
Ayanda Booi is an instructional designer at the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT). She started as a research and instructional design intern at the CAT Lab, where she created learning artefacts for various faculties and departments. One of Ayanda’s prized creations was the plagiarism game for the university’s libraries.
She is currently responsible for designing and developing online modules in collaboration with faculty members and HEPSA. She also provides Blackboard use support for academic staff.
Ayanda holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Johannesburg.
Melvin Damons is an instructional designer at CAT. He is responsible for online module design, lecturer and student training, guidance with content development, and alignment and quality assurance of content. His focus is to empower staff and students to be competent and independent in navigating the learning management system (Blackboard) and other supplementary apps they are using. He also aims to acquaint staff with the latest functionalities of the learning system, share ideas and to be constantly aware of new technological research and educational trends.
Dr Jameson Goto is an instructional designer responsible for the Law Faculty, where he assists lecturers to integrate technology into their teaching and learning. In addition, he presents workshops on the use of Blackboard and its associated learning tools to existing and new lecturers. He also does research on the latest trends in educational technology and its adoption to learning at UJ.
Jameson holds a PhD from the University of Johannesburg and his thesis was on the factors influencing the acceptance and use of online formative feedback in an undergraduate module.
Dr Arno Louw is a senior instructional designer and e-learning specialist at the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT). He was engaged in projects at UJ (previously RAU) since 1998 and has been involved in curriculum development and the integration, application, implementation and evaluation of computer-based education courses. He was also co-author and researcher of computer-based textbooks for the Gauteng Department of Education.
Arno does research and course development, including the training of educators, subject facilitators, presentation and implementation of research, and publications and papers on the performance of web-based education in the school system.
Since 2017, he has managed the Centre for Academic Technologies’ CAT Lab, an innovative e-learning developmental laboratory.
Arno holds a doctorate, focusing on web-based education and professional lecturer development. His research and implementation focus on e-learning in the professional development of teaching staff and academics at the University of Johannesburg. Currently, the research focuses on pedagogies related to teachers as Intelligent Agents (IAs) in blended learning ecologies, the development of educational apps, and Artificial Pedagogy.
Dr Puleng Motshoane is an instructional designer at CAT, responsible for the College for Business and Economics at UJ. Her core responsibility is supporting academics with the effective use of technology and Blackboard, and assisting with modules where extra support is needed. She is also responsible for training lecturers and students in the use of Blackboard.
Puleng is passionate about the use of Turnitin as a developmental tool rather than a policing tool, for both academics and students. Her highest qualification is a PhD in Higher Education Studies in Education.
Emily Mthembu is part of the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT) team that supports academics and students in the use of Blackboard, our learning management system. Her support includes designing, developing and implementing specific faculty templates/modules, based on good practice and in collaboration with faculty members. She also facilitates group training sessions and workshops per department.
Emily obtained international certificates in Blackboard training. She is currently doing her Master’s degree in Information Communication Technology (ICT) at the University of Johannesburg.
Dr Erica Pretorius is a senior instructional designer at CAT, having been appointed in 2005 after 20 years in the teaching profession. She is involved in lecturer development and support, promoting authentic teaching and learning practice, working towards the idea of teaching students to think critically rather than mere memorisation.
As a student at the former RAU, Erica obtained her BEd Hons in Educational Management in 2001, a BEd Hons in Computer-based Education in 2002, her MEd Computer-based Education degree in 2005, and her PhD in 2015. She has since qualified as a Certified Blackboard trainer and as an accredited ETDP assessor and moderator.
Anna Coetzee holds the position of instructional developer at the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT) and for a number of years has been a staff member on the CAT Helpdesk, which offers support to staff and students regarding their academic technology-related issues.
The system offers a free, open source and low bandwidth service to our UJ clients and provides a central point for the UJ community to obtain information, support and feedback on their queries relating to online platforms such as Blackboard (the learning management system) and uLink (the academic portal for students and staff).
Anna’s qualifications include a BA Fine Art (University of Pretoria), a Postgraduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (Unisa), an MEd: ICT in Education (University of Johannesburg), and a Blackboard Certified Expert: Level 3 (Eiffel Corp).
Berry Malapela works at client support at CAT. This entails addressing queries on the OsTicket helpdesk system, but also telephonic queries as well as assisting walk-in clients on campus. Student queries are mainly about Blackboard; the uLink website; access issues regarding passwords, connectivity, Blackboard courses; software and technical issues; and UJ apps like Office 365, student Gmail accounts and eBooks.
Julia Mogotsi-Mabulele is a client supporter at the Centre for Academic Technologies.
She obtained a Public Relations Diploma and BTech from Unisa. Assisting lecturers and students at UJ in using Blackboard and gaining computer skills, she decided to further her studies. Julia obtained a PGCE from Unisa, an Honours degree in Educational Leadership and Management from UJ, and she is currently registered for an online Master’s in Education Management at UJ. As a staff member at CAT, she has obtained international certificates in Blackboard training (intermediate and advanced).
Julia’s passion for sharing her knowledge has led her to engage in community projects like teaching computer skills to schoolteachers and students.
Riaan Loots is a senior manager in the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT). He joined CAT in 2014 where he oversees the implementation and management of academic technologies that enables online and blended learning at UJ. Prior to joining CAT, Riaan worked in systems integration within the higher education landscape – a background that has served him well for online and blended learning.
Riaan obtained his BSc Information Technology degree, Postgraduate Diploma in Cyber Law, BA Hons Information Management (cum laude) and MPhil Information Management (cum laude) from the University of Johannesburg.
Riaan is passionate about the use of technologies to improve the teaching and learning experience of academics and students alike. His current interest involves the use of big data and learning analytics to further inform the teaching and learning experience of academics and students.
Moses Maluleke is a system administrator at the Centre for Academic Technologies.
His value proposition is to deliver a personalised client-centric experience to students, academic and non-academic staff members. This includes providing digital platform experiences that enable the advancement of students’ careers; providing seamless, convenient online support to facilitate learning from virtually all geographic locations; ensuring availability of key resources and an online presence; improving students’ digital fluency and providing remote assistance.
Moses obtained a BSc and Honours degree in Computer Science from Wits University. He is currently a final year MBA student at the Wits Business School (WBS).
Lufuno Mamathuntsha joined CAT in 2012. His role is Blackboard System Administrator for the CAT Helpdesk and the CAT IT Team and OsTicket administrator. This involves attending to telephonic, walk-in and e-mail queries daily and ensuring that queries are assigned to different support staff.
Support for academic staff includes access to and use of Blackboard, activating and deactivating of modules on Blackboard as well as system clean up. Student support includes managing student queries on OsTicket, access to specific modules on Blackboard, and creating users and modules on Blackboard.
Lufuno holds a Diploma in Internet Engineering and Computer Engineering.
Johny Maphuruma is part of the CAT IT team. His main focus is on Blackboard operations and support and other custom systems development.
Johny holds a BTech in Web and Applications Development.
Xolisa Mulaudzi is a system administrator in the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT). Originally from the Eastern Cape in Butterworth, she joined CAT in 2017. Her role includes administrative, system and high-level technical support for Blackboard, the learning management system.
Xolisa obtained a National Diploma in Information Technology from Walter Sisulu University, formerly known as the Border Technikon. She also holds a BTech in IT (IS and Technology Management) from the University of Johannesburg.
Werner Geldenhuys is the videographer and content creator at the CAT Lab, also known as the CAT Studio.
He supports lecturers by creating videos and voice-overs for online study material, but also other functionalities that are studio related. This includes, for example, adding text to a video that can be played back and assist lecturers to look professional and on top of their game. Green screen facilities are available so any background can be added to a video along with text. He can also record professional sound quality podcasts if needed.
Werner is currently busy with his Master’s degree in Colour Grading and Editing in DaVinci Resolve.
Raymond Mokwele works at the CAT Lab in the Centre of Academic Technologies.
He assists with multimedia related requests to support both staff and students’ projects. His skills and expertise range from videography and editing to graphic design and motion graphics (animation and illustrations). His software skills include, but are not limited to, the use of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier and After Effects, to name a few.
Raymond holds a National Diploma in Multimedia Design.