AIETX4A Emerging Technologies

{`Faculty: Applied and Computer Sciences
Department:Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Course: Advanced Diploma in Information Technology(AD0600)
Title: Emerging Technologies (AIETX4A) Learner Guide


The Department of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) welcomes you as a learner to the Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences (FACS) and the Vaal University of Technology (VUT). We hope that the time spent together during the completion of this module will be both fruitful and enjoyable

The aim of this learner guide is to direct your studies for this module in such a way that you always will know what is expected of you, when it is expected, as well as where the subject fits into our general program of study. General class conduct is also discussed. We hope that this will help you to feel more in control of your studies, as the aim of the learner guide is to clarify both your expectations and those of the lecturer.

The department strives towards integration of existing knowledge with new knowledge and to afford the learner the following graduate attributes:

  • Think logically, critically and creatively
  • Visual, presentation and language skills
  • Problem solving and reflection skills
  • Gain knowledge of Information Technology discipline, the field and the industry in order to
  • Make a positive contribution to the field once you have completed your studies



The aim of the module is to allow students to identify, critically examine and debate a range of current and social issues in information technology, and in so doing develop a critical awareness of the impact of current and emerging technology. It will enable students to gain a broad general knowledge of some current research areas in computing and their application in industry and commerce.


The Higher Education Qualification and Sub-Framework (HEQSF) is framework that governs qualifications and how you can move from one to another (this is called articulation – a big word for a simple concept) in South Africa. This framework applies even if you decide to move from one institution to another. For the diploma in Information Technology, your academic journey from one level to another would look as follows:

What are National Qualification Framework (NQF) levels you may be asking? We won’t get very technical here, but it is simply the level where a qualification (and modules within a qualification) sits on when progressing through your academic journey to the highest qualification, and these levels help your lecturers design their curricula to help you to reach outcomes, earn your qualifications and hopefully learn something along the way.

For this module, the very technical information of the module looks as follows:

Table 1: Course Technical Details


Advanced Diploma in Information Technology

Course Code


Module Code


Module Name

Emerging Technologies

Year Level

Year 4

Semester Level

Semester 1

Credit Value

15 credits

Notional Hours

150 hours

NQF Level





The intended learning outcomes (ILOs) of a module tell you, as a student at VUT and this course and module, what YOU will have achieved once you have successfully completed this module. For Emerging Technologies, you should have achieved the following outcomes:

  • Identify, critically analyse, and debate current problems in information technology (ILO1)
  • Describe emergent technologies at varied stages of research and development (ILO2)
  • Compare and contrast existing and emerging technology trends (ILO3)
  • Research and report on evolving technologies and social issues in IT (ILO4)
  • Investigate factors affecting the successful adoption of new information technologies (ILO5)
  • Analyse the key attributes, business benefits, risks, and cost factors of a new technology (ILO6)


Critical Cross-Field Outcomes (CCFOs) are the qualities that we would like to develop within our students, REGARDLESS of the discipline, i.e., all students developed in these areas, regardless of whether you are doing your diploma in IT, or whether you are doing your diploma in fine arts. As an IT student, we aim to help you develop your capacity as a lifelong learner in the following areas:

You can select from this list of critical cross-field outcomes those outcomes to which you think the course can contribute. It is unlikely that any single course could meet all twelve, as these are expected to be met on completion of a degree/programme. These can either be written as separate outcomes related to your course or can be integrated in the specific intended outcomes (see above).

Students will be able to:

  • identify and solve problems (CCFO1)
  • work in a team (CCFO2)
  • organize and manage themselves (CCFO3)
  • collect, analyse and evaluate information (CCFO4)
  • communicate effectively (CCFO5)
  • use science and technology (CCFO6)
  • recognize problem solving contexts (CCFO7)
  • participate as a responsible citizen (CCFO8)
  • be culturally and aesthetically sensitive (CCFO9)
  • explore education and career opportunities (CCFO10)
  • develop entrepreneurial opportunities (CCFO11)


Below you will find the structure for the Advanced Diploma in Information Technology. Remember, when there is a prerequisite subject, then you will need to pass all the prerequisites to able to register that module. For the elective modules you will choose one to do each semester. Focus and time management is key to having a fulfilling and successful experience during your time at VUT!

Table 2: AD0600 Course Structure


Semester 1



Subject code





Emerging Technologies



IT Management



Statistics for IT



Advanced Software Design



Computer Security






Semester 2



Subject code





Research Methodology for IS



Advanced Databases



User Experience Design (UXD)



IT Auditing



Artificial Intelligence (AI)





* If you choose networks in 1st semester, you will do it for both semesters. It is a year subject.


The contact details of your facilitator are as follows:

Table 3: Facilitator Details




Office Phone


Consultation Hours

Mr. R. da Rocha




Will be given


The Department of Information and Communication Technology’s administrator details are as follows:

Name: Ms. TO Rikhotso

Telephone: (016)950-9605


Enquiries concerning your registration or any other aspect of administration (e.g. exemption for a subject, academic record, etc.) must be addressed to the department administrator in T107.


The Department of Information and Communication Technology’s coordinator at the Ekurhuleni campus’ details are as follows:

Name: Mrs D Maneschijn Telephone: (011)929-7415


Enquiries concerning your registration or any other aspect of administration (e.g. exemption for a subject, academic record, etc.) must be addressed to Mrs Maneschijn in Ongepotse Tiro Building, Office Number 2.



The following learning materials and resources will be used and referenced throughout the semester:

Table 4: Prescribed Books, Readings and Additional Resources

Prescribed Theory Textbook

No prescribed theory textbook

Prescribed Practical Textbook

No prescribed practical textbook

Additional Resources

• Resources on VUTela

Recommended Readings

• • (Popular South African tech news site) (Singularity University) (Tech Trends Blog) (Futurism) (Vox Recode Tech Blog) (Accelerating Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil)


VUTela, VUT’s learning management system (LMS), will be used to inform students of events, tests and important announcements and to distribute assignments and/or tests to students. In addition to this, supplementary exercises will also be available through the VUTela and your lecturer. The student is expected to be able to log in to VUTela and access these assessments / tests and be able to upload files required to answer the test/assignments on VUTela. The student is responsible to become proficient in this. Soft copies of assignments posted on VUTela will be subject to testing to ensure the student has submitted his or her own work and is not committing plagiarism.

7.2.1. Changing your email address on VUTela

By default, your email address on VUTela is set to your student email address. If you would like to receive notifications of any announcements, uploads and assignments, you need to change the default email address to your preferred email address (you could leave it as your student VUT email, or your personal email address from Yahoo, Gmail, etc.). To do this, please look at the follow these steps:

  1. Click on the down arrow next to your name in the right-hand top corner of the screen.
  1. Click on settings on the drop-down menu.

Figure 2: Changing your VUTela email address

  1. Then Click on Personal Information, then click on Edit Personal Information.
  2. Change your email address to the address you use daily. Communications are sent to this email address, so make sure it is correct, so that you can receive important notifications and announcements.




This subject will be presented from an outcomes-based learning perspective. You will note that the learning material and assessment methods have all been aligned with the outcomes-based learning system. This means that on completing this subject you, the learner, must be able to do certain things in the workplace. In order to be a successful learner in an outcomes-based education system, you will be required to make a paradigm shift in your thinking and approach to your studies.

Assessments takes place on a continuous basis by means of a variety of methods and may include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Active participation in class discussions
  • Formal assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Class tests
  • Practical presentations
  • Debate or roleplays
  • Reflective essays
  • Software projects


The test and exam regulations of VUT, whether your subject is exam or CASS based are as follows:

  • Candidates must not accept nor write a question paper if the sealed container thereof is not opened in front of them at the examination venue.
  • UNLESS INSTRUCTED OTHERWISE, you are not allowed to have any books, notes, paper nor any other stationery items, except that which is issued to you or items such as calculators and specified drawing instruments which are required for answering certain papers, in your possession in the examination room. We regard items in your pockets, pencil case or under and around your desk as in possession. Notes or drawings on any of your body parts are strictly forbidden. Items not allowed in the examination room must be left outside or handed over to the presiding officer. Only one calculator of the type indicated on the examination paper, will be allowed. Data in the memory of programmable calculators must be cleared, unless otherwise stated on the examination paper.
  • Cellular phones, iPads, tablets or any other data storage devices must be switched off in and during exams.
  • All work must be handed in before you leave the examination venue. If you do not want any part of your work to be examined, draw a line through it.
  • Write neatly and clearly, using both sides of paper. Leave margins for use by examiner.
  • Clearly write your student number, which appears on your student card, in the space provided. Your number must also be written at the top right-hand corner of each loose sheet of writing paper, squared paper or drawing paper.
  • You need not start each new answer on a fresh page of the answer book. After completing an answer, draw a line across the page; then at the beginning of your new answer, write the number of the question as given on the question paper. Keep the answers to sub-sections of a question together; indicate the break between sub-sections by leaving a space or drawing a short line.
  • Read the questions carefully and calmly and answer only what is asked of you. Write legibly and set out your work systematically; marks will be deducted for bad handwriting, untidy work and poor spelling. Irrelevant answers and “padding” will be ignored by the examiner. On completing the paper, read through your answers critically and where necessary, make neat corrections.
  • You may not, under any circumstances, communicate with another candidate or seek outside assistance.
  • You will render yourself liable to disqualification if you address personal remarks to the examiner. The writing or drawing of any offensive matter on examination material supplied to you will disqualify you.
  • You are not allowed to leave the examination room without the permission of the presiding officer. Only if you have a valid reason, will you be allowed to leave the examination room temporarily under supervision of an authorized person.
  • The explanation of examination questions may be asked or will be given. Make your own assumptions, write it down and continue with answering the question.
  • The presiding officer may disqualify any candidate for irregularities or unsatisfactory conduct.
  • No borrowing of tipex, pencils, erasers, rulers, calculators or other items, from other students are allowed because it breaks the student’s concentration.


  • Any potential optional assessments will be discussed by your lecturer in class and will take a form that is appropriate for the module.


  • Any student who misses a semester test for a valid, acceptable reason, for example sickness, and who provides acceptable proof of this, will be allowed to write a special assessment for the test missed.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to contact his or her lecturer and inform them why they missed the assessment and submit proof of this, in the case of sickness, a doctor’s sick note.
  • This proof must be submitted to the lecturer within 7 days of the assessment missed.
  • The lecturer will inform all concerned students of the date, time and venue of the scheduled assessment, which will be no later than 10 university class days after the assessment missed by the student.


The following section describes the way in which various types of assessments should be approached as well as a discussion of the technical requirements for written assignments.

8.5.1. Approaching a case study/questions and answers

  • Read the questions pertaining to the case study carefully and then read through the case, highlighting what you feel are the main elements of the case presented.
  • Do not rewrite the case study or a textbook when answering the questions. Use the theory only to support your analysis and/or argument.
  • It is important to link your answer to existing theories, models and practices through the integration of the theory and the information provided in the case.
  • The motivation of your answer/analysis must be linked to existing theory, models and practices and must be supported with references to the relevant literature.
  • The format for a case study/questions and answers are discussed below:
  • Cover page of the ICT department (individual or group, depending on the assessment Table of contents.
  • Introduction on the topic. o Content of the paper (Please write out each question and then discuss the answer). o o List of References (which adheres to the VUT guidelines).
  • Adhere to the technical correctness and technical requirements discussed in the learner guide.

8.5.2. Approaching a presentation

Presentations must be relevant to the theme/topic for that class. The presentations are of a practical nature – it could be something that the class can “do” in order to apply the theory to practice. In other words, the lecturer and at times the learners (in groups) may use case studies, games, exercises or role-plays in order to demonstrate the application of a topic or an element of that topic. A presentation rubric will be provided and as well as discussed in class. 

Should you be required to do a presentation, it should include:

  • A brief introduction on the topic
  • A discussion relevant to the topic or specific elements of the topic (This can be in the form of case studies, theory, games, exercises, role-plays, debates, etc.).
  • A brief conclusion in which the relevance of the presentation is linked to the topic.
  • A hard copy of the presentation must be submitted.

8.5.3. Approaching a theoretical assignment 

Theoretical assignments consist of a written assignment based on a theoretical discussion of a specific theme/topic. The purpose of a theory (research) assignment is to expand the extent and depth of your knowledge to enable you to approach subject literature critically and scientifically. The content of the paper must indicate that you have consulted a wide range of literature, but also that you have the necessary insight about the theme.

The format for a theory assignment is discussed below:

  • Cover page of the ICT department (individual or group, depending on the assessment).
  • Table of contents.
  • Introduction on the topic.
  • Content of the paper.
  • Reference list (which adheres to the VUT guidelines).
  • Appendices (if applicable).
  • Adhere to the technical correctness and technical requirements discussed in the learner guide.

8.5.4. Technical requirements for assignment writing

All formal assignments handed in for assessment purposes must be typed. The requirements are as follows:

Table 5: Technical Requirements for Assignments

Paper size

A4 size (210mm x 297mm) should be of good quality and enough opacity for normal reading. Preferably white paper.


All text should be justified, except for the list of references which is justified to the left.

Line spacing

1½ line spacing throughout the text – does not apply to tables and figures.


• Top margin: 25mm

• Left and bottom margin: 40mm

• Right margin: 25mm



Font size

• 12pt for the main text. 

• Can be smaller for tables and figures (no smaller than 8pt) and larger for chapter headings (14pt).

• Sample:

This is the body of the text. It is formatted in Arial size 12.

Headings and Subheadings

Headings should be formatted in Arial size 14 and should be bolded and sentence case. Subheadings are Arial size 12 and bolded. Numbering should be standard and consistent. Sample:

1. Heading 1

a. Subheading 1

This is the body of the text. It is formatted in Arial size 12.

This text is using 1.5 line spacing.

Page Numbers

• The title page is not numbered.

• The first page of the text is numbered 1 to the end of the bibliography.

• Annexures are numbered separately i.e. (Annexure A – 1, 2, 3 etc., Annexure B –

1, 2, 3, etc.)


• Lists of information can be bulleted.

• Be consistent and do not incorporate more than 3 types of bullets.


• Use English (UK or SA) and not American spelling.

• Keep sentences short and concise; use the simplest word that conveys the correct meaning.

• Do not use the personal form (I, we, the author): rather use passive sentence construction.

• The text should not include abbreviations not generally recognised. As a rule, abbreviations should be avoided.

• Define abbreviations, acronyms and symbols when they first occur in the text, and from that point onwards, use the abbreviated term, for example National Research Foundation (NRF).

Cover Page

• The ICT department cover page should be used for every assignment submitted. There is an individual cover page and group assignment cover page. Please use whichever is most appropriate for the assignment you are submitting.


Dishonesty and plagiarism will not be tolerated. The University and the Faculty view the issue of plagiarism in a serious light. Evidence of plagiarism or dishonesty will be dealt with according to the University’s and/or Faculty’s Regulations.

The issue of plagiarism as referred to in the Faculty Guidelines for Ethics in Research:

Plagiarism is to:

  • present the ideas, words or results of another person as your own, without acknowledging the original author;
  • use the ideas or words of another person without giving due credit to that person or source;
  • use sentences, paragraphs or parts of articles and books without quotation marks and/or appropriate acknowledgement;
  • download sentences, paragraphs or sections of writings from the Internet and to use them without quotationmarks and/or proper acknowledgement;
  • use another person’s direct words without quotation marks, even when you acknowledge the source;
  • use ideas without making them properly your own, even though you might have acknowledged the original source;
  • formulate your words so closely to those of the original author that it is obvious that you could not have written them without having had the source next to you, i.e. your paraphrasing of the author’s words is too close to the original author’s use of the words, even if you did acknowledge your source.

If you use the words and ideas of other people, their words must be clearly indicated in quotation marks and used correctly, and their source indicated to avoid being guilty of plagiarism. No copying of textbooks is allowed.

Plagiarism is wrong because:

  • It is theft of intellectual property.
  • The person (plagiarist) lies about the contribution made to the project.
  • The person (plagiarist) cannot give a true account of how the research was carried out.

Benefits to be derived from consciously avoiding plagiarism:

By deliberately avoiding plagiarism, learners learn:

  • the value of doing original work;
  • to develop professional skills such as doing research, giving attention to detail and analyzing arguments; to act with honesty and integrity in their professional lives; and
  • to write professionally and engage in debate.

The VUT Plagiarism Policy can be accessed via the following link:


For the entire IT diploma, any assignment that is handed-in should be using the Harvard referencing style for any references that should be included in your assignment

Students are encouraged to use reference management software such as Endnote, Mendeley or any other reference management software for their references.

For further information regarding References, consult the VUT Referencing Guide. This guide can be accessed in on VUTela OR via the following link:



It is important for you stay up to date with the work schedule, falling behind increases the workload for you and your group at the end of the semester. You should use the work schedule to plan your deliverables and studying throughout the semester. Do not wait until the day before an assignment is due to start the assignment, the day before the due date the assignment should be complete so start an assignment as soon as possible. Study the content for each week of the work schedule and ensure you are familiar and understand the content. This will make understanding each deliverable and preparing for the exam easier.


This module will be presented on both a practical and theoretical basis although the main method of presentation assumes that the learner has mastered the theory that was acquired during the diploma. For this reason, the lecture times will be mainly used for class and group discussions, case studies, role plays, presentations, debates, and exercises.

Each learner will also be involved in the compilation of presentations and assignments. At times, you may be expected to work in groups. Groups should ideally consist of an uneven/smaller number of members, of which the maximum size will be discussed in class. Where possible groups should be made up of a diversity of members, the idea being to share cultures and experiences and to learn from and support one another.

It is important that you enjoy this subject. However, you will only find it enjoyable if you are an enthusiastic participant.

You are an adult learner; thus, the number of formal lectures will be kept to a minimum. The principles of adult learning that are applied to this module incorporate the following:

  • You have a need to learn.
  • You are responsible for your own development.
  • You will continually evaluate your own insight and knowledge.
  • You will approach the content according to your personal learning style.
  • You would like to be treated with respect.
  • You will not waste time nor procrastinate.
  • You would like to be involved in the determination of the instructional strategies used.

A learning environment in which you are prepared to differ with others, including myself will be created. Continuous feedback about the presentation of this module will be appreciated. It is thus your responsibility to communicate both positive and negative feedback.


9.2.1. Pre-reading

Please read your learner guide. You should pre-read the relevant theory from your textbook and/ or additional sources before each class meeting to ensure that you are up to date with the topics to be presented. The learner guide will provide information on which topics will be covered during each class.

9.2.2. Note-taking

You will gain more from your reading of the course material if you make notes as you go along. Taking notes helps you structure you own thoughts and encourages you to be critical of what you are reading. Note taking is an individual process and many of you will have established specific note taking techniques.

Here are a few brief thoughts on the subject to encourage you to review your note taking.

Make notes as you read, even if they are only brief. You can then go over these at the start and end of each study session.

  • Don't try to read too much at one go. If there is a long learning unit, read small sections at a time and pay particular attention to definitions and models.
  • Underline/highlight important facts and key words. This will help you with future reference to the information.
  • Formulate questions to be asked in the class in order to clarify/explain certain problems you may have.

9.2.3. Participation

Your participation is much needed and appreciated in class. Feel free to participate in class/group discussions/case studies/role plays/debates. This will enable you to:

  • Share your thoughts and experiences on the topic,
  • Eliminate uncertainties/misconceptions,
  • Obtain a better understanding of the issues,
  • Develop the necessary skills that are crucial to industrial relations.

9.2.4. Instruction

You are expected to listen carefully in class, to make notes and later add these to the facts in your learning material. It is suggested that you then summarise the relevant topic by combining the above. It is your understanding of the topic under discussion that is important not memorisation of the exact facts.

9.2.5. Class attendance

  • A roll call list will be circulated during lecture periods and you will be expected to sign the list (Under no circumstances are you allowed to sign for a friend who is not attending class).
  • If you miss any classes, the work that was discussed during that period is considered as completed by the lecturer. If you feel you have missed a section, because you were not in class, that part of the work is regarded as self-study.
  • It is the responsibility of the learner to come to the lecturer and offer a reason for their absence.
  • If you decide to discontinue with this module, please inform the lecturer when you leave.


These action verbs are included, in order to provide clarity of what is expected of you as a student. Please study them and make sure that you understand the meaning of each:

  • Analyze

Identify parts or elements of a concept and describe them one by one.

Example: Analyze an ERD and describe each entity and relationship in detail.

  • Compare

Point out the similarities (things that are the same) and the different between concepts, ideas or points of view. The word “contrast” may also be used. When you compare two or more objects, do so systematically – completing one aspect at a time. It is always better to do this in your own words.

Example: Compare databases to data warehouses. Compare the workings of an ERD to a Star Schema.

  • Criticize

This means that you should indicate whether you agree or disagree about a certain statement or view. You should then describe what you agree/disagree about and give reasons for your view. Example: Write critical comments about the development of wireless technologies.

  • Define

Give the precise meaning of something. Very often definitions have to be learnt word for word.

Example: Define a business process.

  • Demonstrate

Include and discuss examples. You have to prove that you understand how a process works or how a concept is applied in real-life situations.

Example: Give a written demonstration on the implementation process for systems.

  • Describe

Say exactly what something is like; give an account of the characteristics or nature of something; explain how it works. No opinion or argument is needed.

Example: Describe the characteristics of two-tiered databases.

  • Discuss

Comment on something in your own words. Often requires debating two viewpoints or two different possibilities.

Example: Discuss the differences between a context DFD and full DFD.

  • Distinguish

Point out the differences between objects, different ideas, or points of view. Usually requires you to use your own words.

Example: Distinguish between 1st and 2nd normal forms.

  • Example

A practical illustration of the concept is required.

Example: See the different examples provided by for each task word discussed.

  • Explain

Clarify or give reason for something, usually in your own words. You must prove that you understand the content. It may be useful to use examples or illustrations.

Example: Briefly explain the following concepts:

  • A data mart
  • A data warehouse
  • Identify

Give the essential characteristics or aspects of a phenomenon.

Example: Identify the characteristics of good database design.

  • Illustrate

Draw a diagram or sketch that represents a phenomenon or idea.

Example: Illustrate the model of three-tiered architecture.

  • List

Simply provide a list of names, facts or items asked for. A particular category or order may be specified.

Example: List the steps of the SDLC in order.

  • Motivate

You should explain the reasons for your statements or views. You should try to convince the reader of your view.

Example: Should the business implement this system? Motivate you reasoning.

  • Name or mention

Briefly describe without giving details

Example: Name two approaches to implementation.

  • Outline

Emphasize the major features, structures or general principles of a topic, omitting minor details. Slightly more detail than in case of naming, listing or stating of information is required.

Example: Outline the major features of databases.

  • State

Supply the required information without discussing it.

Example: State three functions of a web-service.

  • Summarize

Give a structured overview of the key (most important) aspects of a topic; must always be in your own words.

Example: Give the summary of the core characteristics of the analysis phase of the SDLC.




10.1.1. Portfolio of evidence

At the end of the semester period all students must return their marked assessments in the form of a simple portfolio of evidence to the lecturer. A thin plastic file may be used for this purpose. No box files will be accepted for storage reasons.

The portfolio cover pages must be used, and each assessment should have the assessment cover page. These cover pages can be found on VUTela.

10.1.2. Individual Assignment 1

Read the graphic novel currently available on VUTela. This graphic novel introduces various fringe technologies, technologies that are still farther into the future that what can be considered emerging. Explain the following in your report:

  • Summarize the technology and what it is about (some further research outside of the graphic novel is needed), the advantages, disadvantages, etc.
  • How could this technology be used in South Africa to alleviate one (or more) of the problems that we’re currently experiencing in our society?
  • What kind of barriers (cultural, monetary, etc.) could you foresee with the regards to the introduction of this technology? Critically discuss these.
  • What are your views and opinion of all of the above?

This assessment will act as an assignment and soft copy must be submitted to VUTela as per the work schedule available on VUTela.

10.1.3. Individual Presentation

Now that you have submitted your individual assignment 1, you should present to your lecturer what technology you investigated and what you discovered about it. Your individual presentation should discuss the following:

  • What is the technology you have investigated?
  • Why did you choose the technology to be investigated?
  • What is its contribution to society?
  • What are the advantages of the technology?
  • What are the disadvantages of the technology?
  • Are there any ethical or moral complications surrounding the technology?
  • What do you think regarding the technology’s application in society?

You should have 5 – 6-minute presentation. This will take the form of a video presentation done on Flipgrid as per the instructions on VUTela.

10.1.4. Individual Assignment 2

For individual assignment 2, you will choose an article from one of the sites that are listed under the Recommended Reading in section 7.1 of the study guide. This article should cover an emerging technology, whether evolutionary or revolutionary. Your assignment should cover the following:

  • What is the technology you have investigated?
  • Why did you choose the technology to be investigated?
  • What country have you chosen and what societal issue are they currently experiencing?
  • Critically discuss how the technology may affect the society, both good and bad?
  • What are the advantages of the technology?
  • What are the disadvantages of the technology?
  • Are there any ethical or moral complications surrounding the technology?
  • What do you think regarding the technology’s application in society?
  • What would the potential repercussions be of using this technology?
  • What would your recommendations be to the leadership of the country be?

This assessment will act as an assignment and soft copy must be submitted to VUTela as per the work schedule available on VUTela.

10.1.5. Reflective Essay

What is reflection, and why is it important:

Reflection is a purposeful activity in which you analyse experiences, or your own practice/skills/responses, in order to learn and improve. Reflection in academia; we reflect quite naturally in our day to day lives, thinking about things that have happened, why they happened, whether we handled them well. In academia, you may be asked to formalise your reflections to show that learning is taking place. This may involve: 

  • Reflecting on your own professional or academic practice
  • Scrutinising an experience and the way you dealt with it
  • Evaluating a project or experiment and considering how to do it better next time
  • Reflecting on things you have read and linking theory with practice/reality

Reflective writing for an assignment:

Writing reflectively for the purposes of an assignment should not involve merely describing something that happened. Nor does it mean pouring out everything you think and feel in a totally unstructured way. Reflective writing requires a clear line of thought, use of evidence or examples to illustrate your reflections, and an analytical approach. You are aiming to strike a balance between your personal perspective, and the requirements of good academic practice and rigorous thinking. This means: 

  • Developing a perspective, or line of reasoning
  • Demonstrating that you are well informed, have read relevant literature and reflected on its relevance to your own development
  • Showing that you recognise that situations are rarely simple and clear-cut
  • Writing about the link between your experiences/practice and your reading Writing in an appropriate style

Models of reflection: There are frameworks that you can use to aid your reflective process. Alternatively, you may want to create your own. It needs to be a set of questions that you can ask yourself about an experience, plus a process by which you apply and learn from your reflection. Graham Gibbs (1988) created a reflective learning cycle, 5 Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle, that you can use as a basis for your essay.

Instructions and expectations of the reflective essay:

Write a reflective essay for the module Emerging Technologies. The essay must cover the following questions during your writing process:

  • Contextualize your reflection: What are your learning goals? How do these goals fit with the themes or concepts from the course?
  • Analytical Reflection: What did you learn from this experience/from this module? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about working in the field and its application in society?
  • Lessons from reflection: What are your goals for the future in your field of study? What would you do differently?

This assessment will act as an assignment and soft copy must be submitted to VUTela as per the work schedule available on VUTela.


The table below shows you how the learning activities and assessments that you are going to do in this module contribute to achieving the intended learning outcomes of the module discussed in section 2.3 of this learning guide. This is to show you and motivate you by informing you of WHY you do the activities that you do in this module so that you can relate it back to your learning. Remember that not all of these activities contribute towards your final mark, i.e., not all these activities are summative. Some of these activities are considered formative. That means that they help you construct your own knowledge by scaffolding the skills and tools to help you integrate the discipline or module knowledge with our own indigenous knowledge to create something new and exciting that is unique to every student!

Table 6: Mapping of Learning Activities to ILOs

Learning Activity/Assessments

Individual Presentation


Individual Assignment 1


Individual Assignment 2

Reflective Essay

In addition to the intended learning outcomes, the learning activities are also designed to help you develop your capacity in the cross critical-field outcomes (CCFOs) discussed in section 2.4. The mapping of the activities to these CCFOs looks as follows:

Table 7: Mapping of Learning Activities to CCFOs

Learning Activity/Assessments

Individual Presentation



Individual Assignment 1



Individual Assignment 2

Reflective Essay




Table 8: Calculation of Final Mark and conditions for passing the module






Individual Assignment 1



Individual Assignment 2



Individual Presentation



Reflective Essay