Message to students: Teaching & Learning

Posted on April 03, 2020

Dear UP student,

This is an uncertain time, not only for us, but also for the whole world.  However, in the second week of lockdown, as we are all slowly settling into our new routines, we want to encourage you to take heart and develop a routine that also includes your academic work.

We indicated before the lockdown period that we will resume all academic activities on 20 April 2020. Should it not be possible to resume contact lectures when the University re-opens on 20 April, we plan to continue the academic programme by teaching online until the University’s normal functioning can be resumed.

We want you to complete your academic year successfully

We wish to emphasise that the University is committed to ensuring that all our students complete their academic year successfully. All your study materials will be available on clickUP. Please ensure that you receive all essential communications by reading your clickUP and UP App notifications regularly.

Keep in touch

If you have not done so already, now is the time to download the UP App and the Blackboard app on your cellphone. (Get the UP Mobile App on Google Playstore or download it from the App Store.)

What you should do in the week before the academic programme commences

We want to encourage you to use the week before the academic programme commences (i.e. the week starting on 13 April 2020) to:

Steps to take when you have to work from home

In instances where contact teaching on our campuses will not be possible, working from home may be challenging. However, in such instances you would be best served by taking responsibility for your academic success by sticking to your regular timetable as far as possible. It is essential to keep up with the work on a daily basis! Therefore:

  • Continue with the entire scheme of work for every module (including assessments and assignments) outlined in the Study Guide and in your clickUP modules.
  • Prepare for each (online) class and complete the assignments and assessments before class. Identify difficult concepts and formulate possible questions to ask during the (online) class.
  • Your lecturers will be available on various platforms (email, hangouts, Blackboard Collaborate, online lectures, etc.) during the scheduled class times, to discuss difficult concepts and answer questions. 
  • Maintain engagement with all of your clickUP courses on a daily basis.
  • Form virtual study groups with fellow students through, for example, WhatsApp groups.

Effective online (and contact) teaching and learning require students to come prepared to the online (and contact) class, complete pre-class assessments and engage in class.

UP will support you as best we can

We can assure you that our students' success is a key priority for the University! We are doing our best to ensure that online learning can be as obstacle-free as possible. Consequently:

  • We are working with Telkom, MTN, Vodacom and Cell C to zero-rate clickUP data. This means any data hosted on clickUP, other student portals, the Library’s website and staff portals will be free. However, embedded third-party linked content is not free. For example, if you watch a YouTube video or link to a Google drive to share files, it will not be free. We will update you on developments in this regard as we receive further information.
  • We are also working on plans to support those students who currently do not have access to computers and laptops and will send out a notice as soon as everything has been finalised.

Support available to you:

  • Contact your Faculty Student Advisors (FSAs) for all the support you need. Your FSAs will continue to support you online. Click here for more information.
  • The tutors will continue with online tutoring via the relevant modules on clickUP. 

Keep on learning and preparing for your future workplace

Use this time at home as an opportunity to improve your ability to learn independently and to prepare yourself for the Future of Work. Studies on the Future of Work identify self-directed individual learning and lifelong learning as essential skills for the future workplace. Keep on learning!

Take care of yourselves and keep safe.

Best wishes,

Professor N Duncan

Vice-Principal: Academic

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