Online Teaching and Learning Support for Students

Following an outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) acute respiratory disease, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster on 15 March and announced a national lockdown to contain the spread and mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus. This necessitated the need for the University close down the campus and transition to remote teaching and learning.

We have continuously assured our students and staff that the intention of the University is to leave no student behind. To that effect, we have implementing multimodal approaches to teaching and learning, while at the same time making all attempts to connect with all the students.

REMOTE/ONLINE TEACHING AND LEARNING

Online/remote teaching and learning started on Monday 4 May 2020 and since then, good progress has been made. Faculty Deans reported that great strides have been achieved, with significant numbers of both staff and students actively participating on RUconnected.

Although there will be students starting later than others due to various reasons, the University is committed to ensuring that all students complete the academic year. Adaptability, flexibility, agility, and a can-do attitude are what we need most in these uncertain times.

For the complete remote learning plan, please go here.

LAPTOPS

If you have been contacted to receive a laptop, please ensure you read your agreement and reply to the email that you are accepting the offer. Only once this has been done will a laptop be allocated to you.

Either Purco or The Courier Guy will be in contact with you regarding delivery, so please remain available.

Initially, the University has prioritised NSFAS and Missing Middle students who don’t already have a laptop to receive laptops. If you were not in the first group, you may still be eligible for a laptop, so please contact your department or Faculty Dean.

DATA BUNDLES

The first data bundles were sent to the cell phone number recorded on ROSS when you registered this year with the university, the one we send you SMS’s on. From 5 May, students were encouraged to update the number receiving the data bundle. This is labelled “Data Number”. At the moment it is populated with your cell number described above and you don’t need to do anything if you did receive a bundle.

If you did not receive a bundle on 29 April, it could be because the number is recorded incorrectly or you are not with one of the four service providers deployed – MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom too have deployed. Unfortunately, we cannot assist students who are closed contract, such as with FNB, so please arrange a SIM card for the purposes of receiving data with one of the four service providers.

The data bundles provided by the University are explicitly for our students to make productive progress on their studies, and they may not be used for any other purpose.

For more on data bundles, please go here.

STUDY PACKS

It is important that we have a correct physical address where learning materials can be delivered. Study packs have already been dispatched and sent to students. Please be available for either Pargo or The Courier Guy to contact you.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

International students currently outside of the country cannot be provisioned with data from Rhodes University – several options have been looked at, and it is not possible. A process to assist them with the amount of up to R99 per month, to be credited to their student fee account, is being looked into. However, those international students who have not left the country, have been provided with data on their South African cell phone numbers.

PHASED RETURN TO CAMPUS

A special task team, led by the DVC: Research & Innovation and the Director of Student Affairs, has been set up to specifically deal with issues pertaining to the return of students to campus.

This task team has been in operation since the President announced that the country would take a phased approach to ending its lockdown levels from 5 to 1.

Please wait to be contacted before making plans to return to campus.

RU COVID-19 RELIEF FUND

A fund has been set up to help students transition to remote learning. The SRC has pledged R30 000 from its portfolio funds and Ubuntu fund to the fund.

All students, alumni, staff and members of the public are encouraged to donate. To read more, please go here.

RESOURCES

Last Modified: Fri, 29 May 2020 12:46:14 SAST