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Our online learning platform: How to ace it

When TUT opens its digital doors to online learning in 2024, students will benefit from the innovative and interactive learning platform through which they will interact with lecturers and other students.

 

For those used to traditional teaching methods, this may take a bit of getting used to. Fear not, however, as the system has been created to make it as easy as possible for those transitioning from a traditional classroom teaching format.

Canvas

All our online programmes are taught using the Canvas online learning platform, also known as a learning management system (LMS). Canvas is where students access their modules and is the platform used to submit assignments, participate in discussions and view their grades and programme content.

All necessary information will be provided upon registration, including enrolment into a self-paced orientation module to become familiar with all the LMS features, but for those who are curious, you can read all about TUT’s customised version of the LMS and its many tools here. The instructions cover everything on the LMS, from creating and editing your user profile to viewing your module content and handling assignments.

Tech specs

You don’t need a top-of-the-line computer to use the learning platform, but there are some basic requirements. You can choose to use a laptop, desktop or tablet so long as it can reliably connect to an internet connection that is fast enough to stream video and the device meets the following minimum requirements.

All devices:

64GB of file storage

4GB of RAM

Windows:

Windows 11 or later

10 inches or larger screen

1280 x 800 resolution

Android:

Android 12 or later

10 inches or larger screen

2048 x 1536 resolution

iPad:

iOS 14 or later

9.7 inches or larger display

2048 X 1536 resolution

 

Getting started

Upon registration, students will be able to access the platform and go through the orientation module. It is highly recommended that you go through this to orientate yourself so that when the module begins you are already comfortable with the system and able to focus on the actual programme content.

Once you are underway with your studies, you should do this at the start of every module to see what will be expected of you. Make note of assignment deadlines and other important dates so that you can plan well in advance.

 

Interact and get social

TUT’s LMS and programme modules have been developed to offer a practical approach to exploring content. Careful thought has gone into the instructional design and making the modules dynamic and interactive. Rather than merely being given static course notes and reading lists, students are encouraged to interact with both the lecturers and each other. This can be done through public discussion boards and instant messaging for private messages.

It is important to remember that while you may be learning from the privacy of your own home, you are far from alone on your academic journey. Lecturers and course facilitators are available for direct one-on-one questions and answers if you need to ask something privately. Many answers can also be found through the forums and discussion boards where students can share ideas, challenges and solutions.

You are encouraged to collaborate and work together through your coursework, even for individual assignments. Regardless of whether learning in a class or online, it always helps to have a study buddy. This will help keep you motivated and help with your understanding of the material. As you may already know, explaining a new concept to another person can often help you better understand it yourself.

 

Consistency is key

When signing up for an online academic programme, you are committing yourself to a long-term process that will require continuous effort. While the total duration of the programmes and the number of modules differ between programmes, all the programmes are broken up into modules, with a short break between modules.

While learning online makes it easier to access information and allows for much flexibility, it does not in any way mean that the programmes themselves are easy. Whether you do your work from a coffee shop, your bed or overlooking a beach, you still need to do the work.

Make use of the breaks to rest and catch up on other things in your life, but it’s recommended to put some time aside to see what lies in the module ahead. Similar to how we recommend orienting yourself at the start of the programme, reading up on the module ahead of time will make it easier to plan your schedule around your assignment deadlines and other important dates.

While actively doing a module, be sure to check into the LMS several times a week for updates on assignments and other announcements so that you don’t miss any important dates or deadlines.

 

Keeping motivated - it all starts with a decision

You may be reading this as a prospective student or as someone already enrolled on one of our programmes, but either way, it is important to remember that your academic journey all begins with a decision. Whether you’re still making the decision or are already enrolled, it is your own decision.

The tools, the opportunity and the support are all there waiting for you, but putting in the work is ultimately your responsibility. There may be times when things get difficult, but remember that if it were easy it wouldn’t have as much value.

Take motivation from the fact that by further educating and empowering yourself you, are opening yourself up to better opportunities in the future. The decision is yours alone.

For all those who’ve taken that leap, we wish you all the best for your time with us. For those still undecided, please have a look at our online programmes and feel free to contact us with any queries so you can best inform yourself about that decision.

 

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