Stellenbosch University launches innovative online learning platform

Date:23 March 2022 Author: Micayla Vellai Tags:, , , , , ,

“As a university, we’re excited to offer a solution that truly speaks to the needs of the youth in South Africa.” These are the words of Stellenbosch University’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers following the launch of an innovative online learning and teaching solution titled SU Advantage.

This platform focuses on supporting high school learners and teachers in Grade 10, 11 and 12 (Further Education and Training Phase or FET) and can be accessed from any smart device.

It combines short, effective learning content with live interactive educational support focused on the most important topics that learners need to understand to improve comprehension of crucial lessons taught in class.

“SU Advantage can contribute (to social justice) primarily through advancing access to education information and knowledge, bridging the gap and minimising isolation of many historically disadvantaged children and educators,” said Prof Thuli Madonsela, Chair in Social Justice at SU’s Faculty of Law.

Aligned with Madonsela’s observation, the platform’s educational support is not only easily accessible but also focuses on 11 school subjects. These subjects are offered in English and comprise short-form video lessons, topic-based assessments and quizzes, consolidated workbooks, memo-based reconciliation and in-depth live lessons.

“Recognising the challenges that the country’s education system is currently facing and the economic impact COVID-19 has had on many families, Stellenbosch University decided to create this accessible online solution. Our Vision 2040 states amongst others that we’re inclusive and innovative, advancing knowledge in the service of society,” Prof De Villiers expressed.

Pioneering the initiative is Dr Benedict Khoboli, Director of the SU Centre for Pedagogy who said that the goal is not to replace traditional mainstream schooling, adding that SU Advantage is not an online school. Instead, SU Advantage is meant to enhance and amplify what learners are exposed to in classrooms.

The content and resources developed for the platform have been created in alignment with generally accepted pedagogical principles, explains Dr Khoboli: “All resources available on the platform have been created by experienced educators, who are teachers that have excelled in their teaching careers. Simply put, the learning material available on SU Advantage is of high quality and designed so that it ensures a holistic understanding on the side of learners.”

Building on the SU Centre for Pedagogy’s years of experience with learner enhancement programmes in the FET phase, SU Advantage is now available in the open market, and can be used by any learner who subscribes to the platform.

“We’ve made it our mandate to make tertiary education a reality for more South African youths. By providing foundational support to high school learners in the senior phases of their educational journey, SU Advantage can help them to improve their chances of getting accepted into tertiary learning institutions,” adds Khoboli.

Parents and learners can register to use SU Advantage by visiting www.suadvantage.co.za.

Picture: Unsplash

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