One of the recent challenges in distance and extension education is about staying in touch with each other – first because of the frustrations with the Post Office, then we were restricted by the covid-19 lockdown and regulations, and currently because of load-shedding! Fortunately many of the traditional means for contacting the College have remained.
Contacting the College
As a distance-mode institution the College offers several mechanisms to help stay in touch. As technologies evolve, and as we all become more familiar with them, so the College as also sought to expand the ways in which we can interact and communicate with each other.
Email has become the most common form of written communication, replacing the Post Office. This allows space for explanation and detail, and often additional information or documents can be attached – both sent and received. Emails get quite hectic as we draw close to registration closing dates, and College accounts are checked for a speedy response time – and some further improvements will be in place in the new year.
College switchboard hours
A quick conversation often helps to resolve a query, but this means that people need to be available who can handle the query. For this reason the College telephone switchboard is open for particular hours – this allows staff to be available during those periods for telephonic queries. In the other hours staff are then able to deal uninterrupted with the other work waiting for their attention. Do check dates make sure that you call during term-time when staff are around.
Connecting students to their markers is explained in the Programme Study Aids, and these contact details are unique for each student on each course in each year of study – and so are printed on the annual Confirmation of Registration letter which the student receives at the start of an academic study period. If that letter is lost then you can always retrieve a copy though your student online login.
Finding fellow students
Extension learning can feel a little lonely, and so mechanisms exist to help connect students with others on the same course of study. In the ‘old days’ this was done regionally in tutorial groups, but with electronic communications it is possible to connect more broadly. However we can only connect students who have opted to share their contact details. If you’re hoping to connect with other students did you select the option on your application for your contact details to be shared with others?
Your Study Aid explores more fully how you can find support in your studies, and the various ways you can connect and engage with others around your studies.