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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Calling all teachers: UFS offers 100% online Advanced Certificate in Teaching | SowetanLIVE

The ACT Online programme is a learning pathway for teachers who want to advance in their careers. - This article was paid for by the University of the Free State.

"Recently, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga emphasised the need for large-scale, collaborative and substantive change to provide equity, quality and inclusive life-long learning opportunities for all pupils in South Africa" reports University of the Free State.

Photo: SowetanLIVE

It is exactly that kind of change that the University of the Free State (UFS) is committed to facilitating. With more than 12-million learners and 380,000 teachers in South African schools, and progress made in strengthening the country’s wireless infrastructure, the UFS is embracing the challenge to transform education from the model established centuries ago in the absence of modern technology and tools.

The UFS’s South Campus in Bloemfontein offers online distance-learning programmes. It is the first campus to provide a 100% online Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT) programme for teachers to help address long-standing educational, economic and political needs. Students can study at a convenient time and in a convenient place, but the programme also provides extensive academic and administrative support.

The ACT Online programme is a learning pathway for teachers who want to advance in their careers. This qualification is aimed at improving teachers’ knowledge of and competencies regarding a new subject, or at strengthening their subject specialisation. Furthermore, the programme can play an important role in improving the quality of education and therefore the quality of life of many South Africans.

The ACT upgrades the qualifications of teachers who are employed without adequate training, but also offers specialist education to teachers who need to strengthen their subject specialisation knowledge. It also retrains teachers who wish to change their career path, thus widening the pool of teachers able to teach a specific subject.

The programme has numerous advantages for teachers, including:

— offering students the opportunity to study in their own time, at any place and at their own pace;

— presenting a great opportunity to advance conveniently and affordably in higher education and achieve professional qualifications;

— being a brilliant option for adult working students who cannot easily access traditional on-campus programmes;

— helping to accelerate the pace at which South Africa’s teachers earn this important qualification;

— making learning more convenient for working teachers by limiting travel requirements; and

— assessing students’ ability to apply their new skills and knowledge in a practical way that translates to the classroom.

More about the ACT
To better meet the needs of committed classroom teachers, the UFS South Campus is proud to be the first in South Africa to introduce fully online instruction for teachers to complete their ACT for Foundation Phase, Intermediate Phase or Senior Phase English FAL. The online ACT programmes are organised into nine to 10 consecutive, eight-week sessions that can be completed in 18–20 months, compared with the usual 24 months for the contact programme.

For busy teachers determined to improve their qualifications, this is a wonderful opportunity to graduate with an ACT on National Qualifications Framework level 6. The programme requires no travel or mandatory contact sessions. Students choose the time that works best in their schedule to complete each week’s requirements.

Students can also enrol, pay for and complete one module at a time, which makes the qualification affordable. The fee is R2,435 for each eight-week session.

Students receive ongoing academic support from online teaching assistants to ensure academic integrity and a learning experience on a par with or better than the same campus-based programme.

Additionally, each student is assigned a personal programme coordinator to ensure that he or she stays in the system and receives non-academic and technical support. This unique engagement model leads to exceptionally high student success rates.

Lessons include relevant problem-solving and practical application exercises. Skills learned can be used immediately in the classroom. The programme exemplifies the integration of theory and practice.
Read more... 

Additional resources

Photo: University of the Free State
Advanced Certificates   in   Teaching   (ACTs)   100%   online. (PDF)  

Source: SowetanLIVE

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