DUT students have been invited to participate in the national Students’ Access to and Use of Learning Materials (SAULM) survey before 31 August 2020. The study was commissioned by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to investigate how students are accessing and engaging with different forms of learning materials, and whether the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) learning materials funding policy warrants revision.
Although prescribed textbooks are considered a primary source of disciplinary knowledge, a steady decline in traditional textbook use and sales has been noted in recent years with the development of alternative modes of teaching and learning particularly online and electronic. An added dynamic over the past 4 months is the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to online teaching and learning globally, that has forced higher education institutions to focus on how they can help their students and staff to complete the current academic year successfully.
The online survey investigates and therefore provides feedback on how students access and use alternative learning materials such as textbooks, academic publications, external websites, lecturers’ notes etc., both before and during the resultant Lockdown. The survey also collects information pertinent to the digital divide and contributes to discussions around inequalities in terms of devices and data. DUT students’ participation therefore also helps identify the challenges faced by our students with the shift to remote teaching and can inform the University’s responses in the months ahead. In addition, the results can provide feedback to the University on how best to allocate financial and other resources to support students, maintain a distinctive education and preserve financial sustainability during this difficult time.
Staff are kindly requested to encourage their students to participate. Those students who complete the survey in full stand a chance to win a virtual shopping voucher if they choose to participate in a lucky draw – the DHET will provide 200 x R200 vouchers for students who participate in the survey. The survey will take about 15-20 minutes to complete and can be accessed at the link below:
Supplied by: Dr Kudayja Parker