Universities reckon that the uptake of online learning since the start of Covid-19 has shown an improvement in class attendance. Picture: Supplied
Universities reckon that the uptake of online learning since the start of Covid-19 has shown an improvement in class attendance. Picture: Supplied

Covid-19: Universities say online learning has improved class attendance

By Tebogo Monama Time of article published Jul 30, 2020

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Universities reckon that the uptake of online learning since the start of Covid-19 has shown an improvement in class attendance.

This week, the University of Cape Town announced that it would be moving the rest of the academic year online as a result of the pandemic.

However, the university spokesperson Elijah Moholola said an average of 97% of undergraduate students participated in online learning during the nine weeks of the second term.

The University of Johannesburg has seen 584 students de-registering. UJ spokesperson Herman Esterhuizen said this represented 1.4% of the undergraduate student population and was on par with previous years.

“The majority of our undergraduate students embraced the online platforms. Attendance of online classes were better than the attendance of contact classes in previous years,” Esterhuizen said.

The University of Pretoria spokesperson Rikus Delport said they encouraged students not to de-register from their courses.

“Data survey shows that the vast majority of lecturers and students at the institution managed to move relatively seamlessly into remote teaching and learning mode.

“The click UP data for the first four weeks shows that lecturers uploaded 443GB of content to 3158 online courses and that 34818 out of 35939 (96.8%) undergraduate students used the Learning Management System actively. Students accessed their courses 5100000 times during May 2020,” Delport said.

In April, some UJ students rejected the planned online learning before it even started saying it was a system designed for the rich and that poor students will lose out.

The lack of data, not having computers and lack of network coverage were some of the issues the students have put forward as an impediment to online learning.

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