MEA November 2017

8 MEA MARKETS / November 2017 , and work integrated learning programmes requiring appropriate workplace assessment for all learners, before awarding qualifications. Learner’s on-line Access to ‘Learner’s On-line’, a responsive learner support system which is integrated into the campus administration system and learner concerns framework of the institution facilitates learner progress. Learner management system The institution has migrated to the Moodle Learner Management System, which is also used by major universities of the world. Learners can directly access additional learning content from the website. Relevant curriculum Developing and delivering curricula in line with industry and employer requirements are supported by an externally represented National Academic, Quality Assurance and Research Board (NAQARB) in line with the institution’s curriculum design and improvement framework. Professional management Teaching and learning expertise on each campus, together with professional management, ensure that the learning needs of learners are met and that the quality of teaching for learning, community engagement, assessment and research is continually improved. Studentsare provided us with a system of nationally managed, standardised learning materials and curricula which are reviewed and upgraded regularly. Student materials are also preloaded on tablet PCs, making them easily accessible. Interactive learning Manageable class sizes allow for interactive teaching for learning and provision of strategic supplementary classes in smaller groups targeting specific needs in student development. Community engagement An effective community engagement (CE) strategy makes campuses more accessible to the communities they serve. Joint projects and use of institutional infrastructure for CE purposes are encouraged. Quality assurance Nationally managed assessments, examinations and external moderation ensures consistency and uniformity of standards in all our campuses throughout South Africa. Quality Council on Trade & Occupations (QCTO) The skills development landscape is currently under review with the formation of the Quality Council on Trade & Occupations. The institution is keeping abreast with all developments in this regard. Internet enabled libraries Access to internet enabled libraries and laboratories, that offer full text electronic database downloads for teaching and learning purposes, are available to learners. Administrative systems The implementation of the Integrated Campus Administration System (ICAS) has contributed to the development of the institution’s MIS and has facilitated integration into the HEQCIS, Umalusi and SETAMIS eventually working its way to the NLRD Campus social life All campuses have staff responsible for work integrated learning, social and cultural activities and community engagement programmes. Social Networks using Wi-Fi connectivity and tablet PC’s are encouraged and freely available at all campuses. Benchmarking An active benchmarking strategy of our key processes, programmes and curricula with other private, public, national, international and trade organisations is carried out in the constant pursuit of excellence and continued improvement. Academic infrastructure The institution has state of the art facilities and highly qualified academic and support staff including a mix of foreign academic professionals who also provide rare and critical skills. Employment and Skills Development Agency (ESDA) The Department of Higher Education/Labour has awarded the status of an Employment and Skills Development Agency (ESDA) to the institution in all nine provinces. Articulation of qualification The institution’s qualifications are positioned on the National Qualification Framework (NQF) and certain qualifications are also positioned on the new HEQSF. All qualifications have an occupational content and allow for vertical and horizontal articulation. Distance learning Distance learning study through Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology’s Distance Learning has the benefit of allowing you to develop your career without having to leave employment, or to pursue a qualification when family or other personal commitments make full time study on campus impractical. Distance learning now enjoys a key role in many of the world’s higher education systems and it is likely to expand in the future as new ways of teaching and studying which make use of new technologies, especially in the digital divide, become available. As an institution committed to Digital Information Technology (DIT) Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology is becoming the centre for ‘mLearning’ and is committed to the further development of flexible learning systems. In distance learning, students acquire course knowledge principally through their study of texts and other electronic media such as a: PC, tablet, laptop, iPad or cell phone. They are assessed in much the same way as for other modes of learning. There is often provision for some face-to-face tuition, although this is not as substantial as it is in conventional full-time learning. Instead, there is a more intensive use of communications such as email, Skype, YouTube and other audio-visual media. Work integrated learning Work Integrated Learning (WIL) refers to the real-life or simulated work experience afforded to a learner as part of the fulfilment of his/her programme of study towards a qualification. It includes: • Time spent working in industry, commerce and/or the community; • Work-related field trips and; • Work in a simulated or actual environment for an appropriate period. The institution has adopted the Council on Higher Education’s Work Integrated Learning: Good Practice Guide in implementing Work Integrated Learning. During this period, the learner will demonstrate progress towards the achievement of learning outcomes that are embedded within the specific and critical cross-field outcomes of the learner’s programme. Learners are provided with direct and realistic feedback at the workplace about their performance in a way that allows them to improve. The aims of WIL include the following: • To enable learners to utilise their work-based learning to supplement the theoretical knowledge • To allow for employer/learner negotiated learning • To permit professional and personal development through WIL • To facilitate upgrading of knowledge and/or skills in an area of vocational interest • To provide opportunity for a gradual introduction into the workplace The focus of our WIL Strategy is on attaining work placement for our learners; their learning in and from the workplace; critical reflection in and on learning; its relevance for them in terms of enhanced skill, knowledge, understanding and potential; its relevance for employers for performance, contribution and output. While lecture room learning is a mainstream method of learning, WIL aims at improving the quality of employer engagement activities through: Providing better support for work placements; • Promoting joint (employer-