By Tabitha Bailey

Studying via distance learning has seen wide spread growth in South Africa over the years and UNISA being the only online- based degree- offering university in the country has a huge number of students in their database. Distance education students can and generally do continue to earn whilst studying and so they have a distinct financial advantage over a conventional student.

Distance learning provides many benefits, including meeting the needs of students with responsibilities to family and career. Because of the need to complete a university degree, keep their current jobs, and be promoted, distance education appeals to a large group of South Africans. It presents flexibility, cuts down on costly fuel or public transportation, less rigorous course work, the ability to take care of their families and at the same time earn a regular salary.

The prospect of keeping a full time job and studying is exciting but comes with a number of challenges. The physical separation of lecturers and students, and between students themselves, can lead to feelings of isolation and in the long run, many students are demotivated and end up dropping out or suspending their studies. Unfortunately UNISA also has an alarming dropout rate of 80% (Source: MOE 2001 and Kritzinger & Loock 2012) which makes it one of the highest in the world. The lack of interaction and discussion between students lessens the richness of the learning experience, that is where the dynamic team at together we pass steps in.

Who we are

We are a team of young and dynamic people passionate about success. We are committed to giving students a worthwhile study experience and help them realize their dreams.

Bridging the gap

Distance learners require a great deal of interaction, mainly with the purpose of giving reassurance that everything is going well. Learning should be a shared experience – and that’s exactly what you’ll enjoy with us.

Together we pass started in 2008 when Tabby (CEO) offered her first study group in UNISA module ECS1016. She found there was such a wide difference between fellow students who studied in groups and those who attempted to study on their own. The retention level is higher and so better marks are achieved.  Since then Together We Pass has increased its number of enrollments by 950%, and increased the number of study groups to 420 courses.

Our students get some of the top marks at UNISA, and the feedback we get from our members is glowing.

I greatly appreciate you getting back to me…  I’m currently in Brisbane Australia… Last semester I registered with you a week before my exam and I got a pass of 72% and 1 distinction and a pass of 60%. You have been a great help. “

We offer online discussion forums to UNISA students monitored closely by our online community manager. These online study groups provide students with ample opportunity to engage with fellow students, discuss study materials, compare assignments, answer past exam papers and share study tips for every module among themselves.

We pride ourselves with prompt response to student queries regarding their studies and UNISA as we know that with students, time is of essence. Our social networking sites have up-to-date news about UNISA with constant student interactions.

Over the years we’ve conducted competitions offering opportunities to get students excited about their studies. An iPad was up for grabs, cash gifts and free registrations.

At the moment, students are busy with exam revisions. With the extra push from us, we hope our students achieve top marks this semester.

TWP exam tips

One of our tips “time management” is an important part of writing any exam – this tip has come up now and again from our students who share their learning experiences with us. This helps us give valuable advice on specific courses that have been tried and tested over time.

Now What? A Guide to Studying with UNISA” has been co-written with Paperight. It is free from Together We Pass (print copy to be purchased through Paperight) and has over 30 pages of helpful tools, tips and resources that will benefit any student who is doing distance studying.

Bright and exciting future

So many exciting things are coming up for our students which will make study much easier, affordable and even more participating. We’ll work together and excel together!

Article source: Together We Pass

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