Support for Online Learners – A caring environment for maximising student success

All online learners at Botho University are fully supported in their academic journey with us. The institution has made substantial investments not only into the appropriate technology but also into the support structures that ensure that online learners are able to have a similar quality educational experience as all our campus learning students.

Every online learner is assigned a program mentor who is their main point of contact for all administrative matters. Program mentors are highly responsive, caring and well trained support personnel with strict turnaround times to ensure that all queries received are responded to appropriately and promptly. Given below are the main responsibilities of Program Mentors but they are entrusted with going over and above their role to maximise success for online learner of Botho University.

Programme Mentors are responsible for providing a warm and informative welcome to new students joining our Online Learning programmes:

· Greet new students and provide an overview of their program of study.
· Assist new students in understanding program expectations and resources available.
· Provide orientation on the Student Portal and Blackboard navigation, single sign-in through the

Student Portal and Password change
· Answer questions and provide guidance to help new students integrate into the program effectively.

Service Standards:
· Programme Mentors will aim to welcome new students within one week of their enrolment.
· Programme Mentors must provide a friendly and informative welcome to new students.
· All questions from new students should be addressed within 24 hours.

Academic Follow-ups:Programme Mentors are responsible for providing academic support to students throughout their program. Following up on students’ participation on Blackboard and identify those students that are at-risk (missing assessment submissions and not active on BB for a long time)

· Offer guidance and resources to help students excel academically.
· Assist in resolving academic issues or concerns.
· Follow up on at-risk students.

Service Standards:
· Programme Mentors will be available for academic support during regular business hours.
· Academic concerns or issues should be addressed within 48 hours.
· Programme Mentors should provide clear and accurate academic guidance.

Monitor Learner Progress:Programme Mentors are responsible for tracking the progress and performance of students.

· Regularly check and assess student progress.
· Identify and address any potential issues affecting progress.
· Provide feedback to students and lecturers as necessary.

Service Standards:Programme Mentors will monitor student progress on a bi-weekly basis.
· Any issues affecting progress should be reported immediately.
· Feedback to students should be constructive and supportive.

Fee Payment Follow-ups:Programme Mentors are responsible for ensuring students are up to date with their fee payments.

· Remind students of fee payment deadlines.
· Assist with guidelines on how to pay.
· Report any error in the payment gateway to OFM.

Service Standards:
· Fee payment reminders should be sent one week before the deadline.
· Assistance with payments should be provided within 48 hours.
· Non-compliance reports (system errors) should be submitted within 24 hours.

Assisting Students with Module Registration:Programme Mentors are responsible for guiding progressing students in the process of registering for their semester modules.

· Help students understand module requirements (which modules are available).
· Assist with the registration process.
· Address any registration-related issues promptly.

Service Standards:
· Assistance with module registration should be available during the registration period.
· Registration-related issues should be resolved within 48 hours.
· Programme Mentors should ensure that students are correctly registered.

General Service Standards:
· Programme Mentors are expected to maintain highest level of professionalism and confidentiality.
· Programme Mentors are trained for effective communication and high level of responsiveness.
· Programme Mentors are required to maintain accurate records of all interactions and tasks.

All our lecturers are proficient with usage of technology including our Learning Management System and the Student Portal and offering required academic guidance and support for a high quality teaching and learning experience. Lecturers are also constantly trained and evaluated on their performance to ensure they are adhering to stringent best quality teaching practices. They are also well equipped to identify and offer support to online learners who maybe classfied as “at-risk learners” and make appropriate interventions to support them.Online learners are also offered multiple communication channels to ensure they are able to reach out their Program Mentors or to their Lecturers for any queries or assistance.

Botho University prides itself on offering a high quality educational experience for both in-person and online learners and is continuously improving the services and support offered based on feedback mechanisms and international best practice.