Student handbook2

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Student handbook2

  1. 1. APPENDIX VII: GENCO UNIVERSITY STUDENTS HANDBOOK BUILDING ON STUDENT SUCCESS (B.O.S.S) IN CONSIDERATION FOR ESTABLISHMENT IN KENYA & ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB Type of Institution: Private University Accreditation Body: The Kenya Commission for Higher Education March, 2009
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................... I 1.0 INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................................. 1 1.0 UNIVERSITY ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS ...................................................................................... 1 1.1 HOW TO APPLY FOR ADMISSION ............................................................................................................................... 2 1.2 MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS ......................................................................................................................... 2 1.2 STUDENT CATEGORIES ................................................................................................................................................ 3 1.3 ADMISSION CRITERIA .................................................................................................................................................. 3 1.3.1 Recognition of Prior Learning (Rpl) .......................................................................................................... 3 1.3.2 Credit Transfer ............................................................................................................................................. 3 1.3.3 Regulations for the Undergraduate programmes .................................................................................. 4 1.3.4 Academic Guidance and Counselling........................................................................................................ 4 1.3.4.1 Types of Programmes and Units .......................................................................................................... 4 1.3.4.2 Selection of Units ..................................................................................................................................... 4 1.4 FEES STRUCTURE ......................................................................................................................................................... 5 1.5 TRANSFERRING TO OTHER DEGREE PROGRAMMES ..................................................................................................... 5 1.6 DEPARTMENTAL REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS .......................................................................................................... 6 1.7 WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE/UNIT ...................................................................................................................... 6 1.8 DURATION OF THE PROGRAMME ................................................................................................................................ 7 1.9 RETAKING UNITS TO PROVIDE COURSE FLEXIBILITY .................................................................................................... 7 1.10 INCOMPLETE .......................................................................................................................................................... 7 1.11 ACADEMIC WARNING .......................................................................................................................................... 7 1.12 DISCONTINUATION ............................................................................................................................................... 8 1.13 LETTER OF COMPLETION ........................................................................................................................................ 8 1.14 DEGREE CLASSIFICATION....................................................................................................................................... 8 1.15 RESULT SLIPS AND TRANSCRIPTS............................................................................................................................ 8 1.16 GRADUATION........................................................................................................................................................ 9 1.17 OPPORTUNITIES FOR FURTHER STUDIES ................................................................................................................. 9 1.18 EXTRA- CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES ............................................................................................................................ 9 1.19 ALUMNI ................................................................................................................................................................. 9 2.0 MAKING THE ONLINE AND DISTANCE LEARNING EXPERIENCE WORK FOR YOU ...................... 11 2.1 . TIME ........................................................................................................................................................................ 11 a). Managing Time ..................................................................................................................................................... 11 A. Managing Stress .................................................................................................................................................... 12 B. Student Accountability ........................................................................................................................................... 12 i
  3. 3. C. Self-Directed Learning .......................................................................................................................................... 12 D. Understand Expectations ...................................................................................................................................... 12 E. Seek Clarification ................................................................................................................................................... 12 F. Become an “Active Learner” ................................................................................................................................. 13 G. Develop Self-Discipline......................................................................................................................................... 13 A. Writing Clearly ...................................................................................................................................................... 13 B. Discussions ............................................................................................................................................................... 13 2.2. ONLINE COMMUNITY .................................................................................................................................................. 14 A. Building a “Classroom” Environment .................................................................................................................. 14 2.3. LIBRARY SERVICES ........................................................................................................................................................ 15 2.4. TECHNOLOGY CONSIDERATIONS ................................................................................................................................ 15 SUGGESTED COMPUTER SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: ................................................................................................................. 15 2.5. STUDY HABITS AND SKILLS........................................................................................................................................... 16 A. Know Your Learning Style .................................................................................................................................... 16 B. Three Types of Learning ........................................................................................................................................ 16 1. The Visual Learner (the "Seer") .............................................................................................................. 16 2. The Tactile Learner (the "Doer") ............................................................................................................ 17 3. The Aural Learner (the "Hearer") .......................................................................................................... 17 2.6. WHERE TO GET HELP .................................................................................................................................................. 17 2.6.1 Students Welfare Services ....................................................................................................................... 17 Counselling Service .............................................................................................................................................. 17 B. GENCO University Learning & Resource Centers .................................................................................... 18 C. GENCO University Student Homepage [under construction] ................................................................. 18 D. GENCO University Student Services [under construction] ...................................................................... 18 2.7 YOUR NEXT STEPS ........................................................................................................................................................ 19 2.8 FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS ............................................................................................................................... 19 3.0 .CONCLUSION .............................................................................................................................. 19 ii
  4. 4. 1.0 INTRODUCTION Welcome to GENCO University online and distance learning program. This information is intended to provide you with a brief introduction to the skills necessary for becoming a successful online and distance learner. While developing the handbook for students GENCO University’s vision is that it will be useful for students who are using this mode of course delivery to start with although at a later date the university will strive to adopt face to face, online/face to face methods of course delivery in addition to the online and distance approach. On a point of clarification, please note that online and distance learning referrs to all of the following components: • Distance education • Distributed education • Online education • E-learning Irrespective of the name that it goes by, this learning experience is characterized by unique challenges and unique opportunities. The ideas presented here are not intended to turn you into a model online and distance student overnight, but hopefully they will help you develop enduring strategies for success. We at Genco University sincerely hope that you will explore the resources and suggestions offered here and that through them your learning experience will be rewarding. To determine if this learning approach is suitable for you; take the online and distance readiness checklist questionnaire at the GENCO University website. www.gencouniversity.com/onlinereadinesstest The GENCO University E-Learning webpage is the perfect starting point for students new to online and distance learning and those who might want a refresher course or are looking for answers to specific questions. Each semester, GENCO University will offer several different courses through this platform. The main focus of this course delivery method is that it offers the opportunity for you to attend classes on your own time and from any place within the scheduled course periods. In these courses the instructor and students are connected to each other through a computer network. Using the Internet, you can receive instruction, compose and submit assignments, ask questions of the instructor and other students, discuss issues and actively participate in the class all from your home, your office, or the nearest campus computer lab. GENCO University intends to not only be the national leader in higher education using different methodologies, but is also committed to becoming the regional leader in this model of course content delivery by striving to be the pace setter in providing quality faculty, programs and services. 1.0 UNIVERSITY ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS 1
  5. 5. 1.1 How to apply for Admission A student wishing to enroll and study at Genco University will be required to complete an Application for Admission form (see Appendix: ) The University will assess each Application for Admission Form and the successful applicant will receive a Letter of Offer and an Enrolment Forms. Students who accept the offer will fill Enrolment Forms and return them to the University prior to the commencement of classes. Application for admission to the undergraduate degree programmes should be addressed to The Academic Registrar, Genco University, P.O. Box 10972 - 00400, NAIROBI Unsuccessful Applicants will be notified in writing. 1.2 Minimum Entrance Requirements The admission requirements for the Undergraduate programmes are determined by the capacity and performance of students from year to year. However, the minimum requirement is Grade C+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (KCSE) or equivalent. There are varying admission criteria depending on the country and its educational system. Such applications will be weighed against the KCSE minimum requirement. Work experience will be considered alongside the overall grade. In addition, applicants must meet specific degree program subject cluster points. On the day the student registers with the University the registration number is activated upon proper submission of all required documents accompanied by payment of the full University fees. A student admitted to the degree programme of Genco University is expected to remain registered in every semester until completing the programme and earning a degree. At admission, the students must bring original copies of Letter of Offer into the University. Those from foreign countries have the option of sending clearly scanned and certified copies of original copies of Letter of Offer. Students must also bring the originals and copies of their KCSE certificates, result slip, and the national identification card (ID) (or equivalent for international applicants)Genco University will admit: a) Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education leavers with a minimum of C b) GCE holders with a pass c) Applicants with a diploma on intended area of study 2
  6. 6. d) Applicants with adequate experience (at least 5 years) on the intended area of study1. e) Holder of a degree from a recognized university f) Holder of qualifications such as CPA, ACCA, ABE 1.2 Student Categories a) Who is a freshman student? Regardless of the number of college credits earned while in high/secondary school, a student is considered a freshman for admissions and scholarship purposes as long as one has not enrolled in college course work after high school completion. b) Who is a work and study student? This category envisages that a person who has had professional training in the field at a lower level or had other professional qualifications including work experience in the same field of study under in which one aspires to be registered in will have the necessary ingredient credits that can be confirmed in a bridging structure to quantify the knowledge level and the start off level of the candidate. This bridging structure will entail filling of questionnaires and an examination leading to award of credit in the field of study. c) Who is a transfer student? The transfer student is one who has been enrolled in an accredited university or college and has earned credits necessary and sufficient enough for admission in Genco University. The student will have to submit the transcripts and Genco University will also ascertain the value of the courses and credits submitted for the purposes of the credit transfer. 1.3 Admission Criteria 1.3.1 Recognition of Prior Learning (Rpl) Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) recognizes what a student has already learnt from other courses, from life experience, from work and from any training provided at work and measures it against the course unit the student wants to do. If what a student has learnt at work or in an institution is relevant to the course, the student will receive unit exemptions. In this case, the student will fill an Application for Exemption form. 1.3.2 Credit Transfer Students seeking credit transfer shall provide current, relevant, verifiable and substantial information and/or evidence about their previous studies and other prior learning during the application stage for entry to a Genco University programme. This includes: i. Verified statement of results from the institution where the subject was studied. 1 For those with less than this five year experience and who feel that they are capable of handling the programme, an admission test will be given to them prior to being registered 3
  7. 7. ii. Details of the subject that was studied in terms of course description of specific unit (s), educational objectives for the unit (s), Course Outline for the unit (s) sort for credit transfer and the complete list of units (for all semesters) prescribed for the programme. iii. Samples of assignment work completed. Students will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application for credit. 1.3.3 Regulations for the Undergraduate programmes i. No candidate shall be admitted to the Bachelors’ degree programmes unless the candidate satisfies the minimum requirements of the University. ii. Candidate must also satisfy departmental requirements before registering for courses/units. iii. All courses are taught in units. A unit is defined as the equivalent of 35 one-hour lectures spread over one semester (ideal for face-to face) while for Online, it comprises of 46 one-hour Facilitation and guidance (blended) over one semester. iv. Enrolment for unit (s) in a different department and/or School is possible, provided the Dean of the School and the Academic Registrar approve it respectively. 1.3.4 Academic Guidance and Counselling Students will be guided and counselled on: 1.3.4.1 Types of Programmes and Units During enrolment period, students will receive ample advice on the units they ought to enroll from the levels: 100, 200, 300 and 400. 1.3.4.2 Selection of Units Students will be expected to select enough courses from the levels above to cover a semester workload; this will involve studying both Core courses and Electives (where applicable). The areas of specialization will be determined by the courses they choose to study in levels 300 and 400. The degree programmes represents a blend of theory and practice as students will be required to undertake a project based on practical experience or involvement with industry. Graduates enjoy ready acceptance in the workplace and are able to contribute effectively to their employers’ needs from day one of their employment. Additionally, Genco graduates will be Students have ample skills to choose to be self-employed, in consulting, research or in innovative developmental work. Additional areas of couselling are provided below under the student’s welfare section. 4
  8. 8. Admission Fees and Financial Requirements All applications should be addressed to: Academic Registrar, School of Business Genco University P.O Box 10972 00400 Nairobi E-mail: registration@gencouniversity.com registration@gencouniversity.com 1.4 Fees Structure Students are required to pay fees to the University before registering for the unit(s). Fees are payable to the banks into accounts provided by the University. The bank deposit slips must be sent to the University Student Finance for recording and verification. The fees to be paid by students shall be determined by the Genco Senate and Council. The fees may change from time to time. Local students (non online) shall pay fees as follows: i. Tuition ii. Registration iii. Activity fees iv. Medical subscription v. Examination Fees vi. Computer fees vii. Caution Money viii. Material Development Foreign /distance learners (online) shall pay fees as follows: i. Tuition ii. Registration iii. Examination Fees iv. Material Development 1.5 Transferring to other Degree Programmes A Student admitted for a degree programme and wishes to transfer to a different degree Programme must apply for the programme even if it is within the same School. Application for either intra-School or inter- School transfers are made on prescribed Forms obtained from the office of the Academic Registrar and must be signed by Dean of the School into which the student is admitted. The School will make recommendations for transfer to the Dean’s Committee for consideration .The Dean’s Committee will submit their findings to the Academic Registrar who will finally issues the Letter of Transfer. 5
  9. 9. Students should note that a transfer is valid only after an official letter from the Academic Registrar is received. The transfer is effected within the first four weeks of the first semester with the same applying to first years only after registration. No student is allowed to transfer himself or herself by attending classes in the wrong department or School. 1.6 Departmental Registration Requirements i. Candidates are admitted to the degree programmes in the various Schools after satisfying the minimum entrance requirements of the University. ii. Candidates must also satisfy departmental requirements before registering for the course/unit in any department. iii. A candidate taking a degree course within a School is required to take a combination of courses approved by the School. Registration should be made only within the first four weeks of the academic year. 1.7 Withdrawal from a Course/Unit 1. A student can withdraw from a course without any penalty within the first four weeks in the semester. 2. The student must withdraw officially by completing “withdrawal forms” from the Academic Registrar. 3. Failure to withdraw officially will lead to a grade of “ E” at the end of the semester. 4. Grade “E” in this case will be awarded Zero (0) score and will be included in calculating the final semester cumulative average score. 5. In case where a unit grade ”E” is a prerequisite to another unit, the unit must be taken and passed before a student is allowed to register for the unit for which it is prerequisite. 6. A student can similarly withdraw from a Department within the first four-week and by signing official withdraw forms. 7. All withdrawals will be communicated to the Chairpersons, Dean and Academic Registrar. 8. A student who withdraws illegally will be considered to have failed and will be required to retake the Units (s). 6
  10. 10. 1.8 Duration of the programme i. All students will be expected to complete their programmes within a maximum period of four (4) academic years. ii. Those who accelerate their studies may complete and graduate in three academic years. 1.9 Retaking Units to Provide Course Flexibility Genco University will use the retake system as opposed to supplementary. A student who fails up to half the units taken in any one semester will be allowed to re-take the failed units when they are next offered. However, if the failed units are prerequisites for other advanced courses, they must be passed before the student enrolls in the advanced unit. The following should be noted: i. No retaking of units is permitted after degree classification has been done. ii. No student will be allowed to retake unfailed unit(s) for the purpose of the grade. iii. Failed units when retaken will be graded as those of normal examination units. iv. No student will be allowed to retake a unit more than twice. 1.10 Incomplete i. Letter (1) representing incomplete grade, shall be used at the end of the semester only. ii. It is assigned to a student who, because of reasons acceptable to the Senate is unable to complete the work of the course, and whose work is in good standing. iii. The grade (1) will be considered as failed if the work is not made up by the next relevant examination sitting. After this period the (1) will be changed to failing grade “E” of zero score. iv. Examinations for the incomplete units shall be at a convenient time during a semester, as may be determined by Departments and Senate. v. The lecturer or Tutor who taught the course shall set the incomplete examination. If he or she is not available, the Chairman of the Department shall give this duty to another member of staff in the same field. 1.11 Academic Warning A student who fails in more than half of the units taken in any one semester shall be given an Academic Warning (AW) by the School Board of Examiners where the student is registered. 7
  11. 11. 1.12 Discontinuation A student who fails in all units in any semester will be discontinued. A student whose cumulative failure after an academic warning from the previous semester is more than half the units taken in two consecutive semesters will be discontinued. 1.13 Letter of Completion The Academic Registrar before graduation will issue a letter on request to students who have completed their degree programme and have fulfilled all their financial obligations. 1.14 Degree Classification A student may be allowed to graduate with one failed required (core or elective) unit without doing a retake provided the student requests approval formally by writing to the Academic Registrar, through the chairperson of the Department and Dean of the Faculty and marks obtained during the first attempt be included in the degree classification. i. A candidate who qualifies for the degree shall be placed in the following classes: First Class (Upper); Second Class (Lower); Pass ii. The first and second class (upper) degrees are warded with Honours. iii. The final classification of the degree will be based on the required and core units taken during the degree programme. The total number of units required for degree classification may vary from one School to another. iv. The total score will be based on cumulative score average to arrive at the following final classification: 1. First Class Honours - (70% and above); 2. Upper Second Class Honours – (60%-69%); 3. Lower Second Class - (50% - 59%); 4. Pass (40% - 49%); 5. Fail (0 – 39%) 1.15 Result Slips and Transcripts At the end of the semester, students will receive result slips showing grades. The letters shall be indicated as follows: 1. Pass – P 2. Academic Warning – AW 3. Withdrawal – W 4. Retake – R 8
  12. 12. 5. Re-Retake – RR 6. Incomplete – I 7. Discontinuation - DISC Deans of Schools can release provisional results after they have been discussed by the School Board of Examiner’s meeting, pending approval by Senate. At the end of the programme, students will receive transcripts from the Academic Registrar. There shall be no charges for result slips and transcripts. 1.16 Graduation 1. Only students who have completed and passed the required minimum number of units shall be eligible for graduation. It is worth noting here that there is varying number of units for different programmes: certificate, undergraduate diploma, degree and postgraduate. 2. Students wishing to graduate must have passed core, practicals and practicum (attachment) where necessary in their Schools. 3. A student who wishes to graduate should apply to the Academic Registrar. 1.17 Opportunities for Further Studies Genco shall start Postgraduate programmes after successfully conducting undergraduate programmes for a reasonable amount of time in order to gain ample experience. Students wishing to further their studies and have successfully completed their undergraduate programmes shall apply for admission into the postgraduate programme provided by the University. 1.18 Extra- Curricular Activities Genco students will engage in extra-curricular activities. These will be particularly popular with full time non- online students and/or other students who may wish to participate in these activities as provided by the University: i. Cultural performances ii. Religious groups iii. Theatre arts iv. Clubs v. Sports vi. Music and others. 1.19 Alumni Genco will initiate an Alumni Association to enable students graduating from the University to become members. The purpose of the Alumni is to create a powerful network that will promote values essential to the individual and the society. These include essential values in leadership, communication, mentorship, and 9
  13. 13. career development among others. The Association will maintain a database of all Genco Alumni for purposes of creating forums for information sharing as well as engaging in developmental activities. This will strengthen the network and promote the image of the University. 10
  14. 14. 2.0 MAKING THE ONLINE AND DISTANCE LEARNING EXPERIENCE WORK FOR YOU 2.1 . Time No matter how convenient or flexible the delivery method, higher education requires time, a lot of time. You might be saved commuting time in an online and distance course, but you might also spend more time with technology concerns and reading on your own is often a bit more difficult than doing it as a group. Whether the time you spend on course-related work is more or less than you might experience in a traditional, classroom-based course, it is still time you need to reserve and manage carefully. When evaluating your course options, consider how much time you have to dedicate to coursework every week during the semester, and estimate the time commitment the course will require. a). Managing Time Studies indicate that the most successful learners in this method benefit from carefully structuring what time they have available. Identify the time of day or night when you do your best work, or when you are able to access the Internet and your course materials. Set aside a certain time each day, or a few days during each week, to work on your course, and stick to this schedule. Be aware at the start of the course whether you are required to participate in activities at any specific times, and plan accordingly. If you are in a different time zone remember to plan accordingly for your course submissions. 3.2. Balancing Responsibilities and Setting Priorities Vital to a successful learning at the higher education level, and more specifically, the online and distance experience is the ability to balance your responsibilities. Knowing how to set priorities is the key to getting the greatest benefit from your education experience. Determine early in the semester exactly what work is required and do your best to plan ahead. Do not hesitate to ask for advice or help from your instructor or academic advisor. 11
  15. 15. A. Managing Stress Strategies for managing course-related stress include: • Know your deadlines. These include course deadlines as well as deadlines and important events occurring elsewhere in your life while you are enrolled in the course. • Plan ahead. If you know that your time will be consumed by a non-course related activity during a particular week, do your course-related activities ahead of time. For those who can have a look at Steve Covey’s matrix for prioritizing tasks from his book the 7 habits of highly successful people. • Know your available resources, especially technological resources, and have them at hand when you are working in your course. • Keep in touch with your instructor. If you do fall behind, let your instructor know immediately, and ask him/her for assistance in planning how you will catch up. B. Student Accountability The further you progress in higher and continuing education, the more responsibility you will need to take for your own learning. It is important that most of the learning online and distance is self driven. C. Self-Directed Learning As you explore the many avenues of learning available and begin to define your individual path, you will still need to work with your instructors to make sure you are meeting the requirements of the individual courses. D. Understand Expectations In order to meet course requirements and instructor expectations, you will need a clear understanding of these requirements and expectations. Instructors will provide a syllabus which acts as a contract between you and the instructor. Read through the syllabus carefully and print it out. E. Seek Clarification If you have questions regarding content, contact the instructor immediately. In the online and distance environment instructors have fewer cues to alert them to your confusion. They cannot see your 12
  16. 16. puzzled expression or hear you ask, “What?” If something is unclear to you, it may very well be unclear to the rest of the students in the class. Your questions may help others in the learning process as well. So ask, early and as often as necessary. F. Become an “Active Learner” To be successful in this environment, actively seek ways you can best understand the course material. • Read, listen to, and participate in the course • Become involved in discussing and defining course topics • Critically evaluate the information you receive G. Develop Self-Discipline Self-Discipline may be the most important characteristic of a successful online and distance learner. With it, you have a tool that leads you to become an efficient time manager, and without it you may encounter difficulties. Here are some tips to help: • Know when assignments are due; print your syllabus and course schedule/calendar • Set up a schedule of when you will log in to the class and stick to it • Minimize distractions while online. • Ensure consistent access to a computer. • Have an alternative plan in case you have computer problems. 3.3. Online Communication Skills A. Writing Clearly Being a productive member of an online and distance learning community requires you to communicate clearly and concisely when you write. A few simple guidelines can help you produce clear, effective written contributions to your course. As always, review guidelines for assignments: • Keep your sentences short • Keep your paragraphs short • Watch for careless errors; check your spelling and grammar • READ your posting before you submit it • Correct any awkward or unclear areas before you post the final version in quotation marks and identify the author, so that you do not accidentally plagiarize someone. B. Discussions 13
  17. 17. In many courses, you will be required to join in class discussions and respond to classmates’ comments. These discussions may become complex, intense, and even provocative. Here are some tips to help you with discussions: • Know what the instructor expects of your discussion responses • Think before you write • Reread your response prior to sending Before you send off a hastily written, emotionally based reaction to another’s contribution, develop your ideas into a less emotional and more reasonable response. Then wait a few minutes and reread what you have written before you submit your response. Learning how to turn a reaction into a response will make your course contributions more meaningful – and may earn you a higher mark for participation, if participation counts toward your grade. Pausing and rereading gives you the opportunity to review your writing for organization, clarity, and correctness. In addition the class help site contains an article on the common Faux Pas to avoid while preparing group assignments and discussion postings. 2.2. Online Community A. Building a “Classroom” Environment Online learning does not mean that you are learning alone. You will have a class consisting of instructor(s), fellow students, and perhaps others with whom you will interact. Your instructor will build a class environment through discussion questions, group projects, and other activities. You help build this classroom environment through your participation. Seeing and speaking to others is not a necessary component in getting to know someone. Through your messages and discussions, both delayed (asynchronous) and real- time (synchronous), you have the opportunity to develop personal and professional relationships. The classmates you get to know online and distance may come from very diverse situations and can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. Part of the introduction to each GENCO E-learning class room will be the introduction assignment where you get to know about your instructor and the fellow colleagues, this will let you know where they are in the world, their hobbies and interests as well as their experiences since this information is important in guiding the subsequent interactions in the classroom. Your fellow classmates and instructors provide resources, information and support. Look for areas where you may post reviews for books you have read on pertinent topics, links to online and distance resources, and observations for specific topics. Within your ‘classroom’, you and your fellow classmates can build a collective knowledge base which may become invaluable even after your coursework is completed. 14
  18. 18. 2.3. Library Services On campus libraries and library services are available to all registered GENCO University students. Distance Learning Library Services are available to off campus GENCO UNIVERSITY Students who: • Are currently enrolled in a GENCO University fully online and distance course. • Are registered with GENCO University Libraries, upon completion of the Distance Learner Library Registration Form once per academic semester. To learn more about GENCO University’s Distance Learning Library Services & Resources go to the online and distance course page. 2.4. Technology Considerations For online and distance courses, your computer becomes your primary interface to your course(s), instructor(s), and your fellow students. In order to effectively use this interface, it will need to meet certain minimal requirements. If your computer cannot perform the functions you need to complete a class, you will have to make the effort to upgrade your equipment. It is not mandatory that you own computer equipment; however, it strongly recommended that you have a computer that will be available to you on a dedicated basis that will meet your personal study habits. Additionally, have a backup plan should your primary equipment fail or become unavailable. Many areas now have cyber cafes and the university will additionally set up Electronic Learning Centers (ELC) dedicated to enabling students access to the GENCO UNIVERSITY online and distance courses. A complete list of all the centers can be found online and distance through our website. Suggested computer system requirements: • Minimum: equivalent of a Pentium II processor with Windows 2000 or higher operating system, or a Macintosh G3 processor with System 8 or higher operating system. The computer should have at least 512 MB RAM and a 56K baud modem. • Connection to the Internet/WWW. Internet access may be provided by a dial up or cable modem Internet service, or obtained through a network connection (i.e. college or business LAN). • Graphical web browser software. Windows users: Internet Explorer 5.5 and higher, or Netscape 6.2 and higher. Macintosh users: Internet Explorer 5.1 and higher, Netscape 6.2 and higher. You cannot use a beta or preview version of web browser software. The web browser must allow session cookies from the suny.edu domain. The browser's encryption or cipher strength should be 128-bit. • Valid, working email address 15
  19. 19. • Word processing software to create exchange and share written assignment documents with the capability to save files in the Microsoft Word 6.0 or RTF file format. • Depending on course requirements and/or your preference, you may need: • A printer that will allow you to print out documents, such as the syllabus, course schedule, or assignments. • Course specific software/hardware: Check with your professor or campus to determine whether course assignments may require you to use additional software and hardware. (i.e., MS Word, Office2000, scanner for graphic arts course, spreadsheet software for a business course). 2.5. Study Habits and Skills A. Know Your Learning Style Not all online and distance classes are presented in the same way. Instructors, both in a traditional classroom and online, use different techniques and methods for explaining concepts. Some may choose to present the course material in a visual format, others use a lecture format, and others enhance lecture formats with hands-on applications. Knowing your learning style can be beneficial whether you are taking a course in a classroom or online. There are many different styles of learning. Some of us are visual learners; we learn and remember by seeing things (seeing it). Some learn best by listening to a lecture (hearing it). Others are hands on learners; they need to manipulate objects to demonstrate learning (doing it). There will be an online and distance questionnaire geared towards helping you understand your learning style better. The questionnaire is completed online and distance and your results are graphically presented with a short written explanation. Although there are many different theories and styles of learning, that have been categorized into three general styles - The Visual Learner (the seer), The Tactile Learner (the doer), and The Aural Learner (the hearer). B. Three Types of Learning 1. The Visual Learner (the "Seer") If you have identified that you are a visual learner, meaning that you learn best by "seeing" the course information presented in various ways, here are strategies to consider: Course information will usually be presented in a text format, so you will see and read the course information on the computer and textbook. • Read the text, examine diagrams or pictures, and then relate what you see to what you read • Textbook materials enhance written lectures by providing diagrams, maps, illustrations, etc. • Research other Internet sites which could provide additional information about the topic 16
  20. 20. • Read the course description from the GENCO UNIVERSITY course catalog or GENCO UNIVERSITY website prior to taking the course • Contact the instructor for further information 2. The Tactile Learner (the "Doer") If you process information using a tactile, hands-on approach here are some suggestions that may help in your online and distance course: • Engage in discussions with other students in your online and distance class • Identify online and distance courses that have a lab or other experiential component • Find others who are taking the course and form study groups • Contact the instructor for information prior to taking the course 3. The Aural Learner (the "Hearer") If you learn best by listening to lectures and discussing in class, then online and distance courses may present a challenge for you. You may need to adapt your learning style to the visual text-based format used in most online and distance courses. Knowing what the course involves ahead of time, before the class begins, might be your best avenue for determining if taking an online and distance class is for you. Here are some strategies that may help: • Read the course description from the GENCO UNIVERSITY Course Catalog or the GENCO UNIVERSITY website • Contact the instructor for information about teaching style and course content • Talk with other students who have taken online and distance courses, particularly the one you are interested in taking • Identify courses that have a video component. Check out the website for further information. 2.6. Where to Get Help A. GENCO University HelpDesk - Contact Information (+254) 20-6750069 (voice) or (+254) 20-340543 (Fax) help@gencouniversity.com 2.6.1 Students Welfare Services The office of the Vice President, Students Affairs will cater for non-academic aspects of the student life. This encompasses matters relating to student welfare and misconduct. Counselling Service Counselling service will be maintained by the office of Director of Students. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for the students to discuss their problems and help them in being realistic about themselves, their potential, independence and ability to solve their own problems. Vocational and Career 17
  21. 21. Guidance Services will be provided by discussing vocational plans with students and advising employment agencies about graduating students and their career interests. You can contact the GENCO UNIVERSITY HelpDesk at anytime by sending email through the address provided on the contact link . If you do not find an answer within Frequently Asked Questions and need to contact the GENCO UNIVERSITY HelpDesk, please have the following information available. If sending email, provide the appropriate information in your email message: • Your name and name of your college • Your course # and section # • Explanation of the technical problem you are experiencing and the GENCO UNIVERSITY web site location that you are using. • For inquiries related to a course, include the course title and code, the name of the College offering the course, and the professor's name. If you do not have this information, go to the Course List/Start Dates within the 'Prospective Students' section of the GENCO UNIVERSITY web site. You can contact GENCO UNIVERSITY at anytime by sending email to the GENCO University help desk, they respond to inquiries as soon as possible and will reply to you by email. If you use a spam blocker or have a bulk mail (or junk mail) area in your email account, you must check settings or allow messages from the university domain into your account's Inbox. Otherwise, you may not receive their reply to your inquiry. B. GENCO University Learning & Resource Centers GENCO University provides learning and resource centers where students with diverse interests and needs can receive assistance from faculty tutors, video instruction or computer software. Our learning centers provide access to the World Wide Web, the library on-line catalog. Visit us online and distance for more information. C. GENCO University Student Homepage [under construction] • Check your email • Examine your academic record • Read the latest GENCO UNIVERSITY news • Search Library Resources • Explore the Job Connection • Visit without having to find a spot to park D. GENCO University Student Services [under construction] The Office for Student Services is responsible for overseeing the following • policies and procedures: • Academic Honesty • Academic Standards 18
  22. 22. • Dean’s List • Graduation Certification • Student Attendance Policy • Student Conduct Regulations • Student Grievance Procedure • Sexual Harassment Policy 2.7 Your Next Steps 1. Register with us for your GENCO University Online course. 2. Purchase text books and other required material 3. Access your course online and distance during preview week (1 week before the start of the semester) 4. Attend and participate in your course on a regular basis (starting with the first day of the semester) 5. Refer to the GENCO University Distance Learning Web Pages for answers to your ongoing questions. 2.8 FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS Students are advised to ensure that fees are paid on or before the start of each semester. The fee structure is still under development. 3.0 .CONCLUSION This document will help you get started as an online and distance learner. Don’t hesitate to ask when you have a question. Your first resource should be the instructor or department providing your course. For further help you may also consult the resources mentioned in section 2.6 “Where to Get Help.” Good luck! Enjoy your learning experience! 19

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