Telematic Services is the toolkit to blend various forms of technology to establish a virtual learning space.
Telematic Services manages a technology platform that integrates satellite, streaming and cell phone technology. The on-campus studio broadcasts to 16 remote-learning centres situated across Southern Africa, and livestreams across the world. The encoded signal is transmitted from the Stellenbosch campus via the Intelsat 17 satellite at 66.0°E. The footprint covers most of the African continent. Students and learners interact with the presenter in the studio using cell phone and web technology.
Students enrolled for academic programmes on the Telematic Services platform are supported by a combination of satellite, cell phone (WhatsApp) and web-based technology to create an effective virtual learning environment. In their teaching, lecturers use a connected variety of learning opportunities that range from synchronous interaction (satellite-based technology) to asynchronous interaction via the SUNLearn discussion groups. These are methods that combine to establish a social learning space that supports the construction of knowledge. In this way, lecturers can improve their direct connectivity with students through broadcasts, but at the same time provide continued support and tracking via web-based interaction, e.g. online assessment, online tracking tools, wikis and blogs.