Frequently Asked Questions


Come here to find answers to commonly asked questions.  Use the search box below to find answers to your questions. For example, if you are trying to find out about your marks within a course you might search for "grades", "marks", "results", etc.  You may also select from one of the listed categories to see all the entries pertaining to that subject.  If there is a question you do not see listed, you may be best served by asking in the forums.  We will try to update the questions here regularly based on those showing up in the forums.


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Question:

What is recognition of prior learning (RPL)?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 9:09 PM)
Answer:

If you have already studied elsewhere or if you have appropriate ministry experience, you will probably qualify for prior learning credits, which will reduce the total cost and duration of your educational programme. You will be charged at a nominal rate for credits you have earned at institutions which are not accredited and registered, and for life experience, but all others are free.

When we receive your Application form, we will evaluate your existing qualifications and experience and advise you of the credits we are provisionally prepared to grant. We will then also advise you as to what steps you need to take to formalise these credits.


Question:

Will I graduate after every 120 credits?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 9:33 PM)
Answer:

No, unless you enrolled for a qualification which only requires 120 credits. Instead, you will graduate once you have successfully completed the required number of credits for your desired qualification.


Question:

How do assignment due dates and different timezones work on MySats?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 10:13 PM)
Answer:

Almost every assessment task on MySats has a deadline known as due date or a closing date, depending on the type of activity (assignment, forum, test, etc.).

Deadlines are always shown on MySats in South African Standard Time, which is UTC+2. South Africa does not use daylight savings, so there is no change with seasons.

If you live in another time zone or a country that uses daylight saving, you can edit your profile such that MySats displays the deadlines in your local time. This will not, however, change the deadline at all; it will simply display the deadline in your local time.

timezone

If you are unsure of what your UTC timezone is, you can look here: http://www.worldtimezone.com.


Question:

What is a credit?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 10:16 PM)
Answer:

One credit equates to approximately 10 hours of time on task. For example, if a subject is 6 credits it will take you approximately 60 hours to complete, including research and writing of assignments. On average students should study between 8-10 hours per week. This would make a 6 credit subject 6 weeks long.


Question:

In what formats can I take my study materials?

(Last edited: Tuesday, 10 June 2014, 3:02 PM)
Answer:

We offer our distance learning courses in e-learning format only.  Students residing in South Africa may purchase their workbook(s) in printed format. However, all assessments must be uploaded onto the MySats site regardless of the format of the workbook.  The price of the printed workbook includes the courier delivery fee.


Question:

How do I view my marks in a course?

(Last edited: Thursday, 23 October 2014, 10:55 AM)
Answer:

To get full feedback from your course facilitator plus the marks you achieved, you need to return to the activity after it has been marked, but to see your marks for all the assessments on a particular course, you must click the Grades link in the Administration block (left hand side) of your course screen:

admin block

This will display your User Report, which contains the mark and general feedback you received so far for every assessment on the course. It also shows you the course total (aggregate) to date:

gradebook

In this example, only the first assessment (Sample quiz 1) has been marked. The formula for this course total gives the two quizzes equal weight and ignores the assignments altogether. (Obviously, it is not normal to exclude assignments in the total!)

As your mark for each assessment is captured, the course mark will be recalculated to include it. The course total is calculated according to the formula specified in your study materials; it differs from course to course.


Question:

What are the distinction marks?

(Last edited: Thursday, 11 December 2014, 1:26 PM)
Answer:
The level for distinction in all undergraduate degrees is 80%.  In the postgraduate school, honours and master's degrees have a cum laude distinction at 75%.  PhD level study only has pass or fail.

Question:

What do I do when I need help with my assignment?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 1:28 PM)
Answer:

If you would like to discuss any part of your coursework you can contact the your course tutor. His/her contact details may be found on the course home page. 


Question:

How do I obtain an extension for an exam or assignment?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 1:35 PM)
Answer:

Extensions are only granted in extreme circumstances such as severe illness or death in the family. Please contact the Registrar.




Question:

How do I pay?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 1:50 PM)
Answer:

Option 1: Bank Deposit

Banking Details:

  • NAME OF BANK: First National
  • BRANCH: Fourways View
  • BRANCH NUMBER: 251655
  • NAME OF ACCOUNT: S A Theological Seminary
  • CHEQUE ACCOUNT #: 51321182366

Option 2: Online payment at SATS website

You can also pay online at our website www.sats.edu.za with a credit card. To access our online payment facility:

Click on Pay Online

Option 3: Internet Banking

You can make an online transfer from your bank account to the SATS bank account using the information in Option 1.

Option 4: International payments

Foreign students, if you cannot pay by one of the above-mentioned options you will need to pay by Tele-transmission - please do not send personal cheques. You will need to go to your bank and fill in a form. You will need the following information:

  • SWIFT ADDRESS: FIRNZAJJ
  • NAME OF BANK: First National Bank Division of First Rand Bank Ltd.
  • BRANCH: Shop rs0032, Fourways View, Corner of Cedar & Witkoppen Rds, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • BRANCH NUMBER: 251655
  • NAME OF ACCOUNT: S A Theological Seminary
  • ACCOUNT #: 51321182366

Should you wish to come into SATS to enrol or pick up your courses there are credit card facilities available.

ALL PAYMENTS MADE TO SATS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

PLEASE email or fax confirmation of payment. Please include your name and student number.


Question:

How do I write exams?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 1:58 PM)
Answer:

The instructions on MySats will tell you all that you need to know about the nature of the test.  For most part, SATS makes use of open-book, multiple-choice tests which do not require an invigilator.


Question:

When do I pay?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 2:05 PM)
Answer:

To enrol you will need to pay the amount indicated on your Application feedback letter, which includes the enrolment fee (once off) as well as credits earned from non-accredited institutions or through life experience, and the amount for your first two courses.

Students who are enrolling for subsequent courses should pay the amount for those courses and fax or email proof of payment. Once we have your payment confirmation, we will upload or send your courses.


Question:

Will I be able to contact other students?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 2:06 PM)
Answer:

Some coursework may involve interaction with other students through the MySats website.  There may be other opportunities to interact with fellow students in the open student fora as well. However, students' private contact details are not shared without written consent from the student. Our our current database does not provide for this.  


Question:

How much bandwidth or data do I need for a single course?

(Last edited: Friday, 20 February 2015, 12:49 PM)
Answer:

The amount of data required for one course will vary greatly, depending on the course in question.  The counseling courses, for example are interactive and employ multimedia content across all courses.  For this reason, counseling courses require more bandwidth and data than most other courses.

At the present time, most Bth courses require fairly modest data usage.  With a few exceptions, one could safely estimate approximately 50-100MB of data per course, not counting any data needed to research for your assignments.  With research included, we would suggest an estimated 150-200MB of data per course.

NB. Some courses are more interactive, requiring audio lectures, teleconferencing, or other multimedia components.  In these cases data consumption would be much higher.  Here are some of our interactive courses and some guidelines on the amount of data consumed in each course.

  • Introduction to Biblical Greek/Hebrew
    • This is a full-year course consisting of weekly teleconferenced lectures and interaction with course content.  It would not be unusual to consume more than 2gb of data for each term (BGK1121 and BGK1122/BHB1121 and BHB1122).
  • All courses in the Higher Certificate for Christian Counseling (HCCC)
    • All counseling courses are comprised largely of SCORM lectures, consisting of audio and slide presentations.  One should plan to consume 500Mb - 1Gb of data for each counseling course.  Not counting any data required for your research.
  • THE2123 - Doctrine of Salvation
    • This particular course in the Bth consists of extensive audio lectures and other interactions.  One should expect to consume at least 500Mb of data for this course, not including what is required to complete the research.


Some Suggestions for Conserving Bandwidth

Many courses contain video introductions.  Although these videos are helpful and do contribute an aspect of variety to the course, they are not required, nor do they contain any content not found in the study guides or other course documents.  If your bandwidth is tight, avoid watching the videos, or try to watch them when you connected to the internet via a public Wifi hotspot.

For courses that consist of audio or multimedia components, you may be able to download some of these elements whilst ustilising a public Wifi hotspot or other terrestrial link.  If possible, avoid downloading this components whilst on mobile data.


Question:

Why Can't I go beyond the profile screen?

(Last edited: Thursday, 14 May 2015, 2:06 PM)
Answer:

If you are logging in for the first time, or if your email address is refusing our emails, you may find that you will be continuously returned to the profile screen upon login.  The profile screen allows you to edit important details related to your account.  Most things are optional, but your email address is required.  We need a way to get in touch with you, to tell you about upcoming due dates, responses to your forum posts, or when your marked assignments are ready to be collected.  All of these notifications happen over email, so we require a legitimate and fully functional email address.

Adding your email to your profile is straight-forward.  Simply add your email to the indicated field and click "update profile":



After you have successfully recorded your email address, our system will send a confirmation link to the address you have provided just to ensure you can receive our emails and that you have not made any typing mistakes.  Just click the confirmation link and you will be ready to go on the MySats system.  This process usually only takes a minute or two, so if you do not see the confirmation email, make sure you check your spam filters to ensure it didn't end up there.  We also recommend that you add the address "noreply@sats.edu.za" to your address book, just to make sure MySats emails are not trapped in your spam folders.  If after checking your spam folder/junk mail, you still do not find the confirmation link, please contact us using the Live Help or Email us link at the top of the MySats page.  We keep a close watch on bounced emails, so if our emails are not getting through we might be able to help you out.


Question:

How do I view feedback in Turnitin?

(Last edited: Tuesday, 24 November 2015, 4:54 PM)
Answer:

After an assignment has been marked, you will be notified via email.  Assignments which consist of a Turnitin component require that you click the blue grademark pencil icon on the assignment summary screen in order to access assessor feedback.  Take note of the following screenshots:



Clicking either the Similarity Index or the Grademark pencil, will open a new browser window from which you may view feedback on your assignment or download a PDF copy.



There are three primary forms of feedback:

  1. General or overall feedback.  This feedback will include text comments and may optionally include voice comments (not pictured).
  2. Inline comments are those which correspond to specific parts of your paper.
  3. Comments associated with parts of the marking rubric (if used).




It is important that you click through all the icons on the bottom right of the comments pane in order to view all the feedback.  You may optionally download your marked assignment as pictured in the previous screenshot.


Question:

How to submit an assignment

(Last edited: Friday, 15 January 2016, 11:09 AM)
Answer:

You may also view the instructions below as a screencast:


These instructions apply to assignments or those bearing this icon: .  


Submitting an assignment on the MySats system is pretty straightforward. The most important thing to note is when the assignment is due.  Failing to submit an assignment by the due date can result in late penalties, so make sure you check the due dates when you start your course and never leave an assignment to the last minute. 

Follow these steps for submitting an assignment:

  1. Click the link for the assignment, indicated by this icon:
  2. Follow the instructions indicated. 

NB. If  this is your first assignment you must accept the Turnitin End User License Agreement.  Failure to do so may result in your paper not being marked! See the following screenshots:





  3. Click the Add Submission button.

    4. Drag the file from your desktop onto the file box (see screenshot):


NB. THE ONLY ACCEPTED FORMATS AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING ARE .DOC, .DOCX, .PDF, AND .ODT.  DO NOT SUBMIT .PAGES OR .ZIP FILES!



OR

Click the add file button indicated above

Click "Browse" to select the file on your local computer

Click "upload this file"


 

  5. Click "Save changes"

If you have successfully submitted a file, you should see a confirmation on the following screen. 


NB. Some assignments require you to click a submit button, otherwise your document will remain as draft.  In this case, you must click 'submit assignment' for your assignment to be submitted for marking.  Take note of the screenshot below:






Question:

Turnitin Supported File Types

(Last edited: Friday, 15 January 2016, 11:09 AM)
Answer:

Take careful note of the following instructions taken directly from Turnitin's website at this url: https://guides.turnitin.com/01_Manuals_and_Guides/Student/Student_User_Manual/09_Submitting_a_Paper#File_Types_and_Size

File Types and Size

 

If an assignment is set to allow any file type, Turnitin will accept any file:

 

  • less than 40mb;

  • has a minimum of 25 words; and

  • is less than 400 pages.
     

If the assignment is set to allow only file types that Turnitin can check for originality, Turnitin will only accept files that can generate Originality Reports. This includes:
 

  • Microsoft Word® (.doc/.docx)

  • OpenOffice Text (.odt)

  • WordPerfect®  (.wpd)

  • PostScript (.ps/.eps)

  • HTML

  • Hangul Word Processor file (.hwp)

  • Rich text format (.rtf)

  • Plain text (.txt)

  • Google Docs via Google Drive™

  • Adobe® PDF
  • Microsoft PowerPoint® (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps)

  • Microsoft Excel® (.xls and .xlsx)

 

NoteIf you are using an unsupported word processor, you may need to save your plain text file as .txt or .rtf in order to upload to Turnitin.

 

Note: If submitting with Google Drive™, third party cookies must be allowed in your browser, otherwise, any attempts to sign into Google to upload from Google Drive will fail. Note that Google Drive functionality is not supported with IE8 or below. Do not upload Google Doc (.gdoc) files directly to Turnitin; a .gdoc file does not store the document, but contains a reference to it online, in Google Docs

 

Note: It is possible to submit PowerPoint® files through Turnitin.com, TurnitinUK.com, Turnitin Basic integrations, newer versions of the Turnitin Direct integrations, and LTI compliant integrations only. Turnitin converts the PowerPoint® slide deck into a static PDF, leaving all text and images in their original format but leaving out features such as presenter notes, embedded video, and animations. Text with visual effects is not supported, and it is recommended that any visual effects such as shadows and 3D be removed prior to submitting to Turnitin. It is recommended that any visual effects such as shadows and 3D be removed prior to submitting to Turnitin.

 

Note: Turnitin will not accept PDF image files, forms, or portfolios, files that do not contain highlightable text (e.g. a scanned file - usually an image), documents containing multiple files or files created with software other than Adobe Acrobat®.

 

Note: The version of the file that can be viewed in the Document Viewer will look the same as it would if the Excel file had been saved as a PDF and submitted to Turnitin. We highly recommend that users pay attention to the image preview provided in the single file submission to verify that the file is presented in an acceptable manner.  Users can adjust the way the file looks by editing the page setup and print area settings for the file prior to saving it and submitting it to Turnitin.

 

​Turnitin will not accept the following to generate Originality Reports:
 

  • Password protected files

  • Microsoft® Works (.wps) files

  • Microsoft Word 2007 macros-enabled .docm files

  • OpenOffice Text (.odt) files created and downloaded from Google Docs online

  • Document (.doc) files created using OpenOffice, as they are not 100% Microsoft Word equivalent

  • Apple Pages

  • Spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (i.e. .ods)

  • Text with visual effects

 

Tip: When converting a file to a new file format, users should rename their file with a name other than that of the original file. This is suggested to prevent permanent loss of the original formatting or image content of a file due to it being overwritten.



Question:

How do I find my results?

(Last edited: Monday, 1 February 2016, 4:09 PM)
Answer:
You may view your results and marks anytime by clicking the "My Curriculum" link found in the user menu as per this screenshot:



Your curriculum will show your currently recorded marks from any courses you have completed, those that are in progress, and any courses which you still need to do in order to complete your programme.  Note that your final course mark will only become available at the close of the marking period, usually six weeks after the close of term.  Until this time, the marks that show may only be provisional, being subject to internal and external moderation, or may not include marks for all your assignments.  In the event that you discover a discrepancy AFTER the marking period has ended, please contact your registrar to resolve the matter.


If you do not see the My Curriculum link, you should contact your registrar so that your student number may be added to your MySats profile. 


Question:

What happens after I pay?

(Last edited: Tuesday, 2 February 2016, 8:58 AM)
Answer:

Once SATS receives the confirmation of your payment, your order is processed. Your courses will be activated on MySats.  Should you have ordered printed material, it will be couriered within approximately three working days. You are welcome to come into the Seminary to enrol and collect your first course. Please phone ahead to arrange this.



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