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.

Browse the glossary using this index

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W

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:

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.


Question:

What is a "similarity index" and how do I use it?

(Last edited: Friday, 9 June 2017, 8:10 AM)
Answer:

When a paper is submitted to Turnitin and processed, Turnitin's system will generate an "originality report" and assign a "similarity index".  This report will highlight any parts of the paper where its content matches external sources.  The similarity index is a colour coded index of the percent of the total paper that has matched these external sources.  The index and report together help an assessor and a student to determine how original a paper is and whether citation has been done properly.

For more information on the originality report or the similarity index, please consult this guide on Turnitin's website.  For a helpful overview of Turnitin in general, please consult this page and tutorial video.



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:

What is BigBlueButton?

(Last edited: Tuesday, 3 May 2016, 1:04 PM)
Answer:
What is it?

Some of the courses on MySats make use of a live classroom solution known as BigBlueButton.  Bigbluebutton allows teachers and students to meet online in a virtual classroom, exchanging ideas and learning new concepts in real-time.


How do I know if my course uses it?

At the time of this writing, only a few courses make use of Bigbluebutton, most notably language courses like Biblical Greek and Biblical Hebrew.  If your course does make use of Bigbluebutton, you should see an icon like this on the course page: .  If you would like to find out whether a course includes a live component before signing up, please enquire with your registrar or contact Grace Sikhosana for more information.


What do I need to participate in BigBlueButton (a live course)?

  1. Speakers:  This is essential.  A live class will be useless without the ability to at least listen to the lecture.
  2. Microphone:  In cases where you will be expected to make contributions or participate in the live class, it is essential that you have a microphone.  A headset is preferable, as it reduces feedback, but a built-in microphone can work.  If it is not essential that you be able to speak in a live class, you can still participate using the chat while listening to the lecture. 
  3. Sufficient Bandwidth:  
    1. SPEED: the minimum requirement for participating in a live course is approximately 1Mbit/sec downstream and 500Kbit/sec upstream, depending on whether webcams are in use and whether you use the HTML5 client or the Flash client (see below).
    2. DATA USAGE: Without webcams, a typical one hour class will require about 40kb/sec or about 240MB just for the audio stream (listen only).  About 500MB would be required for full participation without webcams.  With just one webcam, a one hour class will require 310KB/sec or about 1.86 GB (listen only) or about 2.1GB with audio participation.
  4. Webcam: In most cases, a webcam is completely optional.  At the time of this writing, no courses require webcam participation.  Nevertheless, bandwidth permitting, a webcam is helpful for overcoming some of the hurdles of mediated communication, such as in transmitting non-verbal cues.


How can I conserve data usage in a live (BigBlueButton) class?

There are a number of ways to manage your data consumption in a live class.  However, it should be noted that the minimum amount of data usage for a one hour class will be approximately 240-250MB.  Take the following steps to reduce your data consumption:

  1. Do not broadcast your webcam.  Broadcasting your webcam doubles the amount of data you use, since you need to both send and receive audio and video streams (assuming there is at least one other webcam).
  2. If you are using the flash version, you can click the 'x' above each webcam feed to stop downloading the feed.  This will greatly reduce bandwidth consumption for meetings with webcams.
  3. Join the class using the HTML5 client.  At the time of this writing, webcams are not broadcast to the HTML5 client even if other participants are broadcasting, and the client environment is smaller, so this will go a long way in reducing data consumption.  Please see this guide on how to join a bigbluebutton session using html5 instead of Adobe Flash.
  4. Join the session in listen only mode.  Listen only mode allows you to receive the audio feed, but you will not be able to contribute except via the text chat.  This will allow you to ask a question through the text chat and listen to the audio response.  Please see this guide on how to join a live class using listen only mode.



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:

What kind of computer do I need to use MySATS?

(Last edited: Monday, 22 August 2016, 8:34 AM)
Answer:

The MySATS website works with all different kinds of computers, tablets, and even phones.  The most important requirement is that your web browser is up to date.  If you do not know what browser you are using check by clicking here.

  • Recommended minimum browser: Google Chrome 11, recent Mozilla Firefox, Safari 6, Opera 10, or Microsoft Edge.  PLEASE AVOID INTERNET EXPLORER!
  • Android users should consider installing the Puffin Browser, particularly if you are enrolled in the Higher Certificate in Christian Counseling (HCCC).  These courses make use of interactive presentations that may pose compatibility problems with the standard Android browser.
  • Windows XP and Vista users are advised to use either Chrome or Opera, since you cannot update to the latest version of IE (see below for links).
  • Java (sometimes called the JRE).  In order to use all the features of MySats, you need to ensure you have the JRE installed.
  • There is no minimum requirement for your operating system, except for those required by the aforementioned browsers. (Please note that you should always keep your computer and virus protection up to date.)
  • Some features of MySATS will only function properly on a broadband connection, so obviously we recommend a 512kb connection or better.  However, if you do not interact with video content or the interactive presentations on the counseling courses (the Higher Certificate in Christian Counseling courses), a 56k connection should be suitable.


Download Google Chrome here: http://www.google.com/chrome

Download Mozilla Firefox here: http://www.getfirefox.com

Donload Opera here: http://www.opera.com


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:

Why am I getting a blank slide show in my course presentations?

(Last edited: Tuesday, 18 October 2016, 11:58 AM)
Answer:

Some of our courses have slideshow presentations which at times give problems in certain web browsers.  If you are using Safari, for example, you might need to adjust some of your browser preferences in order for the slideshow to display properly.  If you are seeing a blank slide or cannot navigate through a slideshow while using Safari, please try the following:

  1. Open Safari
  2. Proceed to http://my.sats.edu.za
  3. Open the preferences dialogue
  4. select the security tab
  5. click “plug-in settings” on the bottom (internet plugins)
  6. Make sure “Adobe Flash Player” is enabled
  7. In the pane that says "Currently Open Websites" set my.sats.edu.za to "on"
  8. Click done and close the preferences dialog
  9. Refresh your page.


Take note of the following screenshots:






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:

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:

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.