information booklet

DEAR IOL STUDENT

Thank you for choosing the Institute for Open Learning (IOL) as your partner in education.

We extend a warm welcome to you as a student of the Institute for Open Learning (IOL). We are honored that you have chosen IOL as your educational partner, and we look forward to supporting you in your academic journey.

We are pleased to share with you that all IOL qualifications are fully accredited by the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) and are registered with the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE). This ensures that the qualifications are recognized and respected in Namibia and beyond.

Upon successful registration, you should have received an SMS containing your student number, registered subjects, and the password to access the IOL Student Portal. If you have not received this important information, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated IOL call center for assistance.

Once again, welcome to the IOL team. We wish you all the best in your academic pursuits and look forward to supporting you throughout your journey at IOL.

1. REGISTRATION, ELECTRONIC ASSIGNMENT & EXAMINATION DUE DATES

One of the advantages of studying through IOL is that you can register throughout the year. However, it is important to take note of the following dates:

2. IOL PROVIDES THE FOLLOWING STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES:

2.1 STUDENT PORTAL

As a registered student of the Institute for Open Learning (IOL), you have immediate access to the comprehensive IOL student portal. This user-friendly platform contains essential information, as well as all the study materials required for a successful and enjoyable learning experience. With the IOL student portal available to you upon registration, you can begin your studies right away without any delay in accessing your study materials.

How to login:
• Log onto the IOL website, www.iol.na;
• Click on the Student Portal link.
• Login with your username and password (received via SMS upon registration);

Forgot password?
Click on ‘Forgot password’, and you will be redirected to a new page where you will be asked to enter your student number. Once your student number has been entered, a new password will be sent to you via text message and you will be able to log onto the Student Portal using the new password.
• You will be requested to change your password once you have logged in.

2.2 STUDENT PORTAL CONTENT

2.2.1. MY STUDIES
The ‘My Studies’ tab includes all the relevant information that will assist you in achieving your academic goals and obtaining your qualification: This includes:
• An Information Booklet
• A Program of Activities
• A Student Card
• Subject Assignment and Examination Feedback
• Old Examination Question Papers
• Study Guides
• Assignments
• Contact Classes Presentations
• Course Information
• Tutor Lists
• Examination Credit Balance
• School Based Studies Information
• Student Representative Council Feedback Report
• IOL YouTube Videos and more

2.2.2. PROFILE
As a student, you have the ability to request changes to your personal information through the ‘Profile’ tab on the IOL student portal. It is highly recommended that you keep your personal details current to ensure that communication channels remain open and effective.

2.2.3. ACADEMIC HISTORY
The ‘Academic History’ tab provides the option to update any previous or future academic studies. Please take advantage of this feature to ensure that your academic history is accurate and up to date.

2.2.4. FINANCES
If you have obtained a loan from Trustco Finance, you can access your statement through the ‘Finance’ tab. We encourage you to review your statement regularly to stay informed about your financial obligations.

2.2.5. ACADEMIC INFORMATION
We are pleased to inform you that you can access your most recent academic record by navigating to the ‘Academic Information’ tab. In the event that you notice any discrepancies in your record, we encourage you to reach out to the IOL office for assistance.

2.2.6. EXAM BOOKING
To schedule your upcoming examinations, please utilize the ‘Exam Booking’ tab on the IOL student portal. Prior to booking, all relevant booking details will be communicated to ensure a smooth process.

2.2.7. EXAM TIMETABLE
Once you have successfully booked for your upcoming exams, you will be able to access your personalized examination timetable after the booking period has closed through the designated ‘Examination Timetable’ tab. From there, you can conveniently print your timetable to plan for study leave.

2.2.8. IOL POLICIES
We would like to bring to your attention that all relevant policies and procedures of the IOL can be conveniently accessed under the designated IOL Policies and Procedure tab.

2.3. FREE MICROSOFT OFFICE 365

The Institute for Open Learning (IOL) has undergone a transformation and strategic repositioning. This transition has allowed for all current student support services to be offered through digital platforms.

The implementation of Microsoft 365 has been successfully rolled out, enabling cross-platform collaboration for remote learning and teaching via email, group collaboration, and various chat tools, all of which are offered free of charge to IOL students. Through these digital platforms, students can continue to engage with the head office.

Effective 15 August 2022, Microsoft 365 (O365) became the primary communication and collaboration platform for all IOL students. Therefore, all students must have their accounts activated and functioning. This implementation will provide every tutor, academic staff, and student with access to Microsoft 365 on all their devices, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, and free classroom tools.

All activities and correspondence related to the program of activities, including the final assignment and examination results, will be released via Microsoft Office 365, as well as any other important information. Once your results are ready for release, an email notification will be sent to your student email address. It is important to note that IOL no longer sends SMS messages to students as of 15 August 2022.

You can view your complete academic record on your student portal, under the academic results tab. The semester mark (SM) will reflect your assignment result, while the examination mark (EM) will indicate your examination result, and the Final Mark (FM) will represent your final result. Please note that Microsoft 365 is not intended to replace or substitute the IOL Student Portal. Rather, it is a communication tool aimed at improving and facilitating communication channels between IOL staff, tutors, students, and the SRC.

This means that, as an active IOL student, you will have access to the latest version of the full office productivity suite, free of charge. This suite comprises various programs, including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Teams, One Note, and several other applications that are available for both online and offline use.

What does this mean for you?
• Install Office 365 on up to five (5) compatible PCs and Macs, plus five (5) tablets (including iPad);
• Use it with OneDrive to automatically sync all your devices;
• Gain valuable skills on the world’s most popular productivity software; and
• Use the same programmes as IOL to ensure full file fidelity.

Follow these simple steps to get your Office 365:

For PC and Mac:
• Log onto the IOL Student Portal;
• Click on the Office 365 icon;
• You will receive a text message with your username and password;
• Sign in with the IOL credentials and download;
• On the installation page, select your language and install.

For iOS and Android:
• Download Office 365 from your app store:
• Sign in with the IOL credentials for full editing capability.
• To activate account, send an SMS to 711, with keyword O365, and your student number.
• To access Microsoft Office 365, click sign in and enter the email address and password provided by IOL. If you have any trouble, please contact the IOL call centre on 061 270 9100 or email: info@iol.na.

2.3.1 EXAMINATION BASED CLASSES VS OFFICE 365 COLLABORATION

All correspondence between tutors and students will be facilitated through Microsoft Teams. While tutors will still upload examination-based recordings, this will be done on Teams. From an IOL perspective, Teams refers to groups of students, tutors, and academic staff who are brought together for assignments, contact classes, study guides, or for the purpose of sharing resourceful websites. Teams is a collaboration app that enables students, tutors, and academic staff to stay organized and have conversations in one centralized location. 

2.4 TUTOR AVAILABILITY

We would like to highlight that the contact details of all tutors, including their cell phone numbers and email addresses, are readily accessible on the tutor list available on the Student Portal, on the assignment cover page, and on all PowerPoint presentations. Tutors are available to attend to telephonic inquiries between 18:00 to 20:00 on weekdays, but kindly note that they are not available on the day before the examination in the specific subject. It is important to maintain a respectful and professional tone when contacting your tutor(s) via telephone, SMS, or email and to ensure that your communication remains focused on the relevant subject matter.

2.5 IOL SOCIAL MEDIA PUBLICATIONS

In the event of any urgent matters, IOL will disseminate important information through its official social media platforms and Microsoft O365. Such information will be readily available on the IOL website, Student Portal, Facebook, and Instagram.

2.6 IMPORTANT INFORMATION SESSIONS (INDUCTIONS)

To provide comprehensive support to all IOL students, the IOL has initiated a series of Important Information Sessions. These sessions are delivered via Microsoft Teams, recorded and are made available on various platforms including O365, IOL’s YouTube Channel, and the IOL student portal.

The purpose of these sessions is to familiarize students with the IOL processes and support services available to them. During the sessions, students will be introduced to various qualifications and the support services provided by the institution.

Topics covered in these information sessions include, but are not limited to, registration, electronic assignments, electronic examinations, examination credits and bookings, assessment policy, Teams contact classes, Microsoft Office 365, IOL YouTube channel, Student Representative Council (SRC), School-Based Studies (SBS), Basic First Aid (BFA), Counselling Services, Study Buddy system, the graduation ceremony, Alumni, Student Portal, and more.

Through these information sessions, the institution aims to equip students with the necessary knowledge and resources to succeed in their academic pursuits and beyond.

2.7 STUDENT COUNSELLING

IOL recognizes that students may require support in navigating their academic, social, and personal lives. To facilitate this, a student counsellor is available to provide guidance and assistance to students as needed. The counsellor is equipped to offer academic, personal, and social counselling services, and can be reached through various communication channels.

Students can access the counsellor telephonically at 061 – 270 9186 or via SMS by sending “counsel” to 711, and the counsellor will initiate a call back. Students can rely on the counsellor for support, guidance, and assistance in addressing their concerns and challenges, with a focus on fostering personal and academic growth.

2.8 STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL (SRC)

The Student Representative Council (SRC) serves as the intermediary between the student body and the institution. The SRC members’ names and contact information can be found on the IOL website. Students are welcome to contact their respective SRC members for any IOL-related inquiries or concerns.

In addition, the SRC members submit a monthly report to IOL, detailing matters discussed and addressed during their meetings. Following this, the institution provides feedback, which is made available to students on the student portal. This allows students to stay informed about the activities and developments within the SRC and the institution as a whole.

SRC members submit a monthly report to IOL after which the institution provides feedback which is loaded onto the student portal.

2.9 STUDY BUDDY SYSTEM

To promote effective learning and academic collaboration, IOL has established a study buddy system. This initiative encourages students who are registered for the same academic field and residing in the same locality to form study groups.
To facilitate this, students can contact IOL to obtain a list of fellow students’ contact information. It is important to note that these lists are only available upon request, and are intended solely for the purpose of fostering academic collaboration and study support.

3. IMPORTANT QUALIFICATION INFORMATION

Please see table below for detailed information relating to all Education qualifications.

TABLES GO HERE

3.1 Qualification duration (Maximum & minimum duration)

The table provided specifies the minimum and maximum duration allowed to complete a particular qualification. The table therefore serves as a guide for students to understand the permitted duration for completion of their program.

In case a student is unable to complete their specific qualification within the given duration, the institution will notify them via email on O365 that they have one more examination opportunity remaining before their study status is changed to “term-complete”. Subsequently, students will be notified of their changed status, and once the studies have been term completed, they will have to re-register for the outstanding subjects to resume their studies.

3.2 Re-registration

First time re-registration
In the event that a student’s qualification status changes to “term-completed” and they intend to enroll for any remaining subjects, they must complete a re-registration form and make the necessary payment.

Upon successful re-registration, students will be provided with a duration of two semesters to complete their outstanding subjects. Failure to complete all the required subjects within this period will result in the status of the qualification changing back to “term-complete.” Students will be required to re-submit all assignments for the outstanding subjects to resume their studies.

3.2.2. Second re-registration
In the event that a student’s qualification status is changed to term-completed after re-registration, the institution’s policy permits only one additional re-registration, subject to the condition that the student has six (6) or fewer outstanding subjects. Subsequently, the student will be granted a period of two (2) semesters to complete the remaining subjects before their qualification status is permanently changed to ‘term-completed’.
In such a scenario, the student will be required to re-submit assignments for all outstanding subjects in order to satisfy the completion criteria.

It is important for students to note that re-registration is not guaranteed, and is subject to the discretion of the institution’s management. Therefore, students are advised to make every effort to complete their coursework within the designated timeframe to avoid potential academic setbacks. The institution recognizes the value of academic progress and seeks to support students in achieving their academic goals through timely completion of their qualifications.

3.3 SCHOOL BASED STUDIES (SBS)

School Based Studies (SBS) is a compulsory subject for all the education qualifications, except for BEDHONS and Policing. You must qualify to do SBS at a school of your choice. Each phase requires a specific number of weeks as per the table above under the SBS column.

Upon qualification for SBS, students will receive an Office 365 email notification, after which they must submit a completed Principal Permission Letter (PPL). The PPL is available on the student portal and must be submitted before the SBS assignment and the SBS guide can be made available.

After the submission of the completed PPL, students may commence SBS at the designated school for the required period. However, if a student wishes to change schools, they must do so before the SBS period begins and submit a new PPL for the new school.

During the SBS period, the SBS Tutor or Course Coordinator may pay an evaluation visit at any time. If a student is not present at the school, the SBS subject will be cancelled, and the student will have to re-apply for SBS at a school of their choice during another time.

After completing the specific period at the school, students must submit their completed SBS documents by the date stated on the PPL. The SBS assignment must be submitted electronically, and to pass the subject, students must obtain at least 60% per section (Assignment, Preparation, Presentation). In the event that a student fails to obtain the minimum mark of 60%, they will be given the opportunity to redo the section(s). If they fail the first redo, they will only be allowed to resubmit the next redo in the following semester, and will be required to pay for the second redo.

Once the SBS results are released, students can collect their marked SBS guide in Windhoek. All SBS results will be released via Office 365. Students with queries regarding SBS can direct their inquiries to SBSIOL@iol.na.

3.4 BASIC FIRST AID (BFA)

Basic First Aid is a compulsory subject for the majority of IOL teaching qualifications as indicated in the relevant column in the Table above. Once you have met the qualifying criteria, an Office 365 email notification will be sent to you to book for the Basic First Aid (BFA) training via the student portal. The BFA training sessions will take place on Saturdays in various regions. While IOL will cover the BFA expenses, please note that you will be liable for payment if you miss a booked scheduled training session or if you fail and need to repeat the BFA.

You also have the option of attending BFA training at an accredited provider of your choice, but at your own expense. Please submit your certificate to IOL for exemption purposes. It is important to note that the BFA certificate is valid for a period of two or three (2 or 3) years, and it is your responsibility to ensure that your certificate is still valid at the time of graduation.

Should your BFA certificate expire before graduation, you will be required to redo the training at your own cost either through IOL or an accredited BFA provider. All BFA queries should be directed to BFA@iol.na.

3.5 RESEARCH: BEDHONS & BESP

BEDHONS: The Research Project is a 2nd year subject (Bed-RP22). You need to pass 3 first year subjects including Educational Research and you should be registered for the 2nd year to start with your Research.

BESP: The Research Project is a 4th year subject (BES-RPP241). You need to have completed ten 1st year subjects, twelve 2nd year and six 3rd year subjects. You should be registered for the 4th year to start with your Research.

Students who meet the requirements to undertake the Research Project must follow the subsequent steps: Firstly, they should download the Research proposal and project format from the student portal. Secondly, they need to watch the Research recording available on the IOL YouTube channel, by searching for the “Institute for Open Learning” and accessing the recording. Thirdly, students should ensure they have their personal email address, as well as stick to one email thread (email chain).

Finally, students must submit their Research PROPOSAL and PROJECT, typed in Microsoft Word, to the designated email addresses – BEDResearch@iol.na for students doing Bed-Hons, and BESPresearch@iol.na for students doing BESP.
Research Proposal and Project:

The Research Proposal and Project are critical components of the Honours degrees. To commence with the Research Project, students must first submit a research topic for approval. Once the topic is approved, students can start preparing their proposal, which should be approximately 15 pages, excluding the Title page, Contents, and Reference pages.
It is essential to commence research at least 18 months before the course’s study period lapses. Students should choose their research topic in line with their Career Specialization subject to ensure relevance to their field of study. Achieving a 60% pass rate for the proposal is mandatory.
No examination is required; however, students must submit their Project once their proposal is approved. Students who do not attain the required 60% pass rate for the research project must resubmit their research. The Research Project’s marking is based on a standard checklist.

4. ELECTRONIC ASSIGNMENTS

All assignments must be submitted online through the Student Portal by their respective due dates, which are 15th January and 15th June of each year, no later than 16h30.
Handwritten or scanned assignments will not be accepted, and all answers must be typed in the spaces provided using MS Word format. The last uploaded version will be considered the final submission, and the file name must not be changed. Assignments with a pass mark of at least 50% guarantee admission to the examination, whereas those with a lower mark require resubmission.
To access your assignments, please log in to the Student Portal using your username and password. Once logged in, navigate to “My Studies” and download the Word assignments. Save the assignments on your computer or any other device you are using, complete the answers in the spaces provides, and save the completed assignment until the due date when you can submit them or once the uploading function is available.
It is imperative that students strictly adhere to these guidelines and submit all assignments on time to ensure academic success.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:
Copying from another student or collaborating with another student and then submitting the assignment as your own work.
Allowing someone else to do the assignment for you and submitting it under your name.
Copying from published and unpublished articles, web pages etc., rewriting someone’s work for using the ideas, words or work of someone else as if it is your own work.
• Receiving any outside assistance in any shape or form.
• All forms academic dishonesty is viewed as misconduct under the institution’s rules and regulations, and any irregularities will be evaluated by the Disciplinary Committee which may result in a student being suspended for one (1) year.

The Disciplinary Committee will evaluate any academic misconduct which include:
• Cheating (the use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, unauthorized copying or collaboration)
• Fabrication (intentional misrepresentation or invention of any information)
• Plagiarism (the use of another’s words, ideas, data, or product without appropriate acknowledgement)
• Collusion (assisting another to commit an act of academic dishonesty)
• Academic Misconduct (grade tempering, fraud, misrepresentation, obtaining or distributing any part of a test)

The following actions may be taken in response to academic misconduct (to be completed by IOL Head/COO):

• Disciplinary admonition and warning issued by the Registrar
• Academic penalty on an assignment imposed by the Registrar
• A mark of a lower or failing grade for the subject assigned by the Head/Registrar
• Suspension from IOL for one academic year
• Expulsion from IOL by the Head of Student Development

It is essential for students to maintain academic integrity and avoid any form of misconduct to ensure academic success and uphold the institution’s standards. Any instances of academic misconduct will be evaluated by the appropriate authorities, and the severity of consequences will depend on the nature and extent of the misconduct. The institution takes academic integrity seriously and expects its students to do the same.

4.1 ASSIGNMENT CREDITS AND RE-WRITE

Each subject allows for two assignment attempts. If an assignment is failed, students will be permitted a free re-write. However, if a student fails the assignment for a second time, they will need to apply and pay for the re-write of that specific assignment. The re-write can be submitted during the next assignment submission period. To apply for a re-write, students may obtain an application form from the IOL offices or through the institution’s website, www.iol.na.

5. ASSESSMENT POLICY

Assessment for each semester module comprises one (1) assignment. To be eligible for examination, students are required to obtain a 50% semester assessment mark (SM). In addition, a sub-minimum of 50% must be attained to pass the examination (EM).

To pass the module, a final pass mark (FM) of 50% is mandatory, which is calculated based on 60% of the examination mark (EM) and 40% of the assignment/semester mark (SM).

We would like to assure students that the setting and marking of examination papers and assignments are subjected to moderation to ensure fairness and consistency.

6. ELECTRONIC EXAMINATIONS

Assessment for each semester module comprises one (1) assignment. To be eligible for examination, students are required to obtain a 50% semester assessment mark (SM). In addition, a sub-minimum of 50% must be attained to pass the examination (EM).

To pass the module, a final pass mark (FM) of 50% is mandatory, which is calculated based on 60% of the examination mark (EM) and 40% of the assignment/semester mark (SM).

We would like to assure students that the setting and marking of examination papers and assignments are subjected to moderation to ensure fairness and consistency.

6.1 RE-MARKING

Following the release of examination marks, students will have a three (3) day period to apply and pay for the remarking of examination script(s). The re-mark application form is available on the IOL website and at the IOL offices for your convenience.

Please be advised that personal viewing of examination answer scripts is not permitted. However, if you would like to do so, you may work through the Registrar and your legal advisor.

6.2 BOOKING PROCEDURE FOR IOL EXAMINATIONS

For the convenience of our students, we will notify you via Office 365 email as soon as the examination booking period opens. The notification will provide the examination booking deadlines. Please note that all bookings must be made through the Student Portal.

The process to book for your examination via the Student Portal is as follows:

6.3 SUPPLEMENTARY EXAMINATIONS

Each subject allows for two examination credits. If you fail a subject, you will be granted one free examination re-write. However, if you fail the subject for the second time, you will need to apply and pay for a re-write. The subject may then be attempted in the following examination session. The re-write application form is available at the IOL offices or on our website at www.iol.na.

7. CHANGES IN PERSONAL INFORMATION

Maintaining accurate and up-to-date personal information is crucial for effective communication between students and IOL. Please inform IOL promptly of any changes in your personal details, including address, mobile phone number, and surname. You can update your information in several ways, such as sending an e-mail to info@iol.na or completing a ‘Change of Details’ form, available at the IOL offices or on our website at www.iol.na. You can also use the Student Portal to update your information. It is essential to keep your information updated to ensure that you receive timely and valuable information from IOL.

8. GRADUATION CEREMONIES

The Institute for Open Learning (IOL) hosts a graduation ceremony once a year in November, held in Windhoek. Students will receive ample notice in advance of the ceremony. The graduation will be broadcasted live on the IOL Facebook page.

After the ceremony, a soft copy of the graduation booklet with the names of all graduates can be downloaded from the IOL website.

To attend the graduation ceremony, a payment of N$550 per graduate and N$200 per guest is required. Students are required to confirm their attendance by sending a tear-off slip, which they will receive with their invitation, along with proof of payment to graduation@iol.na. In case of cancellation, the payment will be forfeited.
All graduation payments must be made to the following account:
Account name: Institute for Open Learning
Account number: 62242443513
Account Type: Business Cheque Account
Branch name: Corporate & Investment Banking
Branch code: 289180
International Branch code: 282672
Swift code: FIRNNANX

8.1 Issuing of Qualifications

Certificates and diplomas are printed twice a year and may take up to two (2) to three (3) months to be processed. This is due to the thorough audit that needs to be conducted by the institution upon completion of your studies. Please note that the status of your academic record will only be set to complete once the audit process is finalized. After that, the printing of the qualifications process will commence.

9. QUERIES/FEEDBACK

Please note that all queries and requests for support will be handled through online channels. We encourage students to contact the IOL Call Centre at 061 270 9100, send us a WhatsApp message at 085 715 4864, or email us at info@iol.na for any inquiries or additional support. You can also find us on Facebook at Institute for Open Learning (@IOLnam) and visit our Facebook page daily for updates and relevant information. You can instantly chat with us via the IOL website at www.iol.na.

Going forward, students will be able to register online, participate in important information sessions, and receive course inductions. IOL will also provide online access to research material, including academic websites and library materials, to enhance learning. Please visit the student portal for more information on accessing these online services.

10. ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Upon completion of your studies, you will become part of the IOL Alumni. At IOL, we value our relationship with our students and strive to stay updated on your accomplishments. As such, we kindly request that you keep us informed of your achievements by completing our developmental impact questionnaire, which can be accessed via your Student Portal.

For further details, please visit our website at www.iol.na or contact our Call Centre at 061-270 9100. We look forward to hearing about your successes and staying in touch as part of the IOL Alumni community.

Semester (Registration)Electronic Assignment due dateExamination
First semester: Register before 15 November15 January of the yearApril/May
Second semester: Register before 15 April15 June of the yearAugust/September
Supplementary: November/December