The Policies of the South African Wine Academy

 

In any learning environment, students should have a clear understanding of what the tutor and the COLLEGE expects from them, as well as what they can expect from the tutor and the COLLEGE. This need is more urgent for e-learning students than for traditional students because e-learning activities often occur in an environment where students may have difficulty getting timely answers to important questions. We therefore hope to anticipate students� needs for clarity by way of this document.


Credit for previous studies
Should a student believe that he/she has already acquired credits, at a different educational institution, for subjects which form part of a course for which she/he wishes to register, such student shall contact the COLLEGE with a full motivation and the COLLEGE shall consider such student�s application for such credits. The COLLEGE�s decision in this regard will be communicated to the relevant student in writing but its decision shall notwithstanding be final and binding and shall not be subject to appeal or review.

Software Standards Policies
As a result of the fact that it is imperative that students can follow the lessons properly and communicate with the tutor and the administration, it is important to establish standards that delimit the software required to participate in this course.

It has been estimated that 90 percent of all personal computers in the world have Microsoft Office software installed on them. Thus Office file formats have become de facto standards, allowing information to be shared among computer users worldwide. Moreover, both PC-based and Apple personal computers can run Office software.

 

IT Hardware and Software

          All students will need access to a reliable computer (either Mac or PC) with an internet connection (preferably broadband or cable), and their own personal e-mail address.

          Our experience has been that if students do not have a regular, commercial email address it is better that they use a yahoo email address, and not one from hotmail.

          You are responsible for the proper functioning of your computer, a malfunctioning computer is no valid excuse for submitting late work!

          You should have the following Microsoft software installed on such computer:

          Microsoft Word

          Windows Media Player

          Powerpoint (optional)

          Excel (optional)

IT Skills:

          It is assumed that students who wish to follow an e-learning course have an adequate amount of experience to work on a computer

          students should be able to use their email and word processing package

          they should be able to navigate their way around a website

          be able to down load and install software programs.

 

Communication system policies:
(the system by which e-mails, assignments, queries, registration forms, tutor application forms, comments etc are sent and received)
 

          Whilst every effort is made to ensure that our communication system is free from defect, we do not accept responsibility for any damage to, or loss of data on, your computer system, network or server that results from the use of any of our materials or those licensed from any third parties.

          Any advice or guidance given by the COLLEGE relating to any aspect of the communication system or its use is followed at the student's own risk.

          Sending materials :
This will be done mostly via email. Virtually all communication between tutor and student will take place via the internet. Students should make a copy of all materials sent via the internet, as the COLLEGE accepts no responsibility for the loss of any such material. 

 

E-Mail Policies
E-learning tutors routinely report being overwhelmed by the need to answer numerous e-mails they receive from students. Please ensure that you have a legitimate need before you send emails to tutors.

To avoid time wastage:

          students are required to refer to the course material, this Introduction and Syllabus for general course information and course policies instead of requesting it from tutors by e-mail.

          Tutors will not answer emails where the subject line has not been filled in with a clear subject or where it raises an inappropriate subject

          Tutors will respond to emails within a maximum of 5 business days, and within the official e-office hours set out in this document

          students are required to check their email regularly, preferably every day

          tutors will not respond to e-mails about test dates, how students� grades are determined, or any other information that is clearly listed as general course information in the course  syllabus.

          Tutors will only respond to emails that deal with:

          a students� personal concerns,

          students difficulties comprehending course content,

          or their need for clarification about graded work.

          Tutors will only respond to emails in the following e-office hours: Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.(European time);Tuesdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.,  Fridays from 10:00 to 1:00 p.m.


Assignment and Essays Policies
Clear guidelines governing written work like assignments or essays are very important, in part because they reduce student frustration when preparing assignments and also because they can reduce the amount of e-mail students will send tutors asking for clarification.

          Lessons are sent to students on a regular (usually weekly) basis

          The work you submit for assessment must be your own unaided work.

          Any materials (e.g. books, leaflets or information from the Internet) used in the completion of your coursework should be acknowledged in the work itself, at the end. Whilst it is a debatable question whether information taken from the internet may be used in education and teaching without permission, and in fact some of our lessons sometimes utilise such information, it is still preferable that you use full references.  

          To present material copied from any source without acknowledgement will be regarded as deliberate deception.

          You should add pictures and graphs to make your answers more credible.

You will receive credit points if you can show that you have formed an own opinion on the topic of the assignment, and not just repeated the course notes !

          The subject line of the relevant email must include:

          your name

          the course

          the assignment number

example: � John Smith � wine2/05 � assignment 7�

          all Assignments must comply with the following requirements:

          it shall not be part of the e-mail�s body but shall be in a separate Word document

          spell checkers must be used before you submit the assignment

          it must include the student�s name and the course description �see example

          it shall be free from typing defects

          proper grammar shall be used (students sometimes wonder why we bother with spelling and grammar: we would not be fulfilling our obligation to you if we allowed you to believe that in the business world it is acceptable to write documents, emails and letters of a low standard!)

          each page must be numbered

          only regular fonts, such as Ariel or Times New Roman, may be used

          the course software standards for submission of assignments are Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Assignments contained in the body of an email are not acceptable and will therefore not be reviewed or graded.

          No copyright infringement or plagiarism is allowed

          Sources, including text books or web sites, used in the preparation of the assignment must be quoted fully at the end of the assignment

          Each question should first be stated, with the answer following it

          all assignment due dates must be strictly complied with, late assignments will not be accepted unless prior arrangements were made with the relevant tutor

          your tutor will review your assignment within a reasonable period, in any event not later than 30 days from your submission date. Such review and grading will be sent to you by email

          students must ensure that assignments are virus-free. Should our virus detection service nevertheless detect a virus such student will be advised thereof and such assignment must be re-submitted, minus said virus, within 24 hours thereof

          students are advised to keep hard copies of their assignments as well as of tutor�s reviews

Student Privacy Policies
Privacy policies and related procedures protect a student�s legal right to privacy and confidentiality. We are committed to respecting your privacy and protecting any information provided by you.

          The information requested during registration is collected by the COLLEGE alone and is used to facilitate effective, personalised communication between student and tutor and to allow us to maintain contact with our registered students.

          By supplying us with personal information, registered students agree to the collection and storage of this information and to the ongoing collection and storage of information relating to that student�s progress.

          Information within a student's progress record can be accessed only by the student, the student's tutor and the administration department of the COLLEGE.

          Other than for the distribution of course materials, or if the law requires it, the COLLEGE will not disclose any personally identifiable information except when we have asked for, and been given, written permission from the student.

          Registered students may, at any time, view the personal information held about them by the COLLEGE. They may update or correct this information by contacting the administration department by email.

          Through this strict policy of privacy the COLLEGE endeavours to protect the information provided by its registered students, however students should be aware that transmission over the internet and the world wide web cannot be guaranteed as totally secure.

          We do not require details about student personal traits such as race, ethnicity or disabilities.

          If we plan to publicize students� work, including, for example, their words in electronic discussions, e-mail, or assignments they will be informed of such decisions and permission to do so will be obtained in advance.

 

Intellectual Property Rights Policy

          The Internet makes it very easy to obtain and use work created by others, hence easy to violate their rights to this work.

          When students unfairly use materials created by others in e-learning assignments, essays or projects they are guilty of plagiarism. This applies to any and all sources they use

          All the materials that form part of this course, together with the announcements posted and words in electronic discussions and email remain the intellectual property of the COLLEGE, not to students who might wish to use them.

          course materials are for class purposes only and cannot be distributed to others without violating the intellectual property rights and/or the privacy rights of the owners of these materials, whether the course tutor, students in the course, or those who created outside sources of information.


Examinations Policy

In keeping with our policy of wishing to produce serious students, and because of accreditation requirements, students following long courses will write exams periodically. Because the majority of our students do so by e-learning this COLLEGE follows the trusted Proctor system.

 

What is a Proctored exam?
A proctored exam is one that is overseen by an impartial individual (called a proctor)who monitors or supervises a student while he or she is taking an exam. The proctor ensures the security and integrity of the exam process. How this works is as follows:

          You must select a person who lives in your area who will act as the proctor (someone who watches examination candidates to prevent cheating).

          This has to be a person of high integrity.

          Neighbours, friends and family members may NOT serve in the role of a proctor. Teachers, lawyers, accountants, librarians, bank managers, medical doctors are all examples of acceptable proctors.

          The proctor selection is based on his/her availability, reliability, and impartiality

          You must also select an appropriate examination site. This could be at the office or even the home of the proctor.

          All proctors and examination sites must be pre-approved by the tutor and the COLLEGE�s administration.

          When a proctor has been selected, the student completes the "Proposed Proctor Approval Request" form (available upon request from the tutor) and forwards the form to the proctor. The proposed proctor completes the proctor approval request and returns it along with a business card and his/her photograph to the administration.

          Mailing the proctor information as early as possible in the course is best. This allows the administration time to verify the proctor and mail the exams in a timely manner.

          Exam papers are mailed directly to the proctor. It is up to you to call the proctor and confirm that the exams have been received. It is also up to you to set up a time on the specific exam day with the proctor to take the exams.

          Students must be able to identify themselves to the proctor with an identity card, driver�s license or other picture identification before taking an exam.

          The tutor lets you and the proctor know in advance what materials can or cannot be used and what to expect at the time of the proctored exam (for example, that the proctor will have all the necessary exam papers and information so that you do not have to worry about this).

          You then take the exam, your proctor completes the "Certification of Exam" form, signs it and MAILS it to the tutor.


Student Code of Conduct Policies

This code of conduct is established to ensure that students have a clear understanding of what their tutor and fellow students expect of their conduct in this class.

Each students is expected :

          To treat other students and tutors with dignity and respect in all discussions and at all times

          Comply with all regulations and policies of the COLLEGE

          Not contravene any policy relating to plagiarism or copyright, violation of which could lead to dismissal from the course

          Regarding attendance: students are expected to attend all work shops, audio-or video-conferences and chat sessions, unless they have obtained an exemption from their tutor in advance

          We expect students to:

o         Be self-motivated and self-disciplined.

o         Be a good time manager.

o         Approach the course with a desire to learn.

o         Voluntarily help other students, bearing in mind, however, that doing other people�s work for them is tantamount to cheating.

o         Develop needed technology skills.

o         Contribute to course discussions.

o         Listen to others, and respond respectfully to their comments.

o         Contribute to team activities, and respect the ideas of others.

o         Comply with all course policies.

o         Submit constructive suggestions for improving the course.

 

Legal issues

          General:
Students are advised to read all of these Policies carefully. Signature of the �Application for Student Registration Form� by the student indicates that such a student has agreed to these Policies becoming the effective terms and conditions of the resulting agreement between the student and the COLLEGE. No separate agreement or contract will be signed between the parties, except where such a separate document, letter or e-mail clearly indicates that it is intended to be read in conjunction with these Policies, in which event such document shall give the student the right and obligation to accept or reject such amended conditions in writing.

          It may be necessary to amend these Policies from time to time, students are therefore cautioned to re-visit these pages from time to time. 

          Use of the website and course materials
The COLLEGE and the COLLEGE materials and any materials licensed from third parties are limited to non-commercial, personal use. No material may be copied, reproduced, re-published, uploaded, posted, transmitted or distributed in any way. Any such use constitutes an infringement of copyright and other intellectual property rights. The website must not be used to transmit any material which may damage, or allow unauthorised access to, the website.

          Payment of fees:

          Cooling-off period:
The COLLEGE has instituted a cooling-off period of 7 weekdays. (No fees are payable until this period has lapsed)
In the event of a student deciding,
within 7 (seven) weekdays from the date of signature of the Student Registration Form, to cancel his/her registration, he/she shall do so in writing, which decision will be communicated to the COLLEGE in writing.

          Right of Cancellation:
In pursuit of its policy of fairness to its students the COLLEGE has now granted  students the following right: when a student who is following a Long or Professional course, has completed no more than 1/5th of her/his course (reckoned on the basis of the number of lessons which form the relevant course), he/she shall have the right to cancel the rest of his/her course, by informing the COLLEGE in writing of that decision, in which event the COLLEGE  shall refund 4/5th of the course fees to such student, minus the registration costs of �25.00. The above course fee only covers those costs as specifically set out in the Course description.

          Take note further that: The right of cancellation referred to above and the Fee Instalment Plan refers ONLY to Long courses and not to the Short courses as described in the Courses section.

          Fee Instalment Plan:
In the event of  a student intending to follow a Long or Professional course he/she may apply for a Fee Instalment Plan and provided that sufficient grounds (in the opinion of the COLLEGE, which decision is final and binding) for this are submitted by such student the COLLEGE will agree to a Fee Instalment Plan in terms of which the student may pay off the course fees in regular, agreed to between the parties, instalments.  The terms of such Fee Instalment Plan determine that the maximum outstanding, unpaid amount which he/she can pay off under this Fee Instalment Plan is 40% of the course fee and that this amount will be settled in full within 3 months from the date of the signature of the Registration Form. If the full balance is not paid on time the student will not receive any further lessons until such payments are brought up to date.

          Trade Marks
The name of the COLLEGE and its domain name, as reflected on this web site, are the property of the COLLEGE. These marks may not be used in any way without the prior written permission of the COLLEGE.

          Responsibilities
When a course is purchased, the COLLEGE agrees to provide the following goods and services: 

          course materials which we believe are suitable for their purpose

          personal tuition in the form of responses to tutor-marked assignments and answers to queries relating to lessons in the course materials.

          Where relevant, and depending on the course, tutors may also hold direct person-to-person classes, practicums, work shops and conduct Field Trips. In such cases the course description or the instructions relating to such specific courses, will clearly indicate the COLLEGE�S responsibilities.

          Limitations
The purchase of a course does not imply any guarantee of exam success, entrance to university or any other educational establishment, professional advancement, employment possibilities or any other particular result. 

Tutors' comments and marks are offered in good faith but cannot be taken as a prediction of examination grades. 

The COLLEGE cannot and does not accept responsibility for entering students for exams or for ensuring that any coursework required is completed.

          Acceptance of Students
Students under the age of 18 years may be considered for registration provided they have had a good, general education up to at least GCSE standard (UK), or equivalent standard, and have the additional support and guidance of an adult at home or at school.

The COLLEGE reserves the right to decline the application of any student, regardless of age. 

          Course Duration
Students following courses are expected to complete their courses within the stipulated time frame.

However, should students find that they are unable to complete the course within this time limit and provided they contact the COLLEGE to request an extension, the COLLEGE shall then decide whether to grant such an extension, and this may also depend on the reasons advanced by the student for such a request. The decision of the COLLEGE regarding the extension of such time shall be final and binding. In the event of a positive decision tutor support will be made available for up to six extra months.

          Termination
If any student fails to comply with any of these Policies, or to hand in or complete any assignment, essay or other project set by a tutor, within the time frame stipulated by such tutor, and continue to neglect to do so after at least 2x emailed requests to do so by such tutor or the COLLEGE, such student�s registration may be cancelled.

The COLLEGE reserves the right to cancel a student�s registration if he/she has made no contact with the COLLEGE for 3 months or longer and has not responded to at least 2 emailled requests for information sent to the e-mail address the COLLEGE have on record for such student.

          Jurisdiction
This agreement shall be governed and interpreted in all respects in accordance with the Laws of Belgium.

 

 

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