Unisa releases video guides for its online portal

At the University of South Africa (Unisa) students need to become intimately familiar with the student portal to facilitate all aspects of their education, but it can be tricky to nail down, especially for newcomers in the second semester of 2022.

Unisa has, over the years, changed and upgraded this portal to meet the various needs of students and educators as it needs to facilitate learning materials, the submission of assignments, group activities, exams and more.

“myUnisa is Unisa’s academic student portal. As a registered student, you will use this portal to access valuable information, such as announcements, administration functions and your registered modules (myModules). To make your student experience at Unisa more enjoyable and accessible, we have upgraded the portal,” reads an announcement released recently.

The university has tried several avenues to educate students in the use of this portal but the latest one may be the best yet.

It is, in essence, a single PDF that anyone can view from this link, but it’s what is in this PDF that’s special.

The document takes the form of three trees addressing online studies, courses on myModules and the completion of assessments.

Each step of each tree links to a separate digital resource addressing a different facet of the portal, but all of these resources are YouTube videos.

We’ve watched through a few of these videos to access both the quality of the instruction and the quality of the video production. Both are rather impressive with clear and concise instructions combined with screen recordings that use a mouse magnifier that clearly shows where the instructor is interacting with the portal.

Also welcome is that each video is only a few minutes long and only addresses one singular outcome, which is preferred over longer videos trying to cram as much information in as possible. See an example of one of these videos below which is an introduction to the portal as a whole.

Lastly, and this is more of an aside, the videos seem to have all be uploaded throughout July, but the aforementioned PDF combining them all into a guide has only been released today.

It seems the videos were prepared well in advance for the second semester, which is appreciated and shows that this solution has been in the cooker for some time.

While this all seems overtly positive the one worry we have is what happens to the videos once a section of the portal changes and makes them obsolete. Unlike a written guide that can be edited and changed on the fly, a video would need to be scrapped entirely and remade to keep up with any changes.


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