The team at Richfield are ready!!  They are ready to roll out online examinations to in excess of 14 000 students nationally following the switch to online learning at the end of March, when Level 5 lockdown was announced. Their students were already geared for online learning with the enrolment for most courses including a free laptop or PC Tablet equipped with a sim card that provides zero rated data to Richfield’s Learning Management System. “The use of technology, in the form of issuing devices as well as providing free remote access to our Learner Management System was introduced 6 years ago in an effort to support our contact learning students” says Stefan Ferreira, Richfield CEO. “Our technology offering went from supporting our students to being the primary delivery mode when the first lockdown was announced, a switch our IT and academic teams were able to make in a matter of days” he adds.

The switch to online prompted Richfield to upgrade the IT infrastructure to accommodate the spike in users on their LMS.  Early last month, the Richfield IT team proceeded to complete a full server migration to new infrastructure supporting the online learning platform. The new instance is 20 times more powerful and can support an estimated 110 000 users. In addition to this, the network resources have been upgraded to dual 1Tb/s links supporting full redundancy to the servers and sufficient network capacity to handle the increase student load during the lock down periods.

“Our last 90 days usage is showing a peak connectivity count of just under 15,000 students utilising the system in a single day and as such the institution is deemed to have sufficient capacity to handle the current and ongoing demands of the online learning experience” states Zane Ramnundlall, Chief Information Officer at Richfield.

With the IT preparations for the examinations complete, the academic team at Richfield is also putting in all of the necessary preparation to ensure the examinations run smoothly. Mock examinations have been set up to help students prepare for their exams as well as familiarise themselves with the online exam environment. Richfield students have  adapted very well to online testing with the various semester tests being very well attended.

In addition to the exam preparations the institution has enhanced its content online for all programmes and also put in place various remote academic support mechanisms to enable attainment of learning outcomes, as well as prepare students for formative and summative assessments. “We believe that no student should be left behind academically as a result of online teaching and learning” says Dr Stephen Akandwanaho, Richfield’s Chief Academic Officer.

The virtual examination halls are fully prepped and ready to welcome Richfield students from Monday the 29th of June.