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The Postgraduate Skills Development Programme has created some resources on SUNLearn for postgraduate students at Stellenbosch University (SU). These resources are available to you for free and are aimed at those students who cannot attend the workshops we host on the campuses. The courses are hosted on the SU learning management system, SUNLearn. You can access this system here.
All postgraduate students are registered on SUNLearn under the Postgraduate Skills Development module. Self enrol here if you find that you don't have automatic access to the main module. Once you have access, you will be able to browse the submodules loaded on the system. Some submodules are open access, while others require an additional subscription.
The SUNLearn Course contains the following modules:
Online Only Courses
The courses in this section were developed to stand alone as online only workshops, specifically for those students who may have missed a certain workshop, who work or are not in a position to attend the workshops we host on campus.
Writing a Research Proposal (Online Resources Module 1)
This module deals with the process of writing a research proposal taking into account the basic components, FAQs and tips to help you create a document that guide you in your thesis writing over the course of your Masters or PhD. We have structured this as an online only module and will normally be presented as the first part of the on-campus Creating your Thesis/Dissertation workshop that forms part of the 5 Key Skills presented by PG Skills and Dr Layla Cassim.
Key Concepts in Research Design and Methodology (Online Resources Module 2)
To access this module, you should have completed Module 1 (writing a research proposal). You would thus have your research question, research statement, hypotheses, goals/aims as well as research objectives. You would also have completed a proposed research design and methodology section in your research proposal (see section 12 of chapter 2 of Module 1). We touched on research design and methodology very briefly in that section, and now we are going to explore this topic in much greater detail in this module. This module is adapted from the on-campus Creating your Thesis/Dissertation (Dr Layla Cassim) workshop that forms part of the 5 Key Skills.
Writing your Thesis or Dissertation (Online Resource Module 3)
To acces this module, you should have completed Module 2 (key concepts in research design and methodology). In this module you will be provided with an overview of how to approach the writing of your theses, from initial considerations, to approaching the structure of your thesis and finally the steps to submitting your thesis. This module is adapted from the on-campus Creating your Thesis/Dissertation (Dr Layla Cassim) workshop that forms part of the 5 Key Skills.
Other courses that link to workshops
This module will give you access to the Turnitin Sandbox where you can submit your work to the Turnitin similarity checker without it forming part of the permanent Turnitin database. This is especially handy for those students wanting to check their work for potential plagiarism before handing it in for examination. This module is supplemental to the on campus workshop Avoiding Plagiarism and we are in the process of adding more resources to the course. This course forms part of the 5 Key Skills workshops.
MS Word for Large Documents
The MS Word for large documents tutorial is an on-campus workshop for students who would like to learn how to format a large document such as a thesis or dissertation effectively. The course aims to help students create a stable, well formatted document that is neat and complies with Stellenbosch University's requirements. The SUNLearn module is supplemental to the on campus workshop and contains notes and course material for the sessions. We are in the process of developing an online tutorial.
Guidelines for Good Power Point Slides
Some principles of good PowerPoint slides.
Additional Reading and Interesting Resources for postgraduates. If we find something interesting we will load it here - from how to write to simply finding out more about the postgraduate environment at SU and other universities around the world.
The online on-track planner tool has been developed as an interactive resource to guide postgraduate students through the research process and allow their supervisors to view their progress. The tool is best used in Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome internet browsers, or Internet Explorer 10 and up. Postgraduate students registered at Stellenbosch University can sign in to create an account. Apart from the time-management tool benefits, students can invite their supervisors to link to their account to streamline and encourage student-supervisor communications.