The Open Window’s academic and strategic leadership are acutely aware of the responsibility to our students and staff’s ongoing safety and well-being. The Open Window has always, and continues to be, proactive at making decisions that benefit the safety of our students.  The Open Window is overtly in support of students and staff being vaccinated. To this end, and at this precarious moment in time, The Open Window urges our students and staff to get vaccinated.

OW would like to take an active stance in encouraging students to vaccinate. In this regard, students can apply to collect a reimbursement of R500.

  • Current registered OW students will need to produce proof of their vaccination to the designated OW office on or before 30 November 2021.
  • New students enrolling with OW in 2022 will need to produce proof of their vaccination to the designated OW office on or before 8 February 2022.
  • Honours students enrolling with OW in 2022 will need to produce proof of their vaccination to the designated OW office on or before 8 February 2022.

Terms & conditions apply:

  • All vaccine related information provided to OW will be handled with confidentiality.
  • ‘Proof of vaccination’ in this context refers to a student who has completed their vaccination process. In other words, students must provide proof of having received both of their Pfizer doses, or students must provide proof of having received their single Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose.
  • Please note that a flat rate of R500 is available for fully vaccinated students. This is not a rate per vaccine dose.
  • Students who do not want to form part of this incentive programme may opt out or indicate this position to OW.
  • Open Window is not making it mandatory for students to be vaccinated.
  • Open Window will not be held liable for any medical or financial harm or injury that occurs directly or indirectly as a result of students being vaccinated.

Steps to claim the incentive:

All students will receive an emailer from the Student Support Department with a link to apply for the reimbursement of R500.  A student will receive confirmation from OW after which the incentive can be collected on campus.  More information will be provided in the emailer.

Please contact OW Student Support for more information.


The Open Window has adopted a multi-modal, or hybrid, teaching and learning approach, making use of both virtually mediated contact time between lecturers and students, coupled with regular and meaningful on-campus lectures, workshops, group discussions, group workshops, and critical evaluations.

Informed by observation and feedback during 2020 and 2021, we have identified three teaching and learning ‘models’, which are applied according to which model best suits the subject’s requirements:

  • Model 1: A predominantly campus facilitated approach
    For our subjects / modules requiring specialist equipment, access to facilities, or hands-on training, we are adopting a predominantly campus-facilitated approach. Should these subjects have theory sessions linked to them, these will take place online via synchronous virtual mediation. However, major practical classes and training will take place on campus every week.
  • Model 2: A multi-modal approach (50% of the time on campus, 50% of the time online)
    For OW subjects / modules that thrive using synchronous virtual teaching approaches, whilst still benefiting from campus-facilitated contact time, we are adopting a multi-modal approach. Classes will take place virtually one week and on-campus the following week.
  • Model 3: A predominantly virtually facilitated approach
    For subjects that thrive virtually, we have adopted a fully virtually mediated approach. Synchronous virtual teaching will take place: all contact time, lecturer tutorials, class times, workshops, exercises, which would have taken place on campus will take place using real-time virtual platforms (GMeet, Hangouts, Miro, Discord, etc.). Students continue to be guided each step of the way, and can contact the lecturer at any stage for advice, guidance and assistance (as per our on-campus contact sessions). Students will still engage with lecturers on campus every term, either in meaningful discussion sessions, workshops, events and jams. In this way, we are ensuring contact time with our lecturers, and facilitating meaningful explorative time, both virtually and through real-time contact.

All three models will make use of our virtual learning environment (Canvas), which outlines the course programme, the term’s schedule and assessment requirements, whilst also allowing the students to explore content, read articles, watch informative videos, watch curated selections of tutorials, and more through the platform.

The Open Window has implemented these models to ensure that we can benefit from the advantages of both virtual and on-campus learning, in order to assure that our students receive the best learning experience that we can offer them. All virtually mediated methodologies are synchronous and will be followed by on-campus engagement between students and lecturers, whether this takes the form of on-campus events, workshops, demonstrations, presentations, or assessments. It is important to note, therefore, that The Open Window is not offering asynchronous distance learning, and students will need to be in a position to be able to attend campus when required.

2022 Pedagogical Model per Subject / module


The Department of Higher Education distinguishes between ‘Emergency remote teaching’; ‘Mixed mode teaching’ and ‘Distance learning’. Institutions, along with all their contact accredited courses, have been given permission under the Disaster Management Act, to move teaching practices online.

The Open Window has adopted a ‘Mixed Mode’ or hybrid teaching approach since March 2020, meaning that we are utilising synchronous virtual teaching platforms, mixed with face-to-face contact with the students, where possible and within our covid-compliant campus access restrictions. Our multi-model approach is not classified as distance learning, and despite certain subjects being taught predominantly online and others predominantly on campus, all subjects will require synchronous meet ups with students, real time feedback and constant contact (both virtual and on-campus), mixed with on campus workshops, critical sessions and subject events. All virtually mediated methodologies are synchronous and will be followed by on-campus engagement between students and lecturers, whether this takes the form of on-campus events, workshops, demonstrations, presentations, or assessments.

It is important to note, therefore, that The Open Window is not offering asynchronous distance learning, and students will need to be in a position to be able to attend campus when required. All Open Window students will need to be able to come to campus when required.


Course costs are calculated at a cost per credit.

All software required for the course content is included in the course fees and made available to students (apart from Pro Tools and Solidworks, which is available to students on campus).

We engage a holistic offering with professional and highly qualified lecturers designing and facilitating the courses. This remains true for both lectures that take place on campus, as well as those presented synchronously in a virtual environment.

OW students are not enrolled in a ‘distance learning’ course – they have consistent access to their lecturers (whether on campus or remote), classes take place in real time, and the student-centered pedagogical approach requires engagement from both the lecturer and student consistently and in real time. Students are also encouraged, when possible, to continue to utilise all specialist spaces, specialist studios, specialist equipment and technologies, regardless of whether classes are taking place online or not.

When the national imperative requires all classes to revert to virtual mediation (Adjusted Alert Level 3 to 5), The Open Window academic department has ensured that all course material is has been re-developed, redesigned, or able to be restructured in a manner that allows us to continue the academic year virtually. We are thus steadfast to be able to reduce the disruption to our academic year whilst ensuring that students do not miss out on any necessary content/skills demonstrations, and that the quality of our teaching and learning processes are not compromised.

While we do acknowledge that for some subjects, the shift to an exclusively virtually-mediated teaching environment is not ideal,  for these subjects:

  • We prioritise the focus on production theory, skills tutorials and content that forms part of the curriculum, and that can be virtually mediated (restructuring of the content)
  • We prioritise these subjects’ return to campus as soon as possible, and where necessary, arrange additional workshops and demonstrations to reiterate skills taught whilst exclusively online
  • Where possible, we still prioritise access to campus for these students to ensure access to technologies and specialist spaces, despite classes not taking place on campus

Self-Directed Learning projects

At times, OW requires students to engage in short periods of self-directed learning projects, which forms part of OW’s contact-accredited programmes. Self-study periods are a regulated teaching method at OW, and this approach is used across all subjects and years in order to develop cross-critical skills. Some of these skills include assessing the student’s ability to:

  • Demonstrate a capacity to take responsibility for learning;
  • Effectively manage oneself and one’s activities;
  • Effectively conveying the ability to communicate and present information reliably (both verbally and visually) and timeously; and
  • Devising solutions as an individual to present work professionally in the appropriate and required format for evaluation timeously

Self directed learning allows our students the opportunity to show their ability to take initiative, and achieve the designated goals without requiring constant feedback from a lecturer in implementing the designated learning strategies. This is a distinguished approach and technique accredited as part of our contact learning programmes, and is not considered asynchronous/distance learning.


Quality control is being managed with regards to online teaching methodologies. We are using protocols, as laid out by the CHE, for all quality measures. We also duly note that we are simply using digital interfaces to continue our teaching practices remotely.


Our campus is open and we want to welcome you to campus!

Specialist equipment & spaces

Access to campus is always prioritised, where possible, and even if classes are unable to take place on campus.

OW always prioritised students’ access to our specialist equipment, technologies and spaces, and protocols are implemented and adjusted to ensure that all capacities and procedures linked to the specialist spaces are Covid-compliant.

The specialist spaces are listed as below, and all protocols will be made available on request:

  • Library
  • MakerSpace
  • Workshop
  • Sound Studio and Booth
  • Edit Suite
  • Photography Studio
  • Gear Room


OW invested in two new systems which we have been launching in a phased approach throughout 2021.

OW invested in a new Student Information System (SIS) which improves:

  • Academic registration processes
  • Financial processes
  • Academic Results
  • Student Support
  • Timetabling

OW also launched our Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas in 2021.

Canvas is used by students to access their courses online, gain access to learning materials and receive regular communication about skills development and learning achievements.

Canvas is managed online by academic staff who disseminate all course information via this system (Study Guides, briefs, etc.) as well as additional materials, links, quizzes, surveys, marks records, and more.

We have also launched the Student Portal, which allow students and parents access to:

  • Academic progress
  • Academic results
  • Financial standing
  • Class attendance
  • Timetable
  • Registration information


OW tries to ensure students get plenty of chances to be social and make new connections through events taking place on campus. When we do have opportunities to host on campus events safely during Covid, we do. All protocols are in place to prioritise safety.


The Open Window is in a good position to manage the proceedings of the academic year, despite a return to more restrictive levels. Through our previous experience, we have adopted the following approaches:

  • During Level 5 and 4 (generally implemented during ‘waves’ when numbers are high, and students are at risk attending classes on campus), we utilise a fully online synchronous approach.

Where possible, we still encourage students to make use of our specialist spaces and equipment – following strict covid-compliant protocols for these spaces and processes.

All events and socials are cancelled / postponed.

  • During Level 3 we prioritise a return to campus teaching for those subjects and modules that require access to specialist equipment and spaces.

Subjects that can continue online, do.

Large indoor events and socials are cancelled / postponed.

  • During Level 2 and 1, we follow our timetable where we utilise the three OW teaching models (Campus facilitated, multimodal, or virtually facilitated methods)

We encourage students to utilise our specialist equipment and spaces, still following strict Covid-protocols for safety.

We open up events on campus, which are access controlled and follow strict Covid safety protocols.

The value of uninterrupted virtual teaching ensures that our students continue to learn, continue to have full contact (albeit virtually) with all our lecturers, continue to have  virtual access to all our support services, and of course, ensures the continuation of quality learning experiences in a manner that mitigates a knock on effect in the completion of the student’s qualification.


At The Open Window Institute, we have a Student Support Department that is specifically designed to cater to your administrative, academic, financial and emotional needs. We have staff available to assist you in these areas, both on campus as well as remotely. In addition to your studies, we acknowledge the importance of a healthy and balanced student life and strive towards making your student experience all the more worthwhile by offering a selection of on-campus and virtual student initiatives.

Administrative Support

 We acknowledge the importance of a well equipped start to the academic year. Our Orientation Programme is designed to be both informative and fun for students, and more importantly, a safe environment for all. For the Orientation Programme, students are placed into smaller groups – and the programme is repeated throughout the week(s) so as to ensure that we accommodate all of our new students, but maintain safe numbers of students on campus throughout the programme (Covid-compliance). This approach also allows us to interact with students in a more constructive and enriching manner, and allows time for a personalised introduction to The Open Window.

During the Orientation Programme, all relevant academic and non-academic information is discussed with our students. Students are equipped with access to CANVAS, the Student Portal, Adobe licenses, and their virtual window email accounts. Students are also introduced to the Yearbook, provided access to their timetables, and are informed about the different forms of administrative support available throughout their studies.

Students have access to the Student Information Centre that is based on campus, as well as unlimited access to the student help email boxes that cater to administrative support: and student support:

For financial assistance or questions students may contact

Academic Support: Tutoring Programme and Library Support

 The Student Support Department works with academic staff to ensure that students receive academic support throughout their studies at OW.

We also have a Tutoring Programme, wherein Honours students are assigned to undergraduate student groups to provide them with additional academic support. Students are supported by a means of the tutor providing extra exercises or recapping exercises that were presented in their classes, or being available for additional contact sessions.

Please note that tutors will be assigned once an assessment cycle has been completed, as this helps us to determine which students need additional academic support. OW may not have a tutor available in every specialisation field, and tutors are dependent on availability of honours students willing to be tutors during their academic year of study.

The Open Window Library provides students access to a range of supporting learning materials. This includes the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), a prescribed database, open access to journals, and books. Students have access to computer studios on campus, however the student may access the library databases from the comfort of their homes. WiFi and Hotspots are available to all students on campus.

For any queries, please feel free to contact:

Emotional Support: Counselling and Study Skills Support

 Open Window has a specialised Student Counsellor in place that is available to support your emotional wellness and mental health with access to free individual counselling sessions, workshops and support groups. Our Student Counsellor is available both physically on campus, as well as virtually.

For any counselling or study skills support, please feel free to email:

Students with Special Needs and Learning Difficulties

 OW strongly encourages students with learning challenges to disclose all such challenges upon applying for admission at OW. Disclosure is required to enable the institution to assess whether it is adequately equipped to provide the prospective student with sufficient support during their studies, ensuring successful completion of their studies and ensuring a holistic academic experience. Should students experience any learning difficulties during their time at The Open Window, the Student Support Department will ensure that the student receives additional support through a variety of academic or non-academic resources, including free consultations with our qualified campus counsellor.

OW will allow for academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and reasonable accommodations to students with learning disabilities to ensure students are not denied the benefits of, or excluded from participation in OW’s program. This support may not infringe on any requirements that are outlined by the CHE as part of the

requirements for students to achieve a degree.

Student Life: SRC Initiatives and Student Clubs

 Open Window  acknowledges the importance of developing students through organised student initiatives and activities. The Student Representative Council (SRC) is linked to the Student Support Department as they assist OW staff in supporting the student body. The SRC is encouraged to use their platform to engage with students and identify their needs as well as propose initiatives that cater to those needs.

Open Window actively makes available spaces that promote the health and wellness of its students, and addresses students’ physical, spiritual and social needs, by encouraging participation in student clubs. OW Clubs are developed around student interest. Our clubs are diverse and intriguing and are designed to create a sense of belonging to our students. Club participation is especially encouraged during the pandemic where many students find themselves isolated and out of touch with their peers.

Open Window strives to always ensure the safety and security of our staff and students. All campus activities are carefully thought out, with strict Covid protocols  taken into account and adhered to at all times. Our facilities team ensures that our venues are always equipped with the necessary protective equipment and that staff and students are screened before entering the premises.