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Throughput rates are a cause for concern across South African universities. Acceptance at university does not guarantee success for students, particularly the historically and economically disadvantaged majority. This challenge is exacerbated in Open Distance e-Learning institutions such as the University of South Africa (UNISA). Through a case study, this paper discusses key issues affecting students who were on the brink of completion, requiring one or two modules to complete their Bachelor of Education qualification at UNISA. The two hundred students who were part of the study were enrolled in the second-level English module, Genres in Literature and Language: Theory, Style and Poetics. The sampling was voluntary and purposeful from students in this module, who either sought assistance with the module content via email or who qualified for the FI Concession, which is an additional assessment opportunity for final-year students. The study identifies existing barriers to successful study using Keller’s (1987) ARCS Model of Motivation. It offers a glimpse of support efforts provided to these students using the myUnisa Learning Management System in combination with the WhatsApp application, short video podcasts, and NoRedInk. The latter is an online learning site that seeks to develop writing skills through grammar and writing activities. These digital platforms and resources were used as part of the Lecturer-in-the-Pocket (LiP) approach, which underpins the intervention. The success of this cohort provides another approach to improving throughput rates in Open Distance e-Learning institutions.
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