Over R4 Million Worth Of Learner Rewards Secured For UCT Online High School's Gamified 'Academic Rewards Programme'


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With learning innovation at the forefront - harnessing behavioural science and rewards in education has proven to improve learner engagement and progression. "We are thrilled to announce that our incredible Reward partners have secured rewards exceeding 4 Million rands for the year 2024, promising an exciting and rewarding journey ahead!", said Grant Ruskovich, Chief Partnerships Officer.


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Data-driven online education provides valuable insights into learning behaviours and optimal learning scenarios. With this data in hand since its first cohort in 2022, UCT Online High School has been able to analyse and evolve to their learners’ progress - an aspect unique to online schooling, which is considerably more adaptable than the common brick and mortar schooling. 

Executive Head of School and Chief Academic Officer, Banele Lukhele, says, "At the start of last year, we announced that we would roll out a range of enhancements ahead of the start of the new school year, including our structured flexibility model, a first-of-its-kind guardian mobile app, dynamic academic support and a gamification and rewards programme.

Learners were significantly more engaged and motivated when compared to the 2022 academic year and the partners that were included in our rewards programme played a big role in that success.

While the ‘ConnectED’ Guardian mobile app has proved to be a vital engagement tool for parent, learner and school interactions (otherwise known as the ‘Learning Triad’) - it is most evident that the gamified ‘Academic Rewards Programme’, which involves learning incentives for actions such as lesson completion, assignment submission, and course access etc, has shown the most impact in learner progression.

The programme is delivered in a gamification-style dual interface which offers virtual, tangible and in-person rewards and experiences available to learners who achieve the required milestones in their learning journey.

Harnessing Behavioural Science and Rewards in Education

Effective learning hinges on fostering positive learning behaviours. At UCT Online High School, they leverage the principles of behavioural science and rewards to cater to the unique developmental stages and motivations of their learners. Here's how these concepts are intrinsically connected:

  • Adolescent Development: Behavioural science takes into account the cognitive, emotional, and social development of teenagers, aligning reward systems with their evolving needs.

  • Motivation and Autonomy: Adolescents yearn for autonomy and control over their choices. The school’s approach empowers the learners to take charge of their educational journey by offering choices and control, using rewards as incentives.

  • Peer Influence: Recognising the impact of peer influence and competition, they incorporate elements like leaderboards and peer recognition to harness the motivation to excel or collaborate.

  • Immediate Feedback: Adolescents thrive on instant feedback and timely rewards, making it essential to promptly deliver rewards to reinforce desired behaviours.

  • Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: Striking a balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations is key to engaging teenagers effectively.

  • Gamification: Rooted in behavioural science, gamification principles, including points, levels, challenges, and rewards, make learning enjoyable and motivate active participation.

At UCT Online High School, their secret weapon for cultivating good learning behaviour is the online rewards platform — a realm where subjects are not just taught, they are adored. With their gamified Rewards Platform, completion rates soar, and learners become passionate advocates. It's not just a vision; it's a proven reality.

Rewards Categories 

Their ‘Rewards Store’ features rewards grouped into three distinct categories, ensuring ongoing variety and suitability for high school learners. Learners utilise virtual tokens to acquire rewards or enter raffles for high-value offerings. These three categories include:

  1. Experiential Rewards: Opportunities for learners to engage in virtual or physical experiences, such as meeting prominent figures, interacting with industry leaders, or participating in exciting events.

  2. Monetary Rewards: These rewards encompass redeemable vouchers, event discounts, online store purchases, and "buy one, get one free" specials.

  3. Merchandise/Equipment Rewards: This category offers physical items that learners can acquire using their virtual tokens, including clothing, branded merchandise, tech hardware, and more.

UCT Online High School has partnered with notable brands from across South Africa to offer a wide range of Rewards and Complementary Service Partners - these vouchers, discounts or promo codes range from learning support services, technology and innovative products, to outdoor physical activity experiences, and popular lifestyle offerings. 

As a member of the UCT Online High School family - parents, guardians and learners have access to a variety of Complementary Service Partners who provide an array of unique opportunities and services that enrich their learners' educational experience. All of this with the added benefit of a unique discount only available to enrolled learners.

A commendable shout-out to all the UCT Online High School partners who have generously donated and are currently supporting the school’s mission of educational change for learners in South Africa! 

These rewards and complementary service offerings are available to learners and parents and offer a range of benefits: 

Rewards Partners (Available only to UCT Online High School learners)

  • A Class Tutors - Over R20,000 worth of learner rewards that offers individualised tutoring and exam prep services, which aims to guide and support a learner through their educational journey.

  • AdvantageLearn.com Further Studies - Over R20,000 worth of learner rewards in Further Studies Courses. 

  • The Angus Lowe Experience - Over R20,000 worth of learner rewards that offers life changing, action based adventures for personal development and growth for teens.

  • Bounce Inc Parties - Rewards that offer access to massive indoor trampoline parks for all ages at venues around South Africa.

  • Exclusive Books - Various high-value voucher rewards for learners for access to Exclusive Books wide range of books and products. 

  • JEFF Fitness - Over R28,000 worth of rewards in the form of 12 month subscriptions for online fitness classes and services. 

  • Planet Fitness - Over R3,5 million worth of rewards for weekly access to any Planet Fitness gym across the country. Plus exclusive branded merch packs for learners. 

  • rAge Expo - Over R75,000 worth of rewards in the form of access passes to attend rAge Expo 2024. Day Pass tickets for rAge Expo - South Africa's go-to mega event for video gaming, technology, eSports, geek culture and digital entertainment.

  • Reflective Learning - Over R280,000 worth of rewards in online remedial platform access that assists in closing the academic gaps in Maths and English for learners in the CAPS system. 

  • SPAZAEats - Over R60,000 worth of rewards vouchers for use on the SPAZAEats food delivery service. Register on SPAZAEats and enjoy your preferred Kasi meal worth R100 with a unique voucher code. Over 600 unique vouchers for grabs.

  • Total Ninja Obstacle & Inflatable Park - Rewards vouchers that offer access to Total Ninja Parks in Gauteng and Western Cape. Spend an hour of adrenaline rush at the obstacle and inflatable park.

Complementary Service Partners (Available to UCT Online High School learners, guardians and staff)

  • A Class Tutors - Exclusive 10% discount to NSC and CI tutors and access to Exam preparation packages.

  • AdvantageLearn.com Further Studies - Exclusive 15% discount to improve self-discipline and critical thinking skills.  

  • The Angus Lowe Experience - Exclusive 5% discount that offers life changing, action based adventures for personal development and growth for teens.

  • Bounce Inc Parties - Exclusive discount that offer access to massive indoor trampoline parks for all ages at venues around South Africa.

  • Digicape - Exclusive 5% discount on all Apple Mac products available to Learners, Parents and staff.

  • Exclusive Books - 1000 vouchers for use at Exclusive Books outlets across the country. 

  • JEFF Fitness - Exclusive 25% discount to online gym services available to Adult Learners, Parents and staff.

  • Planet Fitness - Exclusive discount to all types of subscriptions available to Learners, Parents and staff.

  • Reflective Learning - Exclusive 25% discount to access to Remedial Maths and English services that helps students identify and close learning gaps that hold them back from reaching their full potential.

  • Snapplify Education - 1000’s of free resources including past papers for NSC, CI IGCSE and study guides. UCT Online High School setwork lists are available to learners and guardians.

  • Your SchoolBox - Exclusive 20% discount on UCT Online High School’s recommended stationary requirements. 

Amplifying success through Partnerships

At UCT Online High School, they not only understand the significance of partnerships but also hold them in high regard. They believe that collaboration is key to enhancing the educational journey of their parents, guardians and learners and are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to create value-added experiences for their extended family.

Partnerships are not just a means to an end; they are an integral part of the school’s commitment to making a positive impact on the South African educational landscape. 

"It takes a village to raise a child" - African Proverb

"As Chief Partnerships Officer, I am immensely proud of the diverse and generous partners who have joined us in supporting our groundbreaking gamified Academic Rewards programme — a first of its kind in South Africa. Our success is a testament to the power of partnerships, showcasing how collaboration can motivate and empower the youth of South Africa towards academic excellence." - Grant Ruskovich, Chief Partnerships Officer

Calling all Corporates

For corporates that would like to find out more about becoming a Rewards partner at UCT Online High School, get in touch on partnerships@uctonlinehighschool.com.

The Learner success is evident

UCT Online High School is immensely proud of their 2023 Grade 12 learner achievements, with one of their candidates, Tanya du Toit, being awarded the 1st place across all SACAI-accredited schools in South Africa. Tanya achieved 6 distinctions and will be spending 2024 completing a study course as a part of her gap year and will be exploring more of her interests and hobbies.

‘’I am pleasantly surprised with my grades, which have surpassed my expectations. I never envisioned becoming the top achiever for UCT Online High School or SACAI, so this leaves me slightly stunned. For the most part, I am filled with an overwhelming amount of gratitude.

I am so thankful for the constant encouragement from my parents throughout the year, and from my chief invigilator during the exam season. I appreciate UCT Online High School for being so supportive, and for maintaining a level of interaction between the teachers and us students.

Whenever I got a positive comment from a teacher or marker, it put a huge smile on my face, and motivated me to keep pushing. Thank you all for being the pillars of my achievement.’’- Tanya du Toit

In addition to this, two other UCT Online High School learners were placed in the top 12, achieving 10 distinctions between them. All three of their top achievers joined UCT Online High School in 2022 and their growth over these two years has not gone unnoticed.

A special mention must be given to their parents for the commitment and engagement that they provided in supporting the mission of the school.

The UCT Online High School employs a unique learning model, combining self-paced learning with structured flexibility. This approach has allowed the school to adapt its teaching methods based on data-driven insights, ensuring the best possible outcomes for learners.

The school's commitment to continuous improvement is evident in the enhancements made to its learning model throughout 2022 and into 2023, which have resulted in significant learning gains and personal developments for learners across all grades as is evident in the 2023 year end results.

UCT Online High School welcomes learners and parents from any corner of the country, looking for a high-quality, online education. UCT Online High School does schooling differently. Forget classrooms, back-to-back lectures, and lots of wasted time. Here, the focus is on learning, and this is how they do it.

Trusted by 8,000+ parents across the country. 

Suggested Article:

UCT Online high school matriculants

Matric exams can be a daunting prospect for learners. UCT Online High School learners have excelled despite not following traditional schooling with one of their learners achieving first place in the country. 








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