Frequently Asked Questions about Statewide Online

Why is U3A SA providing these courses.

It is doing so in collaboration with affiliated U3As so online courses can be shared across the state. 

What technology is used to offer the courses?

There isn't any set technolgy. At present Zoom is the most popular online means, but but Google Meet is cheaper and very good: see below for more.

Who can propose a course and where can I do this?

Any member of a participating U3A in South Austrlalia. Go to For Tutors in the website menu and Propose a Course. The Coordinator will beb in touch immediately to help get it ready to launch

What do you mean by a 'course'?

Course is our generic term for any U3A Presentation - a Course, class, Discussion Group, Demonstration, Seminar, Workshop etc.

What do you mean by a 'tutor'?

Tutor is our generic term for a presenter, leader, lecturer, instructor, etc.

How do I propose an online course?

Use the Propose a Course button under For Tutors. The proposal will be forwarded to your U3A for approval. Once approved it will be ready for enrolments.

Who can enrol?

Any member of a South Australian U3A

How do members statewide enrol in a course?

Use the Enrolment button on the Courses Online page.

What's to stop peple who are not not U3A members from enroling?

Total enrolments will be collated and lists for each U3A will be forwarded to their home base where they can be checked against memership.

What about length, time of day, length of a program and so on?

For online courses there are very few rules. They can be conducted at whatever time suits the tutor/instructor and participants, there are no constraints about room availability and the number of particiants depends on the nature of the session/s. They can be intimate with a handful of participants or they can be presentations to a large audience.

Does a U3A participating in the program need to contribute online courses?

No. Participation simply means that the U3A will let its members know about Statewide, promote the offerings, giving members the opportunity to enrol in courses and maybe, contribute courses. 

Could a course be one I already offer face to face?

Yes. It can be an online add-on to your face-to-face course  becoming a 'Dual' course, where there is a regular class plus a TV with online people attending. [see Zoom section below]

What skills and equipment does a member need to take part?

An email account is necessary and a computer or tablet and an internet connection. The skills required are quite modest. People seem to learn the basics in 10 minutes. A person without the above may have a buddy who is a Co Host in Zoom. Also, some Zoom sessions may have a small group who meet together to join in. See 'Dual' below.

About Zoom

How can one find out how Zoom works and can be used and what is good practice?

There will be regular sessions advertised on this site to provide tuition online about how to use Zoom for betinners and sessions for experienced uses to share ideas. See Zoom for Beginners and Zoom for Presenters

Does Zoom have some advantages over face to face delivery?

1.There is no need to travel. 2.Sessions can be recorded so if someone misses a class they can catch up by viewing the video. 3.Zoom is good at sharing documents and anything on a screen, showing details very clearly. There are also obvious disadvantages!

What are the technical facilities needed for a Dual live and online course?

Attention needs to be given to the physical setup so that the online people don't feel second class attendees. A laptop or tablet displaying on a large TV screen brings the remote members into the room. Sound needs to be loud enough for all. If display for the class is by Zoom's Share Screen then all attendees can see clearly.

About Google Meet

How does Google Meet compare?

Google Meet is quite similar to Zoom. It is signifiantly cheaper and has slightly reduced capabiities. The main differences are that Google Meet costs $11.49 a month for the starting paid plan which allows up to 100 participants. Zoom is about $22 a month. The basic free plan allows 60 min sessons but no recording. The controls in Google a even simpler than Zoom. To be a host requires a Google account which gives access to Calendar, gmail and much more. Inviting people to join a meeting is exceptionaly simple. Just mail a link. 

Technical Stuff

What is the online system that is running this?

AirTable is a very sophisticated online data-base that is used by large companies to mange their businesses. It provides a very attracvite and flexible interface and one with growing potential as the amazed operater learns... slowly.