What is e/merge Africa?


e/merge Africa is a new educational technology network which is mostly for educational technology researchers and practitioners in African higher education. During early 2014 e/merge Africa started offering regular professional development activities in the form of online seminars and workshops and short courses. You are invited to join our Facebook group, use the short contact form or mail us at info@emergeafrica.net. If you would like to lead a seminar, workshop or short course please send us a proposal.

Social Media Adoption by Nigerian Universities – How have they fared?

Please notice new dates: Monday 12 October – Friday 16 October 2015

This is a one week seminar and our programme for the week will look the following:
Monday 12 October: We will provide access to a landing page on our live-site with presentation resources and a discussion forum.

Wednesday 14 October: Olufemi Olundodun will host a one hour online live session via Adobe Connect, where Olufemi will give a 30 minute presentation with a subsequent opportunity to ask questions and engage with our presenter. We have scheduled this session for Wednesday 14 October at 1 pm (Central African Time): This is:

11 am in Accra
12 pm in Abuja
1 pm in Cape Town
2 pm in Nairobi

More information on how to join this live session via Adobe Connect will be provided soon.

Friday 16 October: Last day of the seminar. Landing page and discussion forum will remain open beyond this week.

To join this online seminar please use the signup form below

Olufemi Olubodun

The increasingly pervasive use of social media has changed the ways that individuals and institutions relate, communicate and share knowledge, with both positive and negative effects. In order to enhance their online visibility and presence universities have focused on a few large social networks. This study by Olufemi Olubodun Assistant Chief Technologist in the Faculty of Dental Sciences at University of Lagos, Nigeria, examines the presence, usage and visibility of social media on Nigerian university websites. The social media sites of institutions in Nigeria were compared to those of institutions in Europe and America in order to answer questions about the use, impact and prospects of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Social Media Adoption by Nigerian Universities

Teachers and Students’ Perceptions of the Use of Mobile Technology to Facilitate Teaching and Learning

21 – 25 September 2015

Our next online seminar will be presented by Dr. Paul Nyagorme, University of Cape Coast, Ghana and Kafui Aheto, who is currently a doctoral candidate at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa. They will share their findings from a study on perceptions of mobile technologies as a facilitator for teaching and learning. This seminar includes a live online meeting and asynchronous discussion and is free of charge.

Please join us for a live online presentation Wednesday 23 September at 3 pm (GMT+2) – This when it’s 1 pm in Accra, 2 pm in Abuja, 3 pm in Cape Town and 4 pm in Nairobi. To join, please follow this link to the Adobe Connect Meeting Room. At the prompt, please choose Sign in as Guest – then provide your name in the text field and choose Enter Room.

“The purpose of this study was to find out the perceptions of students and teachers towards the use of mobile technology in the teaching and learning process. Descriptive research methodology was used for the study. In all, 375 respondents participated in the study. They were made up of 300 students and 75 teachers selected from senior high schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis. Structured questionnaire was the main data collecting instrument. The study found that majority (84.7%) of the students in Cape Coast Metropolis had mobile phones as compared to those with personal computers and the majority (73.0%) of the students also had their mobile phones with them very often than their personal computers. The study also found that more than half of both the teachers and students also indicated that they would like to use mobile devices to support their teaching and learning. The study recommended a model for teaching and learning using mobile technology tools. It was recommended that school administration should organize in-service education and training (INSET) on mobile devices and technologies for teachers and students.”

Dr. Paul Nyagorme University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Kafui Aheto Doctoral Candidate at Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Online Facilitation Course – October – November 2015

facilitating online

We invite applications from educational technologists and educators based in African Higher Education Institutions to participate in a free five week course in online facilitation funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. A maximum of 50 participants can be accommodated.  Course participation will be entirely online and will require up to 8 hours of participation per week. Facilitating Online was developed by the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at University of Cape Town and is registered as a short course at the University of Cape Town.  A certificate of completion will be awarded for successful completion of 75% of the assessed activities of the course.

Application for the October – November run of this course will be open until 18 September 2015. We are also planning to offer further instances of the course during 2016. Please contact us on facilitationcourse@emergeafrica.net if you would like more information or for us notify you when registration opens for the 2016 courses.

Target participants

The course is aimed at experienced educators at higher education institutions in Africa who have reliable internet access and the opportunity to run courses or components of their courses online.  Selection criteria include:

  • previous experience of online teaching and learning
  • at least five years’ experience as a university educator or educational technologist
  • willingness to teach future online facilitation courses in their local/regional context or
  • willingness to be a conference host for the e/merge Africa online educational technology network across African universities.

All applicants will require a letter of support from their line manager or Head of Department.

To apply, please use our online application form by 18 September 2015

Course Facilitators:

Esther Gacicio is an Assistant Director in eLearning at the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE)

Khanyisile Ngodwana is a Writing Centre Coordinator at Walter Sisulu University and a Tutor for UNISA Language and Study Skills and Workplace English courses

Nicola Pallitt is an Educational Technologist in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at University of Cape Town

Nompilo Tshuma is a Learning Technologist at Rhodes University in South Africa.

Course Convenor:

Tony Carr is an Educational Technologist in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at University of Cape Town and Convenor of the e/merge Africa network.

Deadlines and course schedule

The course schedule includes reflection time and takes account of the complex and busy lives of participants by building in a break of a week after each fortnight of course activity.

5 October – 9 October: Week 0 (Entering site, addressing technical issues, introductions)
12 October – 16 October: Week 1
19 October – 23 October: Week 2
26 October – 30 October: Consolidation Week 1
2 November – 6 November: Week 3
9 November – 13 November: Week 4
16 November – 20 November: Consolidation Week 2
23 November – 27 November: Week 5


You can address queries by e-mail to facilitationcourse@emergeafrica.net .

Using Alternative Learning Mode (ALM) in Engaging Students at the University of Sierra Leone During the Ebola Outbreak

24 – 28 August 2015

What happens in an higher educational institutional setting when you are suddenly faced with a deadly epidemic such as Ebola that turns everything up side down? In this one week seminar Dr. Daniel Stevens from the University of Sierra Leone will discuss Alternative Learning Modes (ALM) and give some insights into the measures needed to be taken during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. This seminar will begin on Monday 24 August with an online live session at 12:30 pm (South African time – GMT+2) followed by asynchronous discussions for the rest of the week.

Synopsis: Due to the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, the University of Sierra Leone decides to engage its students on some alternative learning mode. These include uploading lecture notes on the website, burning of lecture notes on CDs/DVDs, provision of hard copies to students, radio programs etc. The ICT directorate therefore created official email addresses for all its students at the university. These students includes; all students from the Fourah Bay College, College of Medicines and Allied Health Sciences and all students from the Institute of Public Administration and Management. The directorate also created official email addresses for all the academic and administrative staffs of the university. Also, mailing lists were created for all the programs and levels in the university to ensure that lecturers can then develop their learning materials and then send these materials as attachment to their respective students. Within the different mailing list, all the students who are registered for a particular module would have their respective email addresses that were created for them. By so doing all the students of the University of Sierra Leone were engaged during the period of the Ebola epidemic as this epidemic prevented them from attending lectures or any other form of learning for more than eight months. The University of Sierra Leone is one of these old universities that have not been using ICT for any purpose whatsoever. There has been no ICT infrastructure in place before the Ebola epidemic hit the country. Looking at the environment and the situation, the only solution to the problem was the use of the Alternative Learning Mode (ALM) in its inception stage. This paper would discuss the different steps taken to accomplish the ALM, the challenges encountered, lesson learns and the way forward for the university

View resources for this seminar on on the seminar landing page

Dr. Daniel Stevens is head of the ICT Directorate at the University of Sierra Leone


The paradox of opening up higher education within the traditional university paradigm

17 – 21 August 2015

Come and join us for this seminar with Bernard Nkuyubwatsi from the University of Leicester, UK on policies and the implementation of open access and open distance learning. Please sign up using the form below

This online seminar provide insights and a challenge to stakeholders in tertiary education who are interested in the use of open, distance and e-learning, open educational practices and open learning practices to reach underprivileged learners. It is particularly relevant to those who are implementing or planning to implement opening up tertiary education in under-resourced settings.
Open, distance and e-learning, open educational practices and open learning practices have enabled the expansion of learning opportunities beyond physical university boundaries. The implementation of open, distance learning by a conventional education university can however be challenging when the university does not have a specific open education agenda. My paper offers a critical discussion of the challenges of opening up tertiary education in Rwanda within a traditional education mold. Despite a completed open distance learning project and a plethora of political rhetoric on the use of open distance learning to accelerate the transformation toward knowledge-based economy, half of students who were admitted in the public tertiary education in 2014/2015 could not attend their undergraduate education.
I argue that transformation towards a knowledge economy which is politically championed cannot be achieved without servicing the overwhelming majority of secondary education graduates who qualify and wish to attend tertiary education. Government and institutional policy documents that champion open access and open distance learning in Rwanda are surveyed and contrasted to practices among different categories of stakeholders. Using a framework for collaboratively opening up education, I will make recommendations for reaching learners who wish to attend tertiary education but are not included due to their underprivileged situations.

This seminar ended on Friday 21 August – Please view the resources on the landing page here!

Bernard Nkuyubwatsi is a PhD research student at University of Leicester under the Commonwealth Scholar Award. His research focuses on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Educational Resources (OER) for widening participation in higher education. Bernard is also a member of the Global Open Educational Resources Graduate Network (GO-GN), The Open Education Working Group, The Open Policy Network (OPN) and Global Scholar Network (GSN).

Benchmarking e-learning with the e-Learning Maturity Model (eMM)

10 – 14 August 2015

This event has ended – presentation resources are still available here

More and more institutions have eLearning programmes in place and many have had for quite a while. On the question on how to assess the maturity of eLearning programmes Antoinette Mukendwa from Polytechnic of Namibia  will lead this one week seminar on e-Learning maturity models in Higher Educational Institutions. The schedule for the week will be the following:

Monday 10 August: Presentation resources and discussion forum will be made available on e/merge Africa live site. Presentation resources and discussion forum will remain available until Friday 14 August.

Tuesday 11 August at 2 pm (South African time GMT+2): Antoinette Mukendwa will host an online live presentation via Adobe Connect giving participants a good opportunity to engage with the topic. Please access our Adobe Connect meeting room here. At the prompt please choose Enter as a guest, provide a name then choose Enter room. For more details on how to join our Adobe Connect sessions please view this short guide

Friday 14 August: Official closing of this seminar. Presentation resources and online live session recording will remain available

Please sign up using the form below.

The e-Learning Maturity (eMM) model is a powerful and sophisticated business process model which has been customised for use in benchmarking e-learning systems and processes. This seminar will assist you in considering how to use the eMM to assess and/or compare the capability of your institution/organisation to sustainably develop, deploy and support e-learning.
The eMM was conceptualised as a benchmarking framework to guide and support institutions collaborating or working individually on their e-learning capability (Marshall, 2012). The eMM does this by providing a clear picture of an institution’s strengths and weaknesses, combined with a pathway for improving capability. The eMM provides a mechanism for organisations to determine their own priorities, with sufficient flexibility to select technologies and pedagogies that are appropriate to learners, staff and stakeholder expectations (Marshall, 2010). A key aspect of the eMM is that it does not rank institutions, but rather acknowledges the reality that all institutions will have aspects of strength and weakness that can be learnt from and improved (Marshall, 2010).


Marshall, S. (2010). A quality framework for continuous improvement of e-learning: The e-learning Maturity Model. International Journal of e-learning and Distance Education, 24 (1), p. 143 -166.

Antoinette Mukendwa is Coordinator: Educational Technology at Polytechnic of Namibia


Learn to tell your research story!

A two weeks online course facilitated by:
Rashad Mohammad, Michigan State University
Daniela Gachago, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Jolanda Morkel, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Duration: 22 June 2015 – 3 July 2015 – With an unofficial start 15 June 2015!

From Monday 22 June we officially started the course with the first online event, followed by two more events on Friday 26 June and Friday 3 July. Although this course has now ended webinar recordings and slides are remain available on our resource site for inspiration!

Straight from the horse’s mouth may sound like the best way to get information, but not if you don’t understand the whinnies and neighs. Likewise, scientists and researchers may have the best understanding of their own work but struggle to explain it to people who are not experts of their field. Science communication is becoming more and more important in increasing research uptake, i.e. the dissemination of your research output beyond conferences and academic publications.

This 2-weeks online course will introduce you to ideas around science communication, focusing on one particular way of communicating your research journey: in the form of digital research stories.

This online course targets researchers, but could benefit anyone interested in engaging the public, decision makers and others members of the community with information that is technical or otherwise unfamiliar to the audience.

The first week focuses on writing and constructing an understandable narrative. It teaches you to kill jargon, focus topics, decide what not to write, use active voice, report what’s interesting rather than merely important, use word and graphic images and omit needless words. The second week will introduce you to the idea of storyboarding, helping you to find the right images for your story. Furthermore we will discuss tools you could use to create your digital story. Follow-up workshops can be organised for people needing more practical support in developing their stories.

Digital research stories have many functions: it’s the kind of thing that you can use for a Linked-In profile, an item for your CV, a way to demonstrate your communication skills to employers. It is an asset that can bolster grant applications, improve your teaching, make your research more discoverable and applicable.

These are some videos produced by a researcher who took this class.

Making healthy cereals
A scientist look into Centralia, Pennsylvania, United States


Events in June 2015

We are pleased to announce our upcoming events for e/merge Africa in June:

1. Setting up eLearning Programmes at Higher Educational Institutions

This mini-seminar took place 3 June and ending 5 June 2015 and was convened by Dr. Ebenezer Malcalm from the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana who presented on the challenges on setting up an eLearning programmes at higher educational institutions. Resources from this mini-seminar will remain available here, including the Adobe Connect live session from Friday 5 June.

2. eLearning Africa report back session

On 10 June at 1 pm (GMT +2) the e/merge Africa team reported back on their experience of the eLearning Africa conference that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in late May 2015. The recording of this Adobe Connect session is available here

3. Digital Story Telling and MOOCLETs

From 15-19 June we offer a seminar on the use of mini Massive Open Online Courses (MOOClets) and their use for digital storytelling courses. This seminar is presented by Rashad Muhammed from Michigan State University, US together with Daniela Gachago and Jolanda Morkel from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa. To sign up, please refer to this site

Dr. Ebenezer Malcam, Setting up eLearning Programmes in Higher Educational Institutions

Dr. Ebenezer Malcalm

The e/merge Africa team with online facilitators at eLearning Africa

The e/merge Africa team

Rashad Muhammed,  Digital Storytelling and MOOCLets

Rashad Muhammed

2015 e/merge Africa Learning Design Seminar

4 – 19 May 2015

Starting on 4 May 2015 this 3 week workshop introduces the topic of learning design, focusing on the early part of the design process from discovery to ideation. During the three week period there will be 3 live online webinars and participants will be guided towards complete 3 online activities.

The three online activities are scheduled for the following dates:

Tuesday 5 May 12 – 1 pm (GMT +2)
Tuesday 12 May 12 – 1 pm (GMT +2)
Tuesday 15 May 6 – 7 pm (GMT +2)

This course is very valuable for all, who are interested in or currently involved in creating a course, seminar or module. This seminar is developed by Senior Lecturer Jolanda Morkel from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa and Dr. Nicola Pallitt from the University of Cape Town. The seminar is aimed at educators and draws on well-known figures from within the Learning Design Community, such as Gilly Salmon, Grainne Conole and Diana Laurillard. This is a great opportunity to get started on designing your own courses. To sign up please use the form below.

Nicola Pallitt holds a PhD in Media Studies and is a lecturer at the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at the University of Cape Town.Her research interests include understanding how people appropriate ICTs in various contexts. She is involved in curriculum innovation initiatives and work in assisting university staff with integrating educational technologies in their curricula. She also assists staff with developing their own professional ePortfolios for a range of purposes and provide special opportunities for postgraduates and new academics to develop these resources.
Jolanda Morkel is a qualified architect and senior lecturer in the Department of Architectural Technology in the Faculty of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The focus of her research and current doctoral studies in Design is the virtual learning environment for mastering conceptual design. She is investigating how emerging technologies may support the collaborative studio learning experience online.

Using Social Media as a platform for teaching higher education – What do students expect?

22 – 24 April 2015

From Wednesday 22 April to Friday 24 April 2015 Professor Ayotola Aremu from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria will lead a seminar on the use of social media as educational technologies based on her research about the use of social media in a postgraduate diploma course. On 22 April, Ayotola Aremu opened this seminar by giving a one hour online Adobe Connect presentation. This was a great session, which initiated great conversation on the potentials and constraints on using social media to teach courses. The recording of this presentation is available here and the discussion forum remains open to and including Friday 24 April. Please also notice that other resources are available on the landing page for the this seminar. To access please register for free here

Professor Ayotola Aremu is a Senior lecturer at the University of Ibadan and holds a B.Sc. (Electrical & Electronics Engineering), P.G. Diploma in Education, M.Ed (Educational Technology), Ph.D (Educatinal Technology), Cerificate in Higher Education(MASHAV, Israel). Her research interests include Educational Technology, Pre-primary and Primary Mathematics and Girls in Science & Technology.