What is e/merge Africa?

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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.

African Experts Report from Online Educa Berlin

On Friday 5th December we had the great pleasure of hosting a live session from Online Educa in Berlin featuring  Marilynne Coopasami, Lecturer, Durban University of Technology, South Africa; Aida Opoku-Mensah, Special Adviser: Post – 2015 Development Agenda, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Ethiopia; and Charles Y. Senkondo, Executive Director, Tanzania Global Learning Agency (TaGLA). Marilynne, Charles and Aida reported to colleagues across Africa and the world about their Online Educa highlights, insights and what to bring home for the African e-learning contexts. This was an exciting and enlightening discussion which brought an African perspective on the conference. In case you missed out on this event the recording of this webinar is available here.

Webinar participants are invited to continue the conversation in the Facebook event page after the webinar.

Online Educa Berlin is one of the world’s leading conferences on technology supported learning and training for the corporate, education and public service sectors. This year e/merge Africa and the eLearning Africa Report are convening a short webinar to share some of the innovative solutions, new thinking and bring home ideas with colleagues across Africa.

 

Marilynne Coopasami

Marilynne Coopasami

Aida Opoku-Mensah

Charles Senkondo

 

Architectural Education Forum (AEF)

With Ariane Janse van Rensburg & Jolanda Morkel

AEF1

3 December 2014 – 12h00 – 13h00 (SAST/GMT+2)

YOU ARE INVITED

The main intent of this upcoming live online event is to continue discussions and the sharing of resources and experiences across Africa, in Architectural Education, but not limited to it. Anyone interested in Learning and Teaching, specifically in project-, problem- and enquiry based contexts, is invited to participate.

Ariane Janse van Rensburg will share the AEF UIAreport back document and Jolanda Morkel will highlight the main issues adressed in the newly released International Student Charter, after which discussion, either by audio or text chat, is invited. To sign up for this event please use form below. For more information please see below form

 

THE ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION FORUM

The Architectural Education Forum was the outcome of a Symposium on Architectural Education hosted by the Wits School of Architecture and Planning, South Africa, in early 2014 and is a grouping to critically discuss how to improve architectural educational practice here and now and to exchange relevant information. Its main focus is issues that are relevant to architectural education in Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, which includes global and regional concerns. Its membership consists mainly of teaching staff from schools of architecture from over Africa, but there has also been support and interest from other associations concerned with architectural education based on other continents.

The immediate aim was to enable architecture lecturers who attended the symposium to continue a constructive discussion on current research and practice generated by the challenges of teaching in a transformative way in changing circumstances in South Africa.
The need for such a forum had already been expressed at a previous conference on “Changing Paradigms” in 2013 and the fact that many interested parties would be together in Durban for the UIA Congress seemed an excellent opportunity to continue the conversation.

The Forum started informally as a group of people who wanted to be notified about the next discussion, but it has been growing steadily ever since. The AEF hosted a congress session at the UIA Congress entitled “Architectural Education Otherwhere – seen from the South”, which resulted in poster outputs and engaging discussion (see UIA report back document). At the UIA it was agreed that the AEF would approach e/merge Africa to facilitate an online meeting to strengthen ties and llinks across Africa and beyond.

AEF activities are presently being convened by Ariane Janse van Rensburg of the University of the Witwatersrand and Jolanda Morkel of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. For further information the contact
e-mail is ArchiEdForum@gmail.com

To sign up for this event, please use the form below

Regards
Jolanda

Ariane Janse van Rensburg is a Senior lecturer in design and teaching and learning convenor in the School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.BAS (UCT), B.Arch (UCT), M Arch by Research (Wits). Current PhD research on enabling transformation in architectural education.
Ariane turned to full-time teaching after extensive years in urban and rural architectural practice. She is involved in various university teaching and learning and transformation bodies and serves on SACAP and CAA accreditation panels. Currently she is completing a PhD in architectural education. She started the Architectural Education Forum after a successful symposium hosted at Wits this year. She also co-presented the ‘Architectural Education Otherwhere – seen from the South’ workshop with Jolanda Morkel at the UIA 2014 Durban congress
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.

 

Carpe Diem – Creating Learning Futures Through Agile Collaborative Design

15 October – 17 October 2014

We are continuing our short seminar with Professor Gilly Salmon, which started 15 October and runs until 17 October. During these three days Professor Salmon will take us through the Carpe Diem model for course creation. To be a part of this, please start by accessing the seminar landing page to view the resources made available. Then please take part in the conversation in the seminar discussion forum; to add your thoughts, questions and comments please sign in to our live site first. If you are not registered yet, this can be done by choosing Register at the top of the page. During the seminar we will be providing regular e-mail summaries and other useful information. If you have already signed up using the form below we already have your e-mail address, if not we invite you to do this as soon as possible. We are looking forward to your engagement!

A big thank you to those of you, who were able to join us Friday 17 October for the one hour live session with Professor Gilly Salmon. In case you missed this session the recording is now available here.

Academic staff in Higher Education need to transform their teaching practices to support more future-oriented, digital, student-centered learning. Promoting, enabling and implementing these changes urgently requires acceptable, meaningful and effective staff development for academics. We identify four key areas that are presenting as barriers to the implementation of successful staff development. We illuminate the Carpe Diem learning design workshop process and illustrate its impact on academic staff as a viable, constructive alternative to traditional staff development processes. The Carpe Diem model directly exposes and addresses the irony that educational institutions expect their academic staff to learn to design and deliver personalized, mobile and technology-enhanced learning to students, whilst wedded to ‘one size fits all’ face-to-face interventions…or worse, ‘page turning’ e-learning that masquerades as staff development. To avoid further frustrations and expensive, inappropriate initiatives, the spirit and practice of Carpe Diem could act as a ‘pathfinder beacon’, and be more widely adopted to enable fast, effective and fully embedded, learner-ready, future-proofed learning.

Professor Gilly Salmon has been a digital learning innovator for more than 20 years . She was the founding director of All Things In Moderation, in 2001.She was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor of Learning Transformations at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia and has recently taken up a new appointment as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education Innovation) at the University of Western Australia. Professor Salmon is well-known in the learning design community, particularly for her Carpe Diem learning design method. She holds a PhD from Open University, United Kingdom and an M.Phil. from Cranefield University, United Kingdom.

 

Seminar: Learning Design in the African Context: Technology and Instructional Design Considerations last day

6 October – 10 October 2014

This seminar is coming to end today, however the seminar landing page is still available. Access to view a presentation by Wanjira Kinuthia and a presentation by Dr. Perien Boer and visit our discussion forum.

Thank you to those of you who took part in the live meeting on 8 October. The recording of this session is available here and has been added as a resource to the landing page.

ICTs and the significant growth in internet usage thoughout the African continent has over the past decade opened up for many opportunities for ICT supported course design. However, challenges still remain when using technology for course design. What are these and more importantly how can they be overcome or at least mitigated? During this one-week seminar these and other issues will be raised. This seminar will start 6 October and end 10 October and will be presented by Associate Professor Wanjira Kinuthia from the Learning Technologies Division at Georgia State University, Atlanta, United States and Lecturer in Educational Technology Dr. Perien Joniell Boer from the University of Namibia.
During this week Wanjira and Perien will discuss and open up for a debate on what constitutes good learning design, using educational technologies. Among the topics will be how we create courses and use technologies effectively in African contexts, where we are often faced with severe technical limitations. Moreover, how do we implement and use technologies in a context where educational needs are much more different and urgent compared to other areas in the world, such as e.g. the US and Europe. These include considerations for Open Educational Resources (OER) and Mobile Learning solutions in higher education and how to engage both learners and instructors.
Together with our two presenters we are inviting you to take part in this conversation to share your experiences and learn more about the challenges faced by educators located at the African continent from a learning design perspective.

 

Wanjira Kinuthia is an associate professor of learning technologies at Georgia State University. Prior to that, she worked as an instructional designer in higher education and business and industry for several years.
Wanjira has a special interest in international and comparative education, with a focus on sociocultural perspectives of instructional design and technology. Her research focuses on educational technology in developing countries, looking at how information and communication technology (ICT) is infused into instructional setting.
Recent projects have included the role of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Mobile Technologies in bridging the digital and knowledge divide. She has edited several books and published articles based on her work in these areas.
Dr. Perien Joniell Boer is a Lecturer in educational technology at the Faculty of Education at the University of Namibia. Dr. Boer has researched and published about educational technologies and integration nationally in Namibia and also the relations between pedagogies and ICT usage in education.

 

Seminar: Wrapping MOOCs for students in the global south – last day

Online seminar 29 September – 1 October 2014

Presenters: Donnalee Donaldson from Kepler Kigali and Shanali Govender from the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, University of Cape Town.

This seminar is ending today, but please come and join us. Start by viewing our seminar landing page, where we are currently hosting two narrated PowerPoint presentations by our presenters. Please also visit our discussion forum for this seminar and add your views. To post, please register on our e/merge Africa live site (free of charge and if you haven’t already done this), then sign in and look for the short cut to the discussion forum under Forum.

If you would like to receive daily updates via e-mail, please use the sign up form below.

Thank you to all who took part in yesterday’s live session with Donnalee Donaldson and Shanali Govender. In case you missed this session, the recording is available here

Initially touted as cheaper, offering better learning opportunities than traditional classes, and possibly the death of traditional higher education institutions, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) generated such interest that Time Magazine labelled 2012 “The Year of the MOOC”. Since then, with more substantial research on MOOCs being undertaken, and a degree of disillusionment from the initial proponents of MOOCs, the buzz has subsided enough for us to ask ourselves some key questions about MOOCs.
Questions about MOOCs range from sweeping questions about their impact on higher education, to narrowly focused concerns about student honesty online. Underlying many of the questions asked of MOOCs are pedagogical concerns about whether we are teaching in ways that support learning for students. A prime question from the global South perspective, is how can we can best make use in our very different contexts of the resources and materials that have been made available online at no charge to the user by MOOCs mostly developed in the global North .
In conversation, from different parts of Africa, Donnalee Donaldson from Kepler Kigali, Rwanda and Shanali Govender from University of Cape Town, South Africa will present and lead discussion about their experiences of wrapping as one way of working with MOOCs.

Donnalee Donaldson is a higher education administrator, instructor, and lawyer, who is interested in harnessing the power of technology to eliminate disparities in access to education. Her current focus is developing sound admissions strategies and culturally relevant instructional design at Kepler Kigali – Rwanda’s first blended learning university.
Donnalee is committed to a career in social justice and has a strong track record in the fields of education, public health, and criminal justice.She has excelled at working in the nonprofit and government sectors. She is also a gifted writer and public speaker. She has written for media outlets in the USA and Jamaica. She has been requested to speak, write, and facilitate discussions about matters related to higher education, law school admissions, legal careers and diversity. Donnalee is a proud Jamaican and global citizen.
Shanali Govender Although Shanali’s teaching experience began in secondary education, a return to higher education to pursue her own studies prompted a shift to an interest in the higher education landscape. While continuing to work in the field of staff development at the University of Cape Town, she is working towards her PhD, looking at discourses in the learning experiences of first year engineering students. Her particular brief in the staff development team is to support part-time and non-permanent teaching staff. She is responsible for running the s.e.a.TEACH (supporting emerging academics Teach) programme and works within departments and faculties on request. She has also facilitated a number of wrapped MOOCs, targeting UCT postgraduate students.

 

 

Inclusive Design of e-Learning Environments: A Global Agenda

Our current seminar on “Inclusive Design of e-Learning Environments: A Global Agenda” which run from 25-29 August. The seminar is led by Professor Denise Wood, Professor of Learning, Equity, Access and Participation at Central Queensland University, Australia.

Please note: Professor Wood will be hosted an Adobe Connect live meeting Monday 25 August at 2:30 pm (SAST/GMT+2). The recording is available here and if you have not yet joined the conversation on Facebook, this can be done here.

Professor Wood will discuss the complexities of using digital technologies to engage students from diverse backgrounds. This presentation argues that ‘inclusion’ is a highly contestable concept and that despite the rhetoric, the move towards standardisation of inclusion, access and equity through institutional policy has ‘reterritorialized difference’ leading to a focus on ‘management of, rather than engagement with, difference’.

For the goals of inclusive education to be realised, as Denise Wood argues, there is a need for a more nuanced understanding of the dimensions required for education, and e-learning environments in particular to be inclusive of the diverse needs of our student population.

The four dimensions of accessibility; usability; personalisation and transformative pedagogical practice will be explored with examples of application in practice.

Denise Wood’s research with community organisations and national and state governments in Australia and South Africa focuses on the potential of new media technologies such as participatory Web 2.0 and 3D virtual learning environments to enhance the educational and social participation of young people with disabilities, as well as exploring the pedagogical potential of these environments to engage learners in the higher education context.

To receive e-mail updates and other messages relating to this seminar, please go to the signup page

Denise Wood is Professor of Learning, Equity, Access and Participation at Central Queensland University. She also holds an Adjunct Professorial position in the Faculty of Education at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Her qualifications include a PhD (Education), Master of Educational Technology, Master of Design, Graduate Certificate in Flexible Learning, Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Denise’s research focuses on the use of accessible information and communication technologies (ICTs) to increase social and educational participation, as well as the pedagogical benefits of social media in teaching and learning.

Live panel: MOOCs and Online Course Design – Michael Rowe, Janet Small and Sukaina Walji

What can designers of online courses learn from MOOCs? What can designers of MOOCs learn from the experience of a small credit bearing course that is also available to all? These and other related topics will be raised in this live panel Adobe Connect session on Tuesday 19 August at 11 am (SAST/GMT+2). Bring your own experiences, insights and questions!

Michael Rowe is a Physiotherapy lecturer at University of Western Cape, South Africa with a particular interest in online and blended teaching and learning. In 2013 Michael created and ran two credit bearing modules in physiotherapy as open online courses. Michael has kindly agreed to talk a bit about the challenges faced in creating and leading his courses. He will be joined by Sukaina Walji and Janet Small from University of Cape Town’s MOOC implementation team.

Thank you to those of you who joined this session! The recording of this session is available here

To let us know that you will come to this this free live session, please use our signup form.

Dr. Michael Rowe is a physiotherapy educator at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa interested in the use of emerging technologies to facilitate new teaching and learning practices in undergraduate education.
Sukaina Walji is based at the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT). She is a member of the MOOC Task Team with a remit to research and develop strategies for institutional engagement with MOOCs. Her other projects include Research Communication strategy for the Research in Open Educational Resources for Development in the Global South (ROER4D) and Online Learning Design. She has an Honours degree from Oxford University and a Masters in Online and Distance Education from the Open University (UK).
Janet Small is a course developer based at the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at the University of Cape Town. She is a member of the CILT MOOC Task Team. Janet is involved in curriculum and course design for blended and online courses in higher education – in a range of contexts from formal credit-bearing to less formal co-curricular and professional development. She has a Masters Degree in Adult Education from the University of Cape Town.

How to use tablets and blended learning for effective adult education in Africa – Day 2

We are now on day two of our seminar How to use tablets and blended learning for effective adult education in Africa led by Batseba Seifu from Institute for Peace and Security Studies, University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Yesterday, we started the seminar by sharing a number of resources  including a narrated presentation (available here) and a web page with screenshots from the IPSS training project.  In her narrated presentation Batseba gives an overview of her blended learning project which aimed to mitigate the challenges of limited access to digital networks by participants with  limited technology experience while fostering an effective learning community. The case presented offers stimulus for an online discussion about how to use technologies for education in areas with severely constrained  internet connectivity and bandwidth.

To join the discussion please head straight to our discussion forum. Posting in the discussion forum requires registration to the e/merge Africa site, which can be done free of charge here. If you are interested in receiving e-mail updates about this seminar during this week.

 

Next seminar: How to use tablets and blended learning for effective adult education in Africa

We are happy to announce our next online seminar How to use tablets and blended learning for effective adult education in Africa starting Monday 4 August and runs to and including Friday 8 August. This seminar is led by Batseba Seifu from Institute for Peace and Security Studies, University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Our presenter will showcase a tablet based blended training application for adult education, used in Ethiopia in order to  introduce the benefits of using tablets for training and show ways of mitigating challenges often faced when using tablets for training adults in Africa. Participants will learn how to apply the technology, methodology, and didactics of the training to other subjects and other areas in Africa to harness the potential of tablets for training. Two key strategies here are supporting student interaction and motivation during the distance learning period and supporting socialization during the face-to-face learning period. The case presented will serve as stimulus for an online discussion about how to use technologies for education in areas with severely constrained  internet connectivity and bandwidth. This seminar is free of charge and you can sign up using the form below.

Batseba Seifu is a project manager at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Prior to working at IPSS, she worked at various organizations among which are PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Nature Conservancy. She earned her Masters of Public Administration from New York University and her BA degree in Paralegal Studies from Central Washington University (Cum Laude). She lived in the United States of America for 14 years before settling in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

‘Online Interview Research’ – live session today

Please join us, when we will be ending our seminar Online Interview Research: Designing, Doing, Teaching with Dr Janet Salmons today. Dr. Salmons will host a live session today Monday 28 July at 3 pm (SAST/GMT+2). Please reserve the time in your calendars and enter the Adobe Connect meeting room here, 15 minutes before the session begins. If this is your first Adobe Connect session we are strongly encouraging you to read through setup instructions here.

With participants from Nigeria to Swaziland to South Africa, conversations are ongoing in:

What are ‘online interviews’?  How can we use them in instruction and research?

Think through the choice to interview online

Think through the choice of ICT

Dr Salmons is hugely knowledgeable in using ICTs for research, and while much can be gleaned from her presentations and posts, the real value for you as participant would be in joining us in the forums and asking her pointed questions – the questions that you need answered with regard to your own online research.  We look forward to meeting you in the forums, and hearing Dr Salmons’ answers to your questions!