3 – 7 April 2017: Leapfrogging First Generation Distance Education into Fourth and Fifth Generation Distance Education at Makerere University

Presenters: Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, Makerere University, Uganda

Format: Asynchronous discussion from 3 April – 7 April + Live online meeting on Monday 3 April (Time to be confirmed).

Makerere University has prioritised Distance Education as the number one strategic action for offering flexible education and increasing access to its academic offerings. The university has put in place a policy for open, distance and eLearning (ODeL) to provide a framework for mainstreaming ODeL into all programmes of study at the University. It is also mobilising resources to develop greater human and infrastructural capacity. The Distance Education Leapfrogging Project (DELP) is a project through which resources are being raised to promote online based distance education. Since 2013 the DELP has been running with the aim of increasing access to flexible blended education at Makerere University. DELP is implemented in three work packages, namely: i) Education and Training; ii) PhD and Research; and iii) Institutional Development.

DELP has resulted in a number of new developments these include the development of two (the first ever) online learning programmes as well as scholarships for Ugandans and nationals of South Sudan on the online learning programmes. Three faculty have also been provided with scholarships to complete/pursue PhD studies in ODeL.  One post-doctoral researcher is completing work on online student support. Three annual international research workshops have been held with an output of over 30 research publications in ODeL.  An online journal and international conference on ODeL are planned for 2018.

DELP has also set up physical and virtual infrastructure in addition to building greater capacity for enabling ODeL programmes and courses to be offered. An off-campus model student support centre has been established and equipped. The Project has yielded a number of outcomes including:

  • Increased capacity to enrol students on open, distance and e-learning programmes,
  • Increased ubiquitous student support; and
  • Increased integration of e-learning within conventional programmes, increased number of programmes being ‘onlinised’

Professor Paul MuyindaPaul Muyinda , is an Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning at Makerere University, Uganda. He is an experienced ODeL teacher, researcher and professional. He has research interest in ICT impact evaluation, virtual education, e-learning, distance education; m-learning, online learning, blended learning, open education resources (OER); ICT4E, ICT4D and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). He has researched, taught and published variously in these areas. He holds a PhD in Information Systems from Makerere University, specializing in e-learning and mlearning; a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ICT) from the University of Cape Town, SA; a Masters in Computer Science and Application from Shanghai University, P.R. China and a Bachelor of Statistics degree from Makerere University.He has also taken the Facilitating Online Course  from the University of Cape Town.

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10 – 13 April: Agricultural Indigenous Knowledge (AIK) as OER: AgShare II

Presenter: Maxwell Omwenga, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, United States & Makerere University, Uganda

Format: Asynchronous discussion from 10 April – 13 April + Live online meeting on Monday 10 April (Time to be confirmed).

How can researchers and communities collaborate to create and disseminate high quality OERs?

AgShare is a collaboration between existing organizations. It is an alignment initiative to leverage the attention of existing organizations in various domains to create and openly share different types of OER that strengthen MSc agriculture faculty and curriculum and create downstream uses of the OER for other stakeholders. The AgShare methodology consists of using a research-based approach for the co-creation and release/sharing of purposeful agricultural knowledge within and across stakeholder groups. It  is a scalable and sustainable  serving to fill  critical gaps in agriculture related curriculum. Graduate students engage in participatory action  research connecting them to communities and smallholders and through rigorous research practices, they collaborate to produce high quality, peer-reviewed research, case studies and extension materials for disseminating widely to the relevant stakeholders.  

The College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) together with College of  Agriculture and Environmental Studied (CAES) both from Makerere University,  embarked on a collaborative research project whose aim was to investigate the forms of Agricultural Indigenous Knowledge used by different groups of farmers. Findings reveal that despite the advent of modern farming methods, many small scale farmers continue to embrace indigenous farming knowledge for managing soil fertility, controlling pests and diseases, controlling weeds, soil preparation, planting materials, harvesting and storage of indigenous root crops and animals.

The research project sought to establish the existing methods of documenting and disseminating such AIK, investigate the constraints of documenting and disseminating AIK, and determine the best strategies for documenting and disseminating of AIK as Open Educational Resources (OERs), so as to contribute to sustainable food security efforts in Soroti, Hoima and Masaka Districts in Uganda.

An AgShare Quality Assurance Toolkit was developed as part of the AgShare Project and is available at: (http://www.oerafrica.org/system/files/12155/agshare-toolkit-finalopt.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=12155). In it are resources supporting the development of open, high quality, localized content and research that follows best practices. The Toolkit provides resources and quality assurance processes which can be used to ensure that the open outputs developed for research and farm communities will follow best practices. This resource may provide inspiration to colleagues involved in similar initiatives in other disciplines.

Other open outputs from the project include an open online database that was developed using Agri-Drupal, to enhance access and exchange of information on agricultural indigenous knowledge. http://agshare-ik.mak.ac.ug [YouTube Videos]. Case studies to support agricultural research themes were also developed to support the delivery of the MSc Information Sciences programs in Makerere University.


Maxwell OmwengaMaxwell Momanyi Omwenga, is a PhD candidate at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, United States. His research interest include Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Multi Access Edge Computing. Omwenga was part of the technical team that developed the Agricultural Indigenous Knowledge (AIK) OER Database. Also worked closely with graduate students to train them on how to capture and produce AIK multimedia content using smart phones.

To attend this seminar, please sign up below:

 

27 February – 3 March: Evaluating and revising OERs

e/merge Africa is collaborating with Designers for Learning to contribute a #YearOfOpen event to the global calendar of #YearOfOpen events.

Presenters:

  • Dr. Jennifer Maddrell, Founder and President, Designers for Learning, United States
  • Dr. John Baaki, Assistant Professor, College of Education, Old Dominion University, United States
  • Dr. Jerome Terpase Dooga, University of Jos, Nigeria

Format: Asynchronous discussion from 27 February – 3 March + Live online meeting on Monday 27 February (14:00 Abuja time/ 15:00 Cape Town time/ 16:00 Nairobi time / 7:00 Chicago U.S. time). Second live online meeting to be announced

The Open Education Consortium (OEC) has announced the launch of the #YearOfOpen to celebrate the positive impacts that open practices have brought to education, government, research and business. In education, the Year of Open marks significant milestones for the Open Education Movement worldwide, including:

  • 15 years ago the term “Open Educational Resources” was created, the Budapest Open Access Initiative was launched, and the first Creative Commons licenses were released;
  • 10 years ago the Cape Town Open Education Declaration was written;
  • 5 years ago the first Open Education Week took place and the first OER World Congress was held, resulting in the Paris OER Declaration.

What goes into revising, evaluating and localising OERs?

  • In the first live meeting on 27 February Dr Jennifer Maddrell and Dr John Baaki will introduce us to an instructional evaluation process that practitioners can use for revising OERs.
  • In the second live meeting (details to be announced) , Dr Jerome Dooga will share his experiences of revising and evaluating OERs in Nigeria and discusses challenges, successes and lessons learnt.

Designers for Learning also invites e/merge Africa members to join their instructional design MOOC. The mission of Designers for Learning is to connect college students and other volunteers interested in gaining instructional design experience with service-learning projects to design and develop OER for underserved needs. Designers for Learning service-learning projects have involved over 3,000 volunteers, including college students, their faculty sponsors, and other subject-matter experts. Since 2014, volunteer service-learners have designed and developed OER for adult basic education programs to support learners with low literacy and math skills that are made available for free to adult educators and learners in the Adult Learning Zone group on OER Commons. Our upcoming project-based MOOC engages course participants in a design cycle that involves the evaluation and redesign of adult basic education OER created to date in our prior design courses, and is a perfect opportunity for college students looking to gain real-world experience or faculty and other educators wanting to share their expertise to an important underserved need.


Jennifer MaddrellJennifer Maddrell is the founder of Designers for Learning, a nonprofit in the United States that facilitates service-learning opportunities to support underserved educational needs. Jennifer completed her Ph.D. in the Instructional Design and Technology program at Old Dominion University where she was awarded a dissertation fellowship to complete this research, and served as an adjunct Assistant Professor.

 


John BaakiJohn Baaki is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia in the United States. John completed his Ph.D. in Instructional Technology at Wayne State University, and has served as a volunteer with Designers for Learning since 2015 serving as a course designer and facilitator.

 


Dr. Jerome DoogaDr. Jerome Dooga is an Lecturer,Department of English, Faculty of Arts, University of Jos, Nigeria.
He is also the e/merge Africa Regional Coordinator for West Africa and Commonwealth of Learning (COL) eLearning consultant to the School of Education at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). Jerome holds a PhD in English and has received postgraduate training in Educational Technology at the University of Cape Town. He has presented research papers at various fora in a range of African countries including a number of conferences. He has published widely in the field and is co-author and editor of a new book on technology in African Higher Ed.

This seminar has ended. Please view seminar resources here

View webinar recording below or access our full playlist on Open Data & Open Educational Resources on our YouTube channel:

 

20 – 24 February: The role of digital in Learning: contexts and outcomes

Presenter: Carla Aerts, University College London, United Kingdom

Please notice new dates: 20 – 24 February 2017 with live webinar on Monday 20 February at 12 (SAST)

Format: This is the first event out of three events lead by Director of Futures at Institute of Education, UCL Carla Aerts. In this session Carla will lead a one hour live session Monday 20 February at 12 (SAST) followed by a one week asynchronous discussion.

E-learning and technology supported Education, like online technologies that are increasingly ubiquitous in people’s lives are reaching a number of tipping points that we can no longer ignore.

Looking at the Education and technology space, the context and digital access are wide-ranging and bring their own challenges. Assumptions around scalability, one size-fits-all and technology-driven education are deemed to be a catalyst and bring solution to the world’s education challenges. Perhaps the time has arrived for educationalists and technologist as well as all stakeholders to start reflecting on what education and technology can realise where they work in tandem. Or time has come to assess what is happening to education in a technology-driven world, where educators and technologists from different continents don’t sit around the table together and where technologists, mainly from Silicon Valley are increasingly driving the education agenda relying on the power and prowess of their technology and the increasing use of algorithms.

The first of a series of online seminars is starting to lift the veil that is shrouding the digital education space and is looking to engage in the world of online learning platforms, technology and the contexts of learning as well as the innate oxymoron in technology as a catalyst as well as a straightjacket for Education and Learning.


Photo credit: Elearning AfricaCarla Aerts, is Director of Futures at Institute of Education – University College London

This seminar has ended. Please view seminar landing page for past resources. Webinar recording is available below:

 

2 – 3 February 2017: Get Published! 6 Steps to Creating a Publication Strategy

Presenter: Dr Janet Salmons, Vision2Lead, United States

Format: Asynchronous discussion from 2-3 February 2017 + Live online meeting on 2 February, 4 pm SAST (15:00 Abuja time/ 16:00 Cape Town time/ 17:00 Nairobi time).

While publishing results is a critical next step after the completion of research, too often we take what comes without reflecting fully on the best options that fit our work and goals. We aren’t sure where to start, then see a call for papers and start working on an article. We see a call for book titles or chapters, and shoot off a proposal. We answer a friend’s request to contribute to the blog of a professional association. We create a social media presence and may be very active one month and silent when things get hectic. We all know how this story goes…

Academic researchers and graduate students alike face such dilemmas. Even skilled writers can feel lost by the publication process, or get distracted by day-to-day activities. Sometimes even those who have successfully published articles or chapters still don’t feel that they had accomplished what they had hoped. While most graduate programs emphasise the need to publish, and most academic positions require publications, the space or help needed to think through the options is largely unavailable.

As a result, Dr. Janet Salmons set about to develop some supportive solutions, including materials, webinars, and a course offered with Dr. Helen Kara. The next ‘Create Your Publication Strategy’ course runs from February 10 to March 31 and e/merge Africa members signed up for this webinar are eligible for a discount. The course, with small group discussion and feedback from Janet and Helen, is designed for scholars who have completed or are nearing completion of a doctoral degree.

Performing careful reflection and systematic analysis is critical in order to make purposeful use of our research findings and the new knowledge we acquired. We call this process creating a publication strategy. A publication strategy should include carefully-defined goals, a purposeful timeline, and actionable steps for proposing and writing the kinds of pieces large or small that allow others to access what we’ve learned, produce impact, and propel our careers forward. Join this webinar to learn more about how to create a publication strategy.


Dr. Janet SalmonsDr. Janet Salmons, is an independent researcher, writer, instructor and consultant through Vision2Lead. She has published books, chapters, articles, and blog posts. She is on the PhD faculty in the Walden University Riley College of Education. Learn more about Janet here. Janet has previously presented e/merge Africa online events on doing qualitative research online and doing online interviews. Recordings of these events are available on the e/merge Africa YouTube channel.

This seminar has ended. Please view or re-view resources here

 

30 January – 3 February – Survey of Instructional Design (ID) Models seminar

Presenter: Dr. Tonia A. Dousay, University of Wyoming, United States, Robert Maribe Branch, University of Georgia, United States

Format: Asynchronous discussion from 30 January – 3 February + Live online meeting on Monday 30 January (14:00 Abuja time/ 15:00 Cape Town time/ 16:00 Nairobi time).

Survey of Instructional Design (ID) Models offers a framework for adopting or adapting (ID) models for use in curriculum, courses, and training development. Teaching and learning paradigms in conjunction with how technology influences instructional delivery, the authors help readers consider the inherent value in matching ID with a corresponding context. Thus, effective ID models, and therefore the designs themselves, must be responsive to different educational contexts. This webinar will help practicing IDs in the following areas:

  • Distinguish between the process of instructional design and specific models
  • Describe the different ways in which instruction is systematically designed
  • Identify other philosophical approaches to designing instruction; cyclical, layered, etc.
  • Visualize the processes commonly used to design instruction
  • Discuss future implications for instructional design

Rob Branch Photo credit: University of GeorgiaRobert Maribe Branch, Ed.D., is a professor of Learning, Design, and Technology at the University of Georgia and the head of the Department of Career and Information Studies. Rob taught secondary school in Botswana as a Peace Corps volunteer and later joined the University of Botswana as a lecturer in the Technology Education Department. Branch worked as Fulbright lecturer/researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, conducting research on the complexities of intentional learning spaces. Branch taught graduate courses and conducted research at Syracuse University prior to relocating to Athens. Branch edits the Educational Media and Technology Yearbook and published Instructional Design: The ADDIE Approach. Branch’s published research focuses on diagramming complex conceptual relationships and other complicated flow processes. He is a past Dousay received the 2015 AECT-IAP Distance Education Best Practices Award, the 2014 Mary Garland Early Career Fellowship Award from the University of Wyoming, and the 2013 AECT-MPD Immersive president of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

Dr. Tonia DousayTonia A. Dousay, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Wyoming with fifteen years of instructional design and project management experience. Tonia’s teaching and research focus on design-based learning activities and the knowledge and skills acquired and reinforced through these opportunities, both in face-to-face and online classrooms. Learning Award. She is an active member of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology and can be contacted at ude.oywunull@yasuodt or on Twitter at @tadousay

This seminar has ended. Please view seminar resources and landing page here

 

6 – 10 February: Growing open data in Africa

Presenter: Nodumo Dhlamini, Association of African Universities & Thomas King, Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D), University of Cape Town, South Africa 

Format: Asynchronous discussion from 6 – 10 February + two webinars:
Webinar 1: Nodumo Dhlamini Monday 6 February 2017 at 3 pm (SAST)
Webinar 2: Thomas King Thursday 9 February 1 pm (SAST)

What is open data? Why is it important? What are some of the global and local drivers of the growing open data movement? Who is currently engaging in sharing open data in Africa and why? How can we create and share open data? Whose interests does it serve to do so?
Do we perhaps want to include where to find open data? And suggestions for how it might be used or possible relevance for different audiences?
This online event will consist of two webinars. The first webinar will be presented by Nodumo Dhlamini who will provide an introduction to open data and share an overview of the current state of open data in Africa. She will discuss global and local drivers of the growing open data movement and provide some insight into who is currently involved in sharing open data in Africa and why. The second webinar will be presented by Thomas King who will share their experiences of publishing open data within the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project hosted in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Thomas will share useful advice for researchers who are just getting started with curating and sharing their data, highlighting ethical, contractual and other practical issues for consideration


Nodumo Dhlamini AAUNodumo Dhlamini is the Director of ICT Services and Knowledge Management for the Association of African Universities. Her background is in Information Technology Systems, Communication and Knowledge Management.
Blog http://nodumodhlamini.blogspot.co.za/p/blog-page.html
Twitter: @NodumoDhlamini


 

Thomas King, ROER4DThomas King is the Data Administrator for ROER4D and has worked on the Vice Chancellor’s Open Educational Resources Adaptation project and the Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme. His primary research interests revolve around Open Educational Resources and quantifying/analysing ‘impact’ in research and education. His Masters investigated OER production and adaptation by students at the Unviersity of Cape Town.


 

This seminar has ended. Please view seminar resources here and the e/merge Africa YouTube playlist on Open Data and Open Educational Resources

5 – 9 December: Driving Technology Use through Learning Design

Presenter: Dr. Jerome Dooga, Lecturer University of Jos, Nigeria

Format: Asynchronous discussion from 5 – 9 December + Live online meeting on Tuesday 6 December (12:00 Abuja time/ 13:00 Cape Town time/ 14:00 Nairobi time). Using a Nigerian Open and Distance Learning Institution as case study, this seminar engages participants in a conversation on what factors are hindering technology uptake in education and the role of learning design approaches as a driver in technology uptake.

tutaleniprofileMore and more institutions are adopting some form of technology in teaching and learning. Even those yet to do so hold a positive view of its use. Yet, many who have, struggle to add value to the learning process with its use. Many feel that use of technological tools and devices seems to add little value to their practice and sometimes is actually a hindrance or a distraction to learning. Thus, even some Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institutions can’t seem to fully embrace technology for their course offerings. One reason for such frustrations may lie in the focus on the tool rather than the principles of best practice in teaching and the misalignment of learning design and technology choices. In this presentation, I will argue that learning design should drive technology choices. Conole defines learning design as “a methodology for enabling teachers/designers to make more informed decisions in how they go about designing learning activities and interventions, which is pedagogically informed and makes effective use of appropriate resources and technologies” (2013:7). In order to use technology effectively for teaching and learning, educators need to ask basic questions about the classroom: what do we want to do? With what goal and objectives? What outcomes are desired? The answers to such questions will inform what tools are needed to accomplish what is desired. Technology integration will therefore align with the learning design. During this presentation I will share examples from my own teaching contexts in Nigeria to illustrate how learning design involves reimagining some key functions of the classroom and that this is essential for effective technology integration. Such reimagination is key for making best use of technological affordances to enhance teaching and learning experiences.


Dr. Jerome Dooga  is an Lecturer,Department of English, Faculty of Arts, University of Jos, Nigeria.
He is also the e/merge Africa Regional Coordinator for West Africa and Commonwealth of Learning (COL) eLearning consultant to the School of Education at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). Jerome holds a PhD in English and has received postgraduate training in Educational Technology at the University of Cape Town. He has presented research papers at various fora in a range of African countries including a number of conferences. He has published widely in the field and is co-author and editor of a new book on technology in African Higher Ed.


 

This seminar has ended please review seminar resources here

14-18 Nov: Adoption and diffusion of technology in Afrikan countries

Presenter: Tutaleni I. Asino, Ph.D. , Assistant Professor, Educational Technology, School of Educational Studies, College of Education, Oklahoma State University

Format: Asynchronous discussion from 14 – 18 November +   Live online meeting on Thursday 17 November (14:00 Abuja time/ 15:00 Cape Town time/ 16:00 Nairobi time). Using a case study on factors that influence the diffusion process of mobile devices in Botswana and Namibia, this seminar engages participants in a conversation on how to study diffusion and adoption of technology in Afrikan education.

tutaleniprofileAfrikan countries such as Botswana and Namibia are experiencing a surge in mobile device usage (Aker & Mbiti, 2010; Mbarika & Mbarika, 2006), where everyday use of tablets and mobile phones has spread rapidly at unprecedented rates (ICT Update, 2008; Kalba, 2008). In these countries, mobile devices are used for mobile banking (accessing bank accounts, paying for utilities and credit cards; Brown, Cajee, Davies, & Stroebel, 2003), mobile health (diagnosing disease, patient monitoring, accessing health information, awareness campaign), and mobile life (social communication and entertainment; Donner & Tellez, 2008; Semali & Asino, 2013).  However, the diffusion of mobile devices that has occurred for everyday use, health, and business applications has not occurred in educational environments.

A common belief held in many Afrikan countries (and globally) is that there is value in utilizing technology for educational purposes. Reports from the African Union, the Southern African Universities Association and the Association of African Universities provide evidence of commitments from Afrikan nations to make technology in education an integral part of educational systems. Yet, when in comes to understanding the diffusion of innovations on the continent, the often repeated phrase is that “there is little research.”


Tutaleni I. Asino, Ph.D.  is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology in the School of Educational Studies at the College of Education in Oklahoma State University. His research interests include diffusion of innovation, adoption and use of Emerging technologies and Learning environments, Mobile Learning, Design for Mobile Devices, Indigenous knowledge, STEAM, Comparative International Education, and the role of culture in the development and evaluation of learning technologies.


This event has ended – to view event resource please refer to the landing page (requires log in).

9 Nov: Learning from Las Vegas: Reportback from the AECT Convention

Presenter: Dr Nicola Pallitt, Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching

Format: Webinar on 9 November at 1 pm (SA time)

npmediaWhat happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas? This year the AECT (Association for Educational Communications and Technology) conference organisers decided to break this code with their 2016 theme ‘Learning from Las Vegas’. In this reportback session Nicola will share what happened in Vegas and share some reflections and learnings related to this conference experience. Over the past year, the AECT has made a significant effort to promote scholarship, best practices, and leadership in the creation, use, and management of technologies for effective teaching and learning. e/merge Africa recently became an affiliate organisation. This session will also discuss what this means for e/merge Africa members. This reportback is therefore also a virtual celebration – come and join the party.


Dr Nicola Pallitt is a member of the e/merge Africa team. She enjoys networking and meeting EdTech practitioners and researchers from across the globe. Nicola is passionate about online facilitation, social media and educational technology in general. She also co-teaches on postgraduate courses in Educational Technology in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at the University of Cape Town.


Thank you to those of you taking part in this session. View or re-view Nicola’s report back here (introduction by Catherine Fortune)