Upcoming events

Featured

3 October 2023:  AI in African Higher Education: Impact, Challenges, and Prospects

Featured

Presenter: Professor Moustapha Diack – Doctoral Program in Science/Math Education, College of Sciences and Engineering, Southern University Baton Rouge (SUBR) & Executive Director, Digital Education Consulting (DEC) Group – Diackresearch.net 

To join this session please sign up via Zoom here

Session Description:

This exploration delves into the myriad implications of integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) within higher education. Central to our study is understanding how AI reshapes traditional educational dynamics. We engage in a critical reflection and theoretical inquiry, addressing evolving pedagogical models, matters of equity and social justice, as well as ethical concerns like algorithmic biases. The objective is to provide guidance for reimagining learning and assessment modalities in African university settings which are  increasingly influenced by disruptive technologies against a backdrop of resource and human capacity constraints.

Professor Moustapha Diack is a former Associate Vice President of Online Learning Services for the Southern University System (SUS) in Louisiana and currently associated with the doctoral program in Science Math Education (SMED), College of Sciences and Engineering (CSE), at Southern University in Baton Rouge. At Southern, Diack oversees the development and implementation of integrated digital library services, the Southern University Online Library for Education, to facilitate quality online programs development and college affordability through the adoption of OER and Open Textbook. Diack is a member of the Louisiana Board of Regents Task Force on Electronic Learning and Past President 2003-2006 of the Louisiana Academy of Science.

Presenter Bio: 

Professor  Diack has extensive experience in the areas of online learning design and delivery and has played a global leadership role in the areas of Open Education Resources (OER) and Open Education Practices (OEP). He is recipient of the International MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching) eLearning Innovation Award 2009. He is member of the MERLOT Faculty Development Editorial Board and Co-Founding Director of the MERLOT Africa Network (MAN), a network of African higher education institutions and digital scholars engaged in the research and implementation of OER. He is on the board of several influential international organisations such as Quality Matters, the International Council of Open and Distance Education (ICDE), the MERLOT OER organisation and the Skills Commons organisation. 

His research interests and leadership roles are in the areas of learning engineering, with specific research interests focusing on the new advances in Interactive Multimedia Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science (DS), and Cognitive Science (CS) principles. These axes of research open new frontiers in digital education to design inclusive virtual learning environments that facilitate individualised instruction, academic success, and college affordability. Professor Diack is also an African Social Entrepreneur through the Digital Education Consulting (DEC) Group and an international Advocate of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and the accommodation of students with disabilities.

Sponsors:

This webinar is partially funded by a grant from the Southern University System (SUS) Foundation, Louisiana – USA. The grant, entitled “Building eLearning Infrastructure leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Open Education Practices (OEP) (Y2023/Y2024)” & The Digital Education Consulting (DEC) Group, Senegal, West Africa.

5 October 2023: Publon Press workshop 1: Introduction to Publon Press and creating your first Publon

Featured

Session format: Workshop

Date(s) and Time(s): Thursday, 5th October 2023 10:00 – 12:00 (SAST)

Facilitated by: Professor Randhir Rawatlal,  Architect of the AutoScholar Advisor, ScholarCloud and Publon Press systems and Associate Professor at University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN) 

To join this session please sign up via Zoom here

Workshop 1 Description 

In response to the evolving educational landscape and the persistent challenges associated with visualisation and student engagement, Publon Press emerges as a dynamic solution. This platform leverages innovative approaches, including dynamic visualisations, live layouts, meta-question creation, and an open content-sharing framework, to transform the traditional teaching and learning experience. By providing educators with the tools to create engaging, multimedia-rich content and promoting active participation, Publon Press not only enhances comprehension but also cultivates critical thinking skills among students, ultimately fostering a more dynamic and collaborative educational environment.

Presenter’s Bio:  

Professor Randhir Rawatlal is architect of the AutoScholar Advisor, ScholarCloud and Publon Press systems which leverage Artificial Intelligence and modern web technologies to support student success initiatives. The work began some 15 years ago, when it was realised that there were so many processes in Higher Ed that could and should be automated. From the accidental discovery of the extreme sensitivity by students to auto-generated interfaces to the realisation that all role players in higher ed are in need of some form of advising, this initial hobby grew and matured to systems in use at several institutions by thousands of students. 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/randhir-rawatlal-a971a515/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/randhir.rawatlal.7

10 October 2023: AI in Higher Education Series: Using Artificial intelligence in Education 

Featured

To join this session please sign up via Zoom here

Date and Time: Tuesday, 10th October 2023 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm Nablus, Palestine / 1:00pm SAST 

Description of the Session: 

In this session we will discuss how to introduce AI in higher education, develop effective policies for AI courses and envision AI ethics in Education (AIED).  Throughout this session, we will investigate key insights and strategies that will empower educators and learners navigate the ever-evolving intersection of AI and education. 

Session led by:  

Zuheir N Khlaif is a Lecturer, Faculty of Humanities and Educational Sciences and Researcher in Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Reality Research Center at An-Najah National University, Palestine. He holds MSc., In Instructional Design and PhD degree in Instructional Design and Technology. Khlaif conducts empirical studies on technology integration in higher and public education, online learning, computational thinking, and technostress, to which he applies various critical theories. He is also interested in emerging research paradigms, including social network analysis, learning analytics, and data mining. He shares his views on his Facebook feed @khlaifz.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zuheirkhlaif

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zuheir-khlaif-0aa56550/?originalSubdomain=ae

12 October 2023: Publon Press workshop 2: Visualising complex concepts: Using Publon Press for Teaching and Learning

Featured

Session format: Workshop

Date(s) and Time(s): Thursday 12 October 2023 10:00 – 12:00 (SAST)

Facilitated by: Professor Randhir Rawatlal,  Architect of the AutoScholar Advisor, ScholarCloud and Publon Press systems and Associate Professor at University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN) 

To join this session please register via Zoom

Workshop 2 Description   

Visualising complex concepts: Using Publon Press for Teaching and Learning

Relationships by graphs, Parametric sketching, Animated simulations In this second workshop we  introduce graph-based relationship visualization, parametric sketching techniques, and animated simulations, all of which serve as invaluable tools for enhancing the teaching and learning process. Publon Press empowers educators to create immersive educational experiences, fostering a deeper understanding of complex concepts.

Created Zoom for Registration:  https://uct-za.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIufu2urT8tGN3aWb-WqtmFSN_7MPiC1l0r

[zoom link] 

Facilitators Bio:  

Professor Randhir Rawatlal is architect of the AutoScholar Advisor, ScholarCloud and Publon Press systems which leverage Artificial Intelligence and modern web technologies to support student success initiatives. The work began some 15 years ago, when it was realised that there were so many processes in Higher Ed that could and should be automated. From the accidental discovery of the extreme sensitivity by students to auto-generated interfaces to the realisation that all role players in higher ed are in need of some form of advising, this initial hobby grew and matured to systems in use at several institutions by thousands of students. 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/randhir-rawatlal-a971a515/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/randhir.rawatlal.7

17 October 2023:  The need for critical responses to AI within and by Higher Education

Featured

To join this session please register via Zoom here

Date and Time: Tuesday 17th October 2023, 3:00pm – 4:30pm SAST

Description of the session: 

Join our upcoming webinar that delves deep into the transformative impact of AI on higher education. In an era where AI, including advanced language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, can swiftly produce assessments, sparking questions about the future of universities, our panel of experts will explore this crucial intersection. The first set of speakers, Neil Kramm and Associate Professor Mags Blackie, will discuss how AI challenges conventional views of higher education and assessment, urging us to rethink its purpose beyond mere credentialing. Meanwhile, Dr. Nicola Pallitt and Sioux McKenna will examine universities’ role in shaping the societal implications of AI and the necessity of fostering critical AI literacy among students. Join us to engage in thought-provoking discussions on the evolving relationship between AI and higher education, from assessment practices to broader societal impact, as we collectively navigate this AI-infused educational landscape.

Panellists:  

Professor Sioux McKenna is the Director of the Centre for Postgraduate Studies at Rhodes University where she also manages a nationally funded PhD programme and a number of internationally funded projects. Her interest in postgraduate studies includes a concern with how nations build postgraduate numbers with retention and throughput.

Mags Blackie is an associate professor in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning. She holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Cape Town and a PhD in education from Stellenbosch University. Her main research interest is in tertiary science education.

Dr Nicola Pallitt supports academics to use technologies effectively for teaching and learning. She supervises postgraduate students and co-teaches on formal courses and professional development offerings in Higher Education. She values contextual and culturally responsive approaches to learning design and educational technology usage. 

She seeks to expand critical perspectives on educational technologies in Higher Education.

Neil Kramm is part of the EdTech team in the Centre of Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University and has been working with educational technology since 2015 in a teaching and development function that served both students and academic staff. Neil is a researcher on educational technology focusing on Artificial Intelligence in higher education, assessment and research working on a PhD in AI and how it will change assessment in Higher Education.For more information and sign-up here

26 October 2023: Publon Press Workshop 3: Dealing with data: Using Publon Press for Learning Analytics

Featured

 

Session format: Workshop Thursday 26 October 2023 10:00 – 12:00 (SAST)

Facilitated by: Professor. Randhir Rawatlal,  Architect of the AutoScholar Advisor, ScholarCloud and Publon Press systems and Associate Professor at University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN) 

To join this session please register via Zoom here

Session Description:  

In this session we look at Dealing with data – Using Publon Press for Teaching and Learning

Loading and exploring a data set. Composite data sets. Inherent tree structures. Automated statistical processing. Presenting insights, inviting user interaction 

Alternative description: 

In this third workshop dedicated to harnessing the power of Publon Press for Teaching and Learning, we delve into the intricacies of handling data effectively. This session will guide participants through the process of loading and exploring data sets, including the management of composite data sets and understanding inherent tree structures. Furthermore, we’ll explore automated statistical processing tools and techniques, ultimately enabling participants to effectively present data-driven insights while fostering user interaction and engagement.

Created Zoom for Registration:  https://uct-za.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYocemtpzMiH9aenbnUwUeTEmTwG_-3EU4I

[zoom link] 

Presenter’s Bio:  

Professor Randhir Rawatlal is architect of the AutoScholar Advisor, ScholarCloud and Publon Press systems which leverage Artificial Intelligence and modern web technologies to support student success initiatives. The work began some 15 years ago, when it was realised that there were so many processes in Higher Ed that could and should be automated. From the accidental discovery of the extreme sensitivity by students to auto-generated interfaces to the realisation that all role players in higher ed are in need of some form of advising, this initial hobby grew and matured to systems in use at several institutions by thousands of students. 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/randhir-rawatlal-a971a515/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/randhir.rawatlal.7

2 November 2023 Publon Press workshop 4: Studying our students

Featured

Session Description:  

In this final session of the programme, we finish by creating learning pathways. Integrating learning content with automated testing and student performance data to “close the loop” and facilitate guided self-study. 

To join this session please register via Zoom here

Presenter’s Bio:  

Professor Randhir Rawatlal is architect of the AutoScholar Advisor, ScholarCloud and Publon Press systems which leverage Artificial Intelligence and modern web technologies to support student success initiatives. The work began some 15 years ago, when it was realised that there were so many processes in Higher Ed that could and should be automated. From the accidental discovery of the extreme sensitivity by students to auto-generated interfaces to the realisation that all role players in higher ed are in need of some form of advising, this initial hobby grew and matured to systems in use at several institutions by thousands of students. 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/randhir-rawatlal-a971a515/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/randhir.rawatlal.7

Facilitating Online Course in 2023

Featured

This year the Facilitating Online course ran three well attended course cohorts and we are now open for registration for our 2023 cohorts. The dates for all four 2023 cohorts are the following:

16 Oct – 08 December 2023 (Apply by 6th October 2023)

Please apply here

About the course

Facilitating Online provides a solid foundation for facilitating online events and courses. It is registered as a short course at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Facilitating Online was developed by the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at UCT and is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of its support for the e/merge Africa network. It is convened by Tony Carr and co-facilitated by facilitators from across Africa.

We consider applications in the order in which they arrive so earlier applications stand a higher chance of being accepted

Recommendations by participants

“I learned many facilitation skills that I am now able to apply with my own students. I would recommend the course highly to anyone embarking on the online teaching and learning journey.”
Dr Judith McKenzie, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town.

“This course doesn’t just teach you ABOUT online Facilitation, it actually gets you to facilitate … It’s a real opportunity to learn and develop. And what’s more? It has an African taste…”
Daniel Adeboye, Online Maths Tutor, Tutor for the Future

Continue reading