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 at 1 pm (South African Standard Time).

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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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30 March 2017: Reportback on OE Global conference

Presenters: Dr Glenda Cox, OE Global programme chair, Sukaina Walji, ROER4D, Tony Carr, e/merge Africa network convenor

Format: One hour Adobe Connect live session Thursday 30 March at 12 Noon (SAST)

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The Open Education Global Conference was held in Cape Town from 8 to 10 March 2017. This was a first for the African continent, welcoming the world to meet, discuss, plan, reflect, collaborate, innovate and celebrate openness in education. 2017 is the ‘year of open’ as it marks several milestones in the openness movement, including:

  • The 10 year anniversary of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration,
  • 15 year anniversary of the term “Open Educational Resources” and the
  • 5 year anniversary of the Paris OER Declaration.

In this session we will share some reflections on and learnings from this event. We invite you to a shared discussion about the implications of emerging research and practice related to openness for African Higher Education.

Links for interest:

About the conference
Conference schedule with links to abstracts and presentations
About the Year of Open Initiative


Dr. Glenda CoxDr. Glenda Cox ,is a senior lecturer at CILT and her portfolio includes Curriculum projects, Teaching with Technology innovation grants, Open Education Resources and Staff development. She has recently completed her PhD in Education and her research focused on using the theoretical approach of Social Realism to explain why academic staff choose to contribute or not to contribute their teaching resources as open educational resources. She believes supporting and showcasing UCT staff who are excellent teachers, both in traditional face-to-face classrooms and the online world, is of great importance. She is passionate about the role of Open Education in the changing world of Higher Education. She is also a project leader on a ROER4D sub-project on academics’ views of sharing OERs in South Africa and was the programme chair for the 2017 OE Global conference.

Professor Paul MuyindaSukaina Walji,is ROER4D’s Research Communications Advisor. Her role is to oversee the overall communication strategy both for the project’s day-to-day external and internal communications including the website and social media, as well as developing the research communications and dissemination strategy for the project’s research outputs. She works as part of the project coordination team and is supported by the IDRC-funded DECI-2 project in building understanding of the Research Communications for Development field. She is also a Researcher on ROER4D Sub-project 10.3 which is investigating how and in what ways adopting OER in and for MOOCs has an impact on educators’ Open Educational Practices. She has a Master’s degree in Online and Distance Education from the Open University (UK) and is also the Project Manager of  UCT’s MOOC Implementation Team.

Tony CarrTony Carr , is the convener of e/merge Africa and educational technologist in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at the University of Cape Town. Tony’s operational and research interests include online collaboration, communities of practice in staff development, online facilitation and online professional networks.



Dr. Nicola PallittDr. Nicola Pallitt , is a lecturer in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at the University of Cape Town and a co-convenor of the Facilitating Online course. Her professional interests include e-portfolios, badging in courses and games in learning.

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