Upcoming events


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


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.


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


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