18 July: Online supervision: A conversation by and for supervisors and students

Session format: Once-off webinar

Date and Time: Thursday, 18 July, 1 pm SAST


Dr. Nicola Pallitt, Academic Staff Development Practitioner: Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning Specialist, CHERTL, Rhodes University, South Africa 

Heinrich Prinsloo, Senior Instructional Designer, University of the Free State, South Africa

Isabel Du Preez, Instructional Designer, University of the Free State, South Africa

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Online supervision is an emerging practice in African universities where there is a need for more flexible forms of postgraduate supervision. This is particularly important for educational technology professionals studying towards a postgraduate degree while working. In this presentation, Dr. Pallitt and her Masters students reflect on the practical aspects of how online supervision happens, and the opportunities and challenges for supervisors and students. Examples of good online supervisory practices are discussed by expanding on Lee’s (2007) concepts of supervision. Lee (2007) argues that conceptions of research supervision that supervisors hold affect the way the research student operates. We argue that this conception also influences the kinds of online tools that supervisors use as part of the supervision process. Participants will be given the opportunity to question the conceptions that they hold and examine these in conversation with other supervisors and students. Developing supervision skills more generally is essential for emerging and experienced academics. 

Nicola Pallitt coordinates the efforts of the Educational Technology Unit at Rhodes University and offers professional development opportunities for academics to use technologies effectively in their roles as educators and researchers. She provides learning design support and consultation in relation to teaching with technology (technology integration) and blended and online teaching and learning. Nicola supervises postgraduate students and co-teaches on formal courses in Higher Education. Nicola is passionate about engaging fellow practitioner-researchers in research that takes critical, contextual and pedagogically informed approaches to educational technology.

Heinrich Prinsloo is a senior instructional designer at the University of the Free State. He is responsible for improving blended and online delivery of content, as well as developing Blackboard as the online platform for learning and offer training to staff and students through innovative approaches.


Isabel Du Preez works as an instructional designer at the University of the Free State. She is part of a team who design and develop learning materials for online learning programmes, especially in the field of teacher education.



The live session for this event has ended but please continue the conversation in the Facebook event page 

The recording is also available here (YouTube)


5 July: Re-centering, Reframing and Owning dialogues: The role of Afrikan Academics in conversations on Emerging Technologies and Creativity in Education

Presenter: Dr Tutaleni Asino – Oklahoma State University, US

Time and Date: 5 July at 1 pm (SAST)  1 hour webinar

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This event is in collaboration with the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at the University of Cape Town. 

There are many terms, concepts and theories used in education today. Terms such as collaboration, community of learners, openness, context and culture, 21st century skills, critical thinking skills, and many more are prevalent in educational conversations. I propose that we take time to dismantle the dichotomous nature of much of this conversation. One is made to believe that there are only two choices, often extreme, from which one can select. Reality however is a system with varied and intertwined options requiring us to address the simple and complex at the same time. We can design physical learning spaces so that students can move flexibly between individual and collaborative learning AND ensure that an online learning environment such as Vula is used effectively to support learning. The commonality in both situations is about a concern for the learning space or learning environment. Afrikan ideals are present in many of the conversations that are currently presented as innovation. In this session, I propose that we take time to (re)center, re)frame and (re)own some of the dominant dialogues as Afrikan academics.

Dr Tutaleni Asino spends most of his time with one foot on the Afrikan continent in Namibia, the other on the North American continent in the USA and his arms stretched out to the world beyond. His research focuses on emerging technologies in education; diffusion of mobile devices in teaching and learning; Mobile Learning; Design for Mobile Devices; Indigenous knowledge; Openness (access, education, resources, pedagogy); Comparative International Education; and the role of culture in the development and evaluation of learning technologies. He is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Technology Program and Director of the Emerging Technologies and Creativity Research Lab at Oklahoma State University.

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27 June: How learners in African countries are finding value in MOOCs

Presenter: Sukaina Walji, Tasneem Jaffer and Dr. Jeff Jawitz, Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), University of Cape Town

Time and Date: Webinar 27 June 2019 1 pm (SAST)  

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The lived experiences of MOOC takers are often not visible from surveys and platform analytics. We interviewed 58 people living in Africa who completed MOOCs created by the University of Cape Town to explore the broader impact of open online learning opportunities. Engaging with MOOC participants after they have completed their interaction with the MOOC and drawing on their reflections and stories of impact has led to deeper understanding of the types of value people gained through taking a MOOC. Participants often spoke of using the MOOC learning and available certification to support a career transition, showcase evidence of learning or to “bank” the learning for an intended and later purpose. We will also explore participants’ stories of limitations of learning in open online courses touching on aspects of design, community and recognition. This session will inform how to support informal online learning opportunities.

This event has ended – please refer to the recording of this event here

Sukaina Walji is an Online Education Project Manager at the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, University of Cape Town. Learn more.




Tasneem Jaffer is Learning Designer and Project Coordinator at the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, University of Cape Town. Learn more.



Dr. Jeff Jawitz is Curriculum and course Design team Convenor at the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, University of Cape Town. Learn more.