24 Jan 2023: How is e-Learning changing in African universities?

Session format: Interactive Panel Session 


  • Professor Ayotola Aremu,  University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Professor Joel Mtebe, University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Dr Nicola Palitt is an Educational Technology Specialist at senior lecturer level in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University in South Africa
  • John Zaki, Mansoura University and  Vice Director of the Electronic and Knowledge Service Center for the Egyptian Supreme Council of Universities

Date and Time: Tuesday, 24th January 2023, 14:00 – 15:30 SAST

Session Description:  

Our panel of four e-learning experts from universities in four different regions of Africa will discuss what changed in eLearning during 2022 and planned changes for 2023.

To join please sign up here  

Session Description:  

Our panel of four e-learning experts from universities in four different regions of Africa will discuss what changed in eLearning during 2022 and planned changes for 2023.  

Our Agenda for the panel:

  1. What changed in e-learning during 2022 in your context? 
  2. Please tell us a story about a defining moment/learning experience in your work in 2022 which challenged how you think about e-learning, your practices and perhaps even your concept of yourself.
  3. What are your plans to change e-learning in your context during 2023?
  4. Follow-up discussion including panellists and members of members of the audience 
  5. Final contributions and take home by panellists 


Ayotola Aremu is a Professor of Educational Technology of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria, where she has been teaching for over two decades. Her first degree is in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. She also has certification in online facilitation, Internet of Things, and technology enabled learning.She was one of the project group leaders, who created online content for courses in her university under the Partnership in Higher Education for Africa (PHEA), Educational technology Initiative (ETI). She has also been a facilitator for the Pedagogical Leadership in Africa (PEDAL) project,implemented by Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR). During the COVID lockdown she facilitated the development of online courses and online teaching amongst the University of Ibadan staff as the programme coordinator for the Emergency Remote Teaching. Professor Aremu is now one of the lead e-coaches in the University of Ibadan e-learning programme. Her current hobby is writing Christian fiction for children, which she hopes to transform to an animated series very soon.

Professor Joel S. Mtebe Professor Joel S. Mtebe is an Associate Professor of informatics at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He was appointed as the Principal of the College of Information and Communication Technologies (CoICT) of the University of Dar es Salaam in December 2021. He works as Consultant for the EdTechHub supporting the use of technology in teachers’ continuous professional development project for primary education in Tanzania. He has been working as a consultant at Pan African Virtual and E-University for implementing online, blended, and self paced courses across Africa. Prof Mtebe is also an adviser to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in the Higher Education for Economic Transformation Project (HEET) ? Project. He has been involved in several works include the Assessment of the Performance of Government e-Payment Gateway (GePG), performance of Tanzania Revenue Authority ICT Systems in Revenue Collection, review of the implementation of the Integrated Core Banking System of the Bank of Tanzania, and Feasibility study for National Human DNA Database in Tanzania.

 Follow this link to view Joel Mtebe’s publications

Dr Nicola Palitt is an Educational Technology Specialist at senior lecturer level in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University in South Africa. Nicola’s research interests include learning design, online professional development and online supervision. She supervises postgraduate students and co-teaches formal courses in Higher Education and co-facilitates professional development opportunities for lecturers in various settings. She received her PhD from the University of Cape Town. Read more about Nicola here  – hyperlink to https://www.ru.ac.za/teachingandlearning/chertl/staff/drnicolapallitt/ 

John Zaki, Mansoura University, Egypt

John Zaki is Vice Director of the Electronic and Knowledge Service Center for the Egyptian Supreme Council of Universities Communication and Information Technology Center CITC. He is well known for implementing eLearning platforms and student information systems (SIS) for higher education institutions. Prior to that, he was the Head of e-Learning and Vice Director of the Communication and Information Technology Center CITC, Mansoura University. John is an associate professor in the Faculty of Engineering at Mansoura University where he lectures on computer engineering topics. Before his career in higher education, John worked for several multinational corporations. His qualifications include a Ph.D. in Computers and Systems from Mansoura University and an MBA from the University of Glasgow. Follow this link for John Zaki’s publications.

7 February 2023: Course Design: The Paediatric Physical Examination Skills (PPES) online course at the University of the Witwatersrand

Date and Time: Tuesday, 7th February 2023, 2:00pm – 3:00pm SAST

Session Lead: 

  • Dr. Sanjay Lala, Associate Professor, Paediatrician and clinical tutor, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Dr Ann George, University of the Witwatersrand

Session Description:  

The Paediatric Physical Examination Skills (PPES) course is an online course which won a Teaching and Learning Award at Wits University in 2022.  It is designed for use in a blended learning programme to facilitate the acquisition of paediatric clinical examination skills by undergraduate medical students. The content reflects the teaching methods of two experienced clinical tutors, and offers learners a proven and structured method to acquire mastery in clinical examination skills.  The course focuses on teaching difficult concepts that learners commonly encounter when they examine children by using evidence-based learning methods to deliver the content in manageable sections that can easily be completed during their clinical rotations.

The course is specifically designed for use in low to middle income resource settings in Southern Africa. In these settings, large groups of undergraduate students are taught in overcrowded and noisy hospital wards and clinical settings where it is difficult to learn effectively. Because much of the teaching in the course is through direct instruction, many components of traditional bedside teaching can be taught effectively and efficiently in the online course. This provides the students with more independent opportunities to learn and practise their clinical skills, and allows tutors to engage with smaller student groups and provide immediate feedback to learners. The course enables the teaching of expert clinical tutors to reach a wide audience.

To join this session please sign up via Zoom here

Session Lead:  

Dr Sanjay Lala is a paediatrician who has been in clinical practice for over thirty years, having worked in a wide array of public health care settings in South Africa and England, including a substantial term of service in a rural hospital. He is an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and a paediatric gastroenterology subspecialist. Until January 2023, he was Head of Clinical Unit at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. He is currently co-ordinating the development of a blended learning programme for medical students at Wits University. He has research expertise in clinical paediatrics, and molecular and cellular biology. His research interests are in childhood infectious disease, especially childhood TB and Group B streptococcal disease; inflammatory bowel disease; and paediatric medical educational. Sanjay is the principal convenor for the newly instituted national Part II College of Paediatricians written MCQ exams since its introduction in 2018, and has developed curricula and syllabi for several undergraduate paediatric courses, including the first paediatric online blending course at Wits University. This course – which has been the basis of the Wits Vice Chancellor’s Team-Teaching 2022 Award – has been distributed to other South African and African universities, and is the subject of this talk.

Dr. Ann George is an educationalist with more than 30 years of teaching experience.She holds a BSc (cum laude) (1986), a BSc Honours degree in cytogenetics (1992), and a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand (2014). She joined the Centre for Health Science Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 2016, as a Senior Lecturer: Curriculum and Faculty Development. 

Ann was awarded two National Research Foundation Thuthuka grants for projects focusing on digital learning in health professions education (2017-2019 and 2020-2022). She currently holds a Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers grant. Her research into the effective use of educational technology to improve health professions education, focusing on designing learning interactions that promote meaningful learning is informed by a design-based research (DBR) framework. DBR involves an iterative process of developing solutions to complex educational problems by empirical investigation in tandem with efforts to reveal and enhance theoretical understanding.

Ann is a fellow on the Female Academic Leaders Fellowship (2021-2022), and a member of the Southern African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE) and the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE). She is an associate editor for the journal Human Resources for Health and has published in several international journals. Ann is the secretary of the organising committee of the SAAHE Health Professions Education Research Significant Interest Group and serves on Wits University’s Professionalism and Ethics Committee. Ann began working on the PPES course in 2016 as an education researcher and consultant, and is the first author on two of the three articles emanating from the project. 

29 March 2023: Decolonising EdTech: Unpacking Conceptual Frameworks

In collaboration with EdTech Hub we are pleased to offer this series of three writing workshops particularly aimed at emerging African EdTech researchers. We will be hosing three workshops starting with Decolonising EdTech: Unpacking Conceptual Frameworks happening 30 March. Once finalised we will announce the two other workshops happening in April and May respectively. Workshop 1 is led by Dr. Taskeen Adam and Nariman Moustafa, both from EdTechHub. Please see below for more information and sign up for the session here via Zoom.

Description of workshop 1:  

In this author’s workshop, we engage with, unpack and bridge conceptual frameworks around decoloniality and social justice in education, particularly within the education technology space (EdTech). The aim of the workshop is to support emerging researchers and research practitioners to understand what conceptual frameworks are, and to introduce participants to decolonial conceptual frameworks that they can use and adapt in their work. Additionally, we share how new conceptual frameworks can be built. Loosely defined, conceptual frameworks illustrate the relationship between different concepts, theories and/or variables. A conceptual framework may be used and tested in deductive research, or developed through inductive research. 

While much has been written about “decolonial education” and “decolonial research methods”, conversations on ‘decoloniality in EdTech’ are still nascent. Decolonising EdTech involves dismantling the ‘relations of power and conceptions of knowledge’ that are reproduced through EdTech in: its fundamental assumptions; its content; its pedagogical underpinnings; its design; and its implementation through national, international and development efforts. 

In this interactive workshop, we will engage with some foundational texts and ideas in decolonial theory relating to: Globalising education, western-centric epistemological and pedagogical underpinnings in EdTech, dominant languages used to achieve EdTech product scaling, “core-to-periphery” implementation of EdTech products and technological design critiques. The workshop will include time to reflect and discuss ideas in breakout groups. We hope this workshop inspires and supports you to contribute articles to the emerging field of decolonising edtech. 

Overview and context

In a context where Sub-Saharan African education systems, economic systems, governmental systems, academia, and the region itself continue to experience the legacies of colonisation, this workshop series seeks to create and support a sustainable and critical community of emerging researchers, research-practitioners and academics in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a focus on the field of Education Technology (Edtech) in order to:

  • address the colonial issues embedded in the field of Edtech, and academic publishing systems and processes whereby epistemic orthodoxy systematically excludes non-Western epistemological, ontological, and methodological practices, and; 
  • produce ground-breaking work that will catalyse distinctively African educational scholarship, voices, thoughts, experiences and agendas. 

This will be the first of a series of workshops covering critical and declonial educational technology conceptual frameworks, decolonising research methods, research tools, techniques, ethics and governance, and supporting SSA researchers towards publication.

Objectives of the writing workshops series 

Goals involve: 

  • To create and support a sustainable and critical community of emerging academics in Sub-Saharan Africa concerned with the topic of Decolonising Educational Technology. 
  • Enable participants to submit high-quality papers to journals on educational technology such as – but not limited to – the UNESCO Chair Special Edition on Decolonising Education Technology.


The call for applications is open to emerging researchers or research practitioners from Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on education, education technologies, critical pedagogies, decolonising education, decolonising edtech, education and social justice, digital inclusion and digital rights in education, edtech and power. Participants from diverse backgrounds and minority groups are encouraged to apply. 

Please sign up via Zoom here

Presenter’s Bio:

Dr. Taskeen is a Co-Director with Open Development & Education and a Senior Research Lead at EdTech Hub. She specialises in topics such as tech-supported teacher professional development, virtual learning environments and open education. She completed her PhD on  ‘Addressing Injustices through MOOCs: A study among peri-urban, marginalised South African youth’ at the University of Cambridge. Her research highlighted that historical injustices, cultural imposition, and economic dependence continue to play a pivotal role in education. Her MPhil thesis focused on the ‘Sustainable Implementation of the One Laptop per Child project in Rwanda’. Alongside her academic pursuits, she pioneered Khwela (a regional online course platform) and Solar Powered Learning in South Africa as well as Mobile Education for Smart Technology in India. Prior to her career shift to EdTech, she worked as an electrical engineer, specialising in measurement and control. Publications available here.

Twitter handle: @TaskeenAdam  @opendeved

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/taskeen-adam-2027a150/ 

Website link:  https://opendeved.net/ 

Nariman Moustafa is a Senior Analyst at Open Development and Education. She brings 10+ years of experience in the fields of international (basic and tertiary) education, social innovation, higher education teaching, as well as agile and adaptive management/leadership. Her skills include facilitation of social transformation processes, designing education programmes and learning experiences, catalyzing innovations, leading critical participatory processes & community organizing, policy analysis and research. She has worked on projects that range from consulting for governments on how to act better with limited resources to designing & facilitating experiential learning programs for world leaders around justice-based leadership approaches to creating global alliances and networks for re-imagining education. She is previously a founder and director of Mesahat: Liberating Learning Spaces (Cairo, Egypt), a network that envisions the creation of learning cities through the spread of inter-connected self-organized, social-justice based, and lifelong learning online and offline communal learning spaces using agile methods and embodied democratic practices. She currently voluntarily serves on the working groups that direct the Ecoversities Alliance, the latter comprises more than 150 higher education institutions around the globe that aim to reimagine higher education through reviving and reclaiming diverse knowledge ecologies using decolonial inquiry methods, with a focus on the global south. Nariman completed her Master’s in Education Science from Harvard University where she also assists in teaching several courses on topics of adaptive leadership and community organizing.

Twitter handle: @NarimanMoustafa @opendeved

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nariman-moustafa/ 

Website link: https://edtechhub.org/https://opendeved.net/  

About the partners/organisers 

EdTech Hub is a global research partnership. Our goal is to empower people by giving them the evidence they need to make decisions about technology in education. We use an integrated approach that marries research, technical assistance and innovation to address the educational challenges faced by low- and middle-income countries around the world. We do this by collaborating with partners to provide governments with the resources to effectively integrate EdTech into their education systems. We work globally, and also on the ground in 7 focus countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. We are supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, and UNICEF. Learn more at www.edtechhub.org

Emerge Africa 

e/merge Africa is an educational technology network which is mostly for educational technology researchers and practitioners in African higher education. Since 2014 e/merge Africa has offered regular professional development activities in the form of online seminars and workshops and short courses.