April 2021

Dear Colleague,

As 2021 continues to be as challenging as 2020, with several countries on lockdown due to the third wave of COVID19, we hope all of you are staying safe and healthy and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones.  For those who celebrate Easter, we hope you had a wonderful holiday.  To all those who observe Ramadan we wish a great month.

We continue to organise and bring you webinars and other events that add value and bring the community together.  Let us continue to support each other in everything that we do..

In the April newsletter we have:

  1. Facilitating Online course - Applications open for the rest of 2021
  2. Upcoming e/merge Africa events/webinars in English and Arabic
  3. Job Opportunities
  4. 2021 Curated List of Research Opportunities
  5. Upcoming Online events/webinars by e/merge Africa friends
  6. Activities and ideas to help build a sense of community online
  7. MOOCs
  8. Designing online conferences
  9. COVID-19 OERs, Resources and Articles
  10. Recent publications by some of our members
  11. Ways of getting involved in the e/merge Africa Network 



Apply for Facilitating Online Course in 2021

facilitating online

 Do you want to become an effective online facilitator? We invite applications to our fully online 8-week online facilitation course.

 Facilitating Online Global course application for 2021 second run is now open. The course dates are:

  • 17 May - 9 July 2021 (Application deadline extended to 30 April 2021)
  •  2 Aug - 23 Sept 2021 (Apply by 25 June 2021)
  •  18 Oct - 10 Dec 2021 (Apply by 10 Sept 2021)

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.

This course is aimed at change-agent educational technologists, educators and trainers within the African Higher Educational sector and beyond. Course participation is entirely online and will require up to 8 hours of participation per week. We can offer up to two free places per state funded higher education institution in Africa subject to admission requirements. Participants from other sectors and continents who meet the admission requirements can join us for a fee of ZAR 8000 per participant. 

Please use the link below for full information and to access the online application form.




e/merge Africa events in English


Wednesday, 20 April 2021:  Lessons learnt from implementing a new tools during an emergency situation: The Invigilator at Rhodes University 



Date and Time: Wednesday, 20 April 2021: :2:00 - 3.00 pm SAST

For more information and sign-up  here

Description of webinar:  During 2020, the Educational Technology team worked with a lecturer in the Law Faculty at Rhodes University and The Invigilator team to pilot a remote invigilation app. The focus of this webinar will be on our experiences of implementing The Invigilator app at Rhodes University during the pandemic, from piloting it in one course to preparations for a university-wide rollout. Lessons learnt include: the importance of developer support and collaboration, getting buy-in from students, lecturers and university management as well as reflecting on what is necessary to implement a new tool during an emergency situation.

The Invigilator team had a supportive approach to working with universities, and feedback from different universities led to improvement of the application. The Invigilator is a mobile and browser-based application that provides remote invigilation of online assessments. For more information, please visit

 Facilitated by: 



Dr. Nicola Pallitt coordinates the efforts of the Educational Technology Unit in the Centre for Higher Education Research,Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University and offers professional development opportunities for academics to use technologies effectively in their roles as educators and researchers. Nicola supervises postgraduate students and co-teaches on formal courses in Higher Education. She enjoys meeting EdTech practitioners and researchers from across the globe. 



Jurie Wessels is an academic lecturing in the disciplines of Accounting and Taxation. He has been lecturing at the University of Johannesburg for the past 12 years and has a special interest in the application of technology based tools to enhance teaching and learning. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jurie has been closely involved in the development of The Invigilator mobile application that assists lecturers in maintaining the academic integrity of remote and online assessments.


Neil Kramm is based at the Educational Technology Unit in the Centre for Higher Education Research,Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University. Neil is passionate about academic development and infusing technology into teaching and learning.  He enjoys working with innovative technology solutions and implementing tech solutions that enhance teaching and learning. He is an active researcher on issues relating to educational technology, in particular, how technology is incorporated into teaching and learning.

For more information and sign-up here


e/merge Africa events in Arabic

Led by e/merge Africa team member Dr. Mohamed Ahmed of Mansoura University, Egypt, we have already had many online events in Arabic in 2020 and will continue this year. These events will be held on Friday afternoons 4–5 pm (Cairo time). For more details of Arabic events and how to sign up please go to e/merge Africa Arabic

For questions and thoughts about this initiative we welcome your comments. If you wish to present in Arabic please use the Presenter’s form which is available via the e/merge Africa Arabic website.


Job Opportunities


Instructional Designer/Learning Experience Designer (AD08)


Wits is seeking to appoint two Learning Experience Designers to its Centre for Learning, Teaching, and Development (CLTD).  The successful candidates will be offered a fixed term contract terminating on 31 December 2023. The positions are based in Johannesburg, Gauteng.

The Learning Experience Designer will curriculate, design, and develop evidence-based, inclusive blended and/or online learning programmes and workshops, teach on such professional learning programmes and workshops, and participate in collaborative project work. 

The position will suit a self-motivated individual, skilled in the facilitation of learning interactions. (S)he should have a passion for learning experience design aimed at supporting students’ self-directed learning, and the use of appropriate innovative educational technologies to promote active and collaborative learning. The successful candidate will be conversant with, and actively keep abreast of developments in learning science, learning experience design, and educational technologies. The candidate should be comfortable communicating with academics and administrators as (s)he will work across a number of institutional settings and will collaborate with various stakeholder groups and communities of practice.  More information and How to apply 



Upcoming Events 


digiTAL 2021 Conference - Call for Abstract 



We invite submissions for the digiTAL 2021 conference. Abstract submissions deadline: 15th June. See the CFP for more details or visit our website


In order to share opportunities and make sure you do not miss anything, we have created this document which will be updated throughout the year with quality research opportunities, upcoming conferences, calls for chapters and journal articles and much more.

You can follow the updated through this link  

Activities and ideas to help build a sense of community online

OneHE announced that they have teamed up with Maha Bali and Equity Unbound to develop some open educational resources for online community-building. Equity Unbound is an emergent, collaborative curriculum which aims to create equity-focused, open, connected, intercultural learning experiences across classes, countries and contexts. 

Equity Unbound has developed these wonderful and diverse activities for educators to use with their classes (for higher education mainly, but many can work for school age students as well). In this email you will find details of the first five activities we launched earlier this week and the further three resources that we released today. We want to hear you feedback and suggestions for other activities we can include. Get in touch by email or complete the form you will find on each activity page. 

HELTASA Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs)

We welcome your suggestions, participation in and engagement with our CLCs. Please visit our website for more information on their workshops, publications and other activities here .




Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion: Learn practical strategies for making education inclusive

Discover ways to make education more inclusive, especially in areas where resources are limited. 

Millions of children around the world are excluded from access to education because of a disability - robbing them of their potential and diminishing our society.

On this course you will learn about inclusive education, understanding what barriers there are to learning and how to challenge them. Over six weeks you will learn from a range of people with experience of disability, discovering practical ways to create a more inclusive learning environment that you can apply in your own area.

For more information Making Education Inclusive - Online Course (


Designing Online Conferences

Here are some resources related to designing online conferences:

COVID-19 OERs, Resources and Articles

We invite you to share OERs and other resources related to emergency remote teaching on our Facebook page.

Examples of COVID-19 resources: 

Articles of interest:

Recent publications by some of our members

Gachago, D., Pallitt, N., & Bali, M. 2020. No Size Fits All: Design Considerations for Networked Professional Development in Higher Education. Proceedings of the Networked Learning Conference. Denmark, online:

Belluigi, D., Czerniewicz, L., Khoo, S., Algers, A., Buckley, LA., Prinsloo, P., Mgqwashu, E., Camps, C., Brink, C., Marx, R., Wissing, G., & Pallitt, N. 2020. “Needs Must”? Critical reflections on the implications of the Covid19 ‘pivot online’ for equity in higher education. Digital Culture and Education. 

Czerniewicz, L.; Agherdien, N.; Badenhorst, J.; Belluigi, D.; Chambers, T.; Chili, M.; de Villiers, M.; Felix, A.; Gachago, D.; Gokhale, C.; Ivala, E.; Kramm, N.; Madiba, M.; Mistri, G.; Mgqwashu, E.; Pallitt, N.; Prinsloo, P.; Solomon, S[MOU1] .; Strydom, S.; Swanepoel, M.; Waghid, F. & Wissing, G. 2020. A Wake-Up Call: Equity, Inequality and Covid-19 Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning. Postdigital Science and  Education.



e/merge Africa is a platform for learning and connecting. It provides an opportunity to join a growing Africa-wide network of eLearning professionals. We offer a number of ways for you to get involved and engage with colleagues across the continent

Propose an event

Whether you are a seasoned lecturer or PhD-student engaged in research you would like to share with our network, please propose a webinar, a seminar or even an online workshop. Perhaps you’ve attended an e-learning related conference recently and are willing to participate in a report back.  

Be part of a peer-assist

Have you got stuck with a daunting challenge in your work where there are no technical fixes? We can arrange a Peer-Assist session where you access insight, experience, new perspectives and potential solutions from e/merge Africa colleagues.Contact us on and we will pull this together and facilitate the process. 

Nominate a presenter

Is there a mentor, supervisor, colleague whose research could  be shared with our network? Please get in touch to nominate a presenter!

Share with us via social media

Perhaps you’ve found or created a useful resource or published a paper of interest to other educational technology professionals? Please share via our Facebook group or via Twitter. Please subscribe to our e/merge Africa YouTube Channel 

Best Wishes,

The e/merge Africa team


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
2021 e/merge Africa.

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