June 2021

Dear Colleague,

Have you had your COVID Vaccine?  Is it available to you in your country?  We are all hopeful that soon everyone will be able to take the vaccine and be safe. 

We continue to organise and bring you webinars, news and events that add value and bring the community together.  You can also read about what we have been doing in narrowing the Digital divide in education. 

In the May 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. Call for Proposals, Research and Book Chapters
  4. 2021 Curated List of Research Opportunities
  5. Upcoming Online events/webinars by e/merge Africa friends
  6. MOOCs
  7. COVID-19 OERs, Resources and Articles
  8. Recent publications by some of our members
  9. Ways of getting involved in the e/merge Africa Network 


Apply for Facilitating Online Course in 2021

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

facilitating online


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

  •  2 Aug - 23 Sept 2021 (Application OPEN - 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


Tuesday, 15 June 2021:  Effectively Supporting Online Learning Groups in eLearning Systems

Date and Time: Tuesday, 15 June 2021: :2:00 - 3.00 pm SAST

For more information and sign-up  here

Description of webinar:   Learning in groups has been advocated to increase learning. However, although learning groups can bring about meaningful learning, learning groups in online environments are often not working. To solve this problem, this study used design science approaches with three case studies. These case studies were used under three research areas: context of online learning groups, processes to support effective online learning groups and tools to support effective online learning groups. The study adopted mixed methods. Establishing the context of online learning groups laid a foundation for this research study. This was done using a survey approach that covered the five regions in Uganda, semi-structured interviews with experienced online learning facilitators and observation of interaction logs of online courses at both the University of Agder and Makerere University. Initially, preliminary findings of effective online learning groups were established. The preliminary findings consist of the need for: study guide, trained online tutors, motivating and sustaining interaction, high levels of cognitive interactions, peer assessment based activities and ICT. From the context of online learning groups, the Methods and Factors for Effective Online Learning Groups (FEOLG) were established. Methods include: methods for creating online learning groups, methods for structuring online learning group activities, methods for facilitating online learning groups. FEOLG include: supporting institutional online learning group policy; supporting institutional online learning group technology; quality of online learning group activity; quality of the online learning group; and quality of online learning group facilitation. The factors were evaluated using online learning courses based on the existing Makerere University eLearning Environment (MUELE). Therefore, this webinar aims to explain an investigation on how learning groups can work effectively in online learning environments.

Facilitated by: Dr. Godfrey Mayende, Ag. Director, Institute of Open, Distance and eLearning, College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University.


Dr. Mayende (Male) has worked at the Institute of Open, Distance and eLearning since 2001, and he is currently the Acting Director of the Institute. Godfrey holds a PhD in ICT (specialising in online learning groups) from the University of Agder (UiA), Norway. He has a PGDE (Educational Technology) from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. Godfrey holds a MSc. Eng (Information Systems) from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway and a BSc. Comp Science and Mathematics from Makerere University (MAK), Uganda. He has recent peer reviewed publications in the area of eLearning and specifically online learning groups. He has vast experience in eLearning training workshops most especially for online course development. He is a member of the Makerere University e-Learning Fast-Tracking Task Force. He is an educational technology consultant and his research interests are: online learning groups, social media for teaching and learning, distance learning, eLearning, collaborative learning, Instruction Design and Interaction Design.

For more information and sign-up here


Wednesday, 30 June 2021: Facilitating using low-end technologies - A case study from Zimbabwe 

Date and Time: Tuesday, 15 June 2021: :2:00 - 3.00 pm SAST

For more information and sign-up  here

Description of webinar:  WhatsApp has been used across African Higher Education Institutions for teaching and learning activities in a variety of innovative ways. Tarirayi will share her experience of using WhatsApp as a case study of a course lesson planned and delivered on WhatsApp during this webinar. She will give examples following a specific ID model in creating instructions.  She will also share about  technologies she uses to create plans and content as well as how she delivers the lesson on WhatsApp. 

Facilitated by: Tarirayi Mukabeta, Lecturer: Educational Technology Department, Faculty of Science Education, Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE), Zimbabwe.

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


Friday, 04 June 2021: تصميم المقررات الإلكترونية باستخدام Articulate Presenter 13

Date and Time: Friday, 04 June  2021: 4:00pm SAST

For more information and sign-up  here

Description of webinar:   

من المتوقع بعد نهاية الجلسة التدريبية أن يكون المتدرب قادرًا على أن:

  1. يفرق بين الصور النقطية والرسومات Raster and Vector.
  2. يتعرف على الألوان، وتحديد نظام الألوان قبل العمل Template Color .
  3. يعرف بعض المصطلحات مثل: .Infographic
  4. يدخل على مواقع الصور الاحترافية وكيفية التعامل معها.

Join Dr, Walled Gawad for this comprehensive workshop on infographics and learn key aspects useful when creating your own. In this workshop participants will

  • Learn to distinguish between bitmap and vector graphics
  • Learn to recognize colours and determine colour scheme before working with template color
  • Become familiar with Infographics terminology

Facilitated by: Dr. Waleed Essam Abdell Gawad, Associate Professor of eLearning, Institute of Public Administration, Saudi Arabia

For more information and sign-up here


Friday, 18 June 2021: معايير جودة تصميم المقررات الرقمية  Quality Standards for Designing Digital Courses

Date and Time: Friday, 18 June  2021: 4:00pm SAST

For more information and sign-up  here

Description of webinar:   


مخرجات الدورة :

بنهاية هذه الدورة ستكون قادرا على أن  :

·        أن يميز المتدرب بين أنواع معايير الجودة في التعلم الرقمي.

·        أن يذكر المتدرب معايير جودة المقررات الرقمية.

·        أن يستنتج المتدرب الطرق والأساليب المختلفة لتحقيق المعايير.

·        أن يصمم المتدرب مقرر رقمي معتمد على معايير الجودة.


Designing digital courses according to quality standards is an important matter that Instructional designers must take into account when designing any digital course. To prove the effectiveness of online learning has become one of the biggest challenges. In this workshop, we will give an introduction to online course design and how to design them according to quality standards formulated by some of the most significant quality assurance organizations.

Facilitated by: Dr. Jalal Saifeddien Al-Jaber, PhD in Education Technology, Jordan

For more information and sign-up here


Friday, 25 June 2021:  دور المعامل الافتراضية فى التدريس اونلاين لطلاب المدارس 

The role of virtual labs in online education for school students

Date and Time: Friday, 25 June  2021: 4:00pm SAST

For more information and sign-up  here

Description of webinar:   


المحاور الرئيسة لورشة العمل:

- مقدمة عن أنواع المحتوى العلمي المختلفة المناسب لطلاب المدارس

- ماهية المعامل الافتراضية وأهميتها في التعليم

- أنواع المعامل الافتراضية المختلفة

- أمثلة عن المعامل الافتراضية

طرق توظيف المعامل الافتراضية في استراتيجيات التعلم المختلفة

- دور منصة فلابي كأحد الأمثلة العربية للمعامل الافتراضية في لطلاب المدارس

- طرق استخدام منصة فلابي في شرح التجارب العملية

- توظيف التلعيب في الانشطة العملية اونلاين واهميته في تحفيز الطلاب

Description: In this workshop Dr. Mohamed Nada from RAYA Higher Institute, Egypt invites the participant to discover various types of virtual laboratories. He will show the usefulness of virtual laboratories in education and how to employ virtual laboratories with different learning strategies. This workshop will also introduce various types of scientific content suitable for school students. The following main points will be covered:

  • What are virtual laboratories and how are they important in education?
  • Introduction to examples of virtual laboratories and who they are used.
  • Methods of employing virtual laboratories with different learning strategies
  • The role of the Flappy platform as one of the Arab examples of virtual labs for school students
  • The use the Flappy platform to explain practical experiences
  • The use of gamification in practical online activities and its importance in motivating students

Presenter: Dr. Mohamed Nada, PhD in Educational Technology

For more information and sign-up here

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.


Call for Proposals, Research and Book Chapters

Learning Design Voices: Proposal submission by 14th June 2021 



“We're looking for learning designers, academic developers, instructional designers, curriculum designers, learning experience designers, learning experience engineers...  We don't mind what you call yourself but if you create learning opportunities for students and staff in post-secondary institutions we want to hear from you! We’re keen to create a space for voices on learning design from a wide range of contexts. We invite you to share your practices and experiences, and to connect with a community of people across the globe who also do this work.  We’re hoping that together we can create the kind of book that you reach for when you need a new idea or want to be inspired by the innovative and responsive work of colleagues in challenging and exciting environments.“

Read the full call here

Your proposal should include an abstract of not more than 500 words, explaining how you bring a non-dominant perspective, and a one page outline of the chapter structure. Submit a proposal for a chapter


Call for Special Issue of Perspectives in Education Journal: March 2022 special issue: Shaping Open, Distance and e-Learning in Post-School Education and Training. 

Authors are invited to submit an abstract of approximately 300 words or one page that aligns to one or more of the sub-themes of the special issue:

  1. Transforming PSET institutions offering distance and online learning to be inclusive and equitable for the 4IR.
  2. The role and readiness of educators and administrators in an evolving PSET sector (policies, strategies, practices, skills and competencies).
  3. ODeL models, methodologies and pedagogies for the future.
  4. Student access, retention, success and employability.
  5. Promoting PSET and collaborative practice (e.g. industry partnership, public and private sector, government) in the era of the 4IR.
  6. ODeL in the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector.
  7. Collaborative Online International Learning (e.g. advancing curriculum transformation, decolonising the curriculum through international online collaboration, best practices, student experiences).

Abstract submissions due 21 May 2021. For more information and how to submit:



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  


Upcoming Events 


5th - 8th July 2021: 15th AAU General Conference 



Call for Papers-AAU- General Conference 2021.pdf

First Announcement


The General Conference, an assembly of representatives of all member institutions with key higher education stakeholders including policy makers, academics, researchers, donor representatives and others in attendance, meets once every four years for the purpose of:

  1. Assessing the activities implemented in the past four years against the background of its Work Programme and Budget approved at the previous Conference;
  2. Approving the plan of activities and budget estimates for the following four-year period; and
  3. Electing a new Governing Board of the Association from among the Vice Chancellors, Presidents and Rectors of the member universities.

Registration and more information


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

Educational Technology and a Few Education Conferences for June to December 2021, Edition #45

Prepared by Clayton R. Wright,

The 45th edition of the conference list covers selected professional development opportunities that primarily focus on the use of technology in educational settings and on teaching, learning, and educational administration. Only listings until December 2021 are most complete as dates, locations, or Internet addresses (URLs) were not available for a number of events held after that date. For more information here is the link: Educational Technology and Education Conference List from June to December 2021


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 (


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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