March 2020

Dear Colleague,

We hope that 2020 is bringing some exciting opportunities in your work and that you are taking good care of yourself and your family. We are renewing our approach and what we offer which seems timely in light of the upheavals that we may all face because of COVID-19. This includes Facilitating Online Global starting on 7 September which will be open to colleagues from across the world.  We hope that this newsletter will be helpful in planning your engagements and engaging usefully with upcoming trends.  

  • Facilitating Online course - Join us for 2nd Run in 2020 starting on 27 April or for Facilitating Online Global starting on 7 September.

  • Upcoming events - future online events by e/merge Africa and friends

  • e/merge Africa Arabic - Arabic language webinars 

  • Calls for papers and proposals 

  • Upcoming Conferences  

  • New MOOC introduced by UCT

  • Ways of getting involved in e/merge Africa Network 


Join in the Facilitating Online Course 2020

facilitating online

Do you want to become an effective online facilitator? We invite applications to our fully online 8-week online facilitation course.
Our second run of the Facilitating Online course for 2020 will run from  27 April – 26 June 2020 (Apply by 3 April). 


Facilitating Online Global  will run from 7 Sept – 6 Nov 2020 (Apply by 14 August) with up to 25 participants from Africa and up to 25 participants from other continents. 

 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 and educators within the African Higher Educational sector. 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 R7000 per participant. We have some spaces for participants from other continents in the course starting on 27 April and up to 25 spaces for participants from the rest of the world in Facilitating Online Global starting on 7 September. 

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



e/merge Africa events 

Over the last couple of years the term "Fourth Industrial Revolution" (4IR) has become pervasive. We are exhorted to catch up and get with the programme but what does this mean in African Higher Education where we are still grappling with the dynamics of the Third Industrial Revolution across our varied contexts?

The e/merge Africa team is currently organising a series of online events to inform, facilitate and provoke critical engagement with the implications of 4IR (as both emerging reality and as hype), for higher education in Africa.  

This series will happen throughout the year with regular events under the four headings: 

  • What is 4IR?

  • What is the role of 4IR in African Higher Education?

  • How are university libraries affected by 4IR?

  • What is the role of 4IR in professional education?


We will announce these as we get presenters confirmed. Please see below for confirmed events:

First in the Series

Monday 16 March 2020: What is 4IR? What does it mean for African universities? 



Date and Time:  Monday 16 March 2020, at 3:00pm SAST

Presenter: Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, is an accomplished scholar with multi-disciplinary research interests that include the theory and application of artificial intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine. He has an extensive track record in human capacity development and has published 15 books in artificial intelligence. Professor Marwala is the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg and prior to this he was the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation and Executive Dean of Engineering and the Built Environment both at the University of Johannesburg. He was recently appointed as Deputy Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Description: Over the last year the term "Fourth Industrial Revolution" (4IR) has become pervasive. We are exhorted to catch up and get with the programme but what does this mean in African Higher Education where we are often still grappling with the dynamics of the Third Industrial Revolution across our varied contexts?

This online seminar series aims to inform, facilitate and provoke critical engagement with the implications of 4IR (as both emerging reality and as hype), for higher education in Africa. The series will draw on a range of expert presenters able to think well beyond the hype which is increasingly associated with 4IR.

More information and registration here 


Thursday 25 March 2020: EdTech in Higher Education in Zambia: Challenges & Opportunities


Date and Time:  Wednesday 25 March 2020, at 3:00pm SAST

Presenter: Dr Alice P. Shemi is working at Mukuba University in Zambia as Head of Academic Affairs.  Dr. Shemi is a senior academic and researcher, digital marketer and mentor and administrator majoring in the field of Information Systems (IS). She earned her PhD from University of Salford (UK), MBA-IS from University of Hull (UK), and BSc Mathematics Computing from University of Zambia. Her main research is in areas such as e-commerce, e-learning, small business computing and IT management, software engineering, outsourcing, ERP systems, business strategy, and e-government. She has taught in Universities in Zambia, Swaziland and Botswana for over 28 years. She has expertise in ICT systems and database design, and implementation, strategic Information systems planning and implementation. She has published over 46 scholarly articles that include Books, book chapters, journal articles, conference articles. Alice believes that knowledge and skills that’s acquired must be shared to others for our freedom to be really meaningful and long lasting.  


Description: This is the first webinar in a series that will look into edTech in Higher education in Africa.  In this particular webinar, Dr. Shemi will be looking at the challenges and opportunities brought about by the EdTech in Higher Education in Zambia


Please sign up for this event here


e/merge Africa events in Arabic

Led by e/merge Africa team member Dr. Mohamed Ahmed of Mansoura University, Egypt, we have so far piloted ten (10) online seminars (webinars/workshops) in Arabic. These sessions have been very well attended already. We have planned for colleagues located in the Middle East and Arabic speaking Africa to present mainly on Friday afternoons 4–5 pm (Cairo time – see your local time zone here). This time slot is subject to change in the future and individual events may also be scheduled for other times. For more details for Arabic events and to sign up please go to e/merge Africa Arabic. Once signed up, we will send you details on how to attend. 

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.


Friday, 13 March 2020:  Learning Analytics in Massive and “small Private”  Online Courses

Date and Time:  Friday, 13 March 2020 at 4:00pm SAST/Cairo Time

Presenter: Dr. Mohammad Khalil, University of Bergen, Norway; Ph.D. (with Distinction), Engineering Sciences - Computer Science, Graz; University of Technology, Graz, Austria.

M.Sc, Information Security, Princess Sumaya University for Technology,Amman, Jordan. 

Description: The presenter will demonstrate the potential of learning analytics in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Learning analytics is concerned with data measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of students in order to improve the learning experience. In MOOCs, learning analytics have proven to support students indirectly by decreasing the dropping out rate and explaining their learning behavior.

For registration and more informationأحداث

Friday, 27 March 2020: Designing Engaging Online Learning Experiences  

Date and Time:  Friday, 27 March 2020 at 4:00pm SAST/Cairo Time

Presenter: Dr. Mustafa Habib, Learning Design Specialist @ Edraak and MOOC Research Assistant, UCL London, United Kingdom 

Description: In this workshop, we take an overview on how to design engaging online learning experiences. Instead of focusing on the visual design/development aspect of e-learning, this workshop focuses mainly on pedagogy and using the different technological tools to allure the learner into participating and interacting in the learning process.

For registration and more informationأحداث


5 - 7 May 2020, The 2020 Apereo Africa Conference, Johannesburg



OPENCOLLAB, in association with the Apereo Foundation, would like to invite you to an insightful three days including pre-conference workshops on 5 May.  The Apereo Africa Conference 2020 is taking place on 5 - 7 May 2020, in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the Origins Centre, University of the Witwatersrand.

Invitations are still open to anybody who would like to contribute by presenting at the conference. The theme for 2020 is "Supporting the student's e-learning journey".

Registration for the conference is opening soon. Click this link to see 2019 Apereo Africa Conference presentations.

For more information contact:  More details about the conference are to follow. 


19 May 2020: ADECT International Conference/Workshop 

 Call for papers

The future learning environment, pedagogical and technological perspectives

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education welcomes submissions to the thematic series on "The future learning environment, pedagogical and technological perspectives".

Guest editors: Simon K.S. Cheung, Lam For Kwok, Kongkiti Phusavat, and Harrison Yang

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the submission guidelines for International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. 

Deadline for submissions: July 15, 2020 More details here.

Techtrends Special Issue: Visual Media for Global Learning

The purpose of this TechTrends special issue is to showcase the latest and leading international research in the design, deployment and evaluation of visual or media literacy practices supported by educational technology. The special issue welcomes submissions from all researchers and practitioners who are designing, developing, and evaluating ICT-supported learning experiences that involve visual or media literacy. The editors encourage proposals regarding new research showcasing and sharing visual or media literacy education as a critical learning element through the use of ICT. Full details can be found here

Submission deadline: March 31, 2020.

Call for Proposals: The 19th World Conference on Mobile, Blended and Seamless Learning (mLearn 2020)

Conference Theme: Sustaining equal access to learning in a mobile world

mLearn 2020 will take place at the Conrad Hotel in Cairo. The event will be hosted by IAmLearn (International Association for Mobile learning) and Mansoura University, Mansoura City, Egypt. 

mLearn is the leading international conference on mobile and contextual learning and attracts participants annually from more than 60 countries. mLearn 2020 provides a forum for researchers, policymakers, professionals and educators from higher education, school education and vocational education, government departments, industries and international organizations as well as IT developers and solutions providers to share knowledge, research and practices, as well as debate critical issues pertaining to a mobile and connected future learning spaces.

Deadline for all Proposal submissions: 1 May 2020

More information 


Conference & link to call


Date of conference

Abstracts/proposals due by

AHERI 2020:  Innovations in Higher Education

Kisumu County, Kenya

26 - 27 March


OER20: Open Education Conference

London, UK

1- 2 April


ADECT International Conference/ Workshop

Abuja, Nigeria

19- 21 May

15 February

Networked Learning Conference

Kolding, Denmark

18 - 20 May


Higher Education Close Up 10 (HECU 10)


United Kingdom

6 - 8 July

1 March

Unisa International HETL Conference 2020

Johannesburg, SA

10 - 3 August

29 February

AECT International Convention

Jacksonville, Florida, US

3 - 7 November

17 February 

digiTAL 2020

Durban, SA

3 - 4 December

30 May 



A new MOOC introduced by UCT aims to empower teachers with the skills and confidence needed to teach visually impaired learners


(From left) Brian Watermeyer, guide dog Panda and course participants Michelle Botha, Benedict Khumalo and Heidi Lourens during a panel discussion. These discussions form an integral part of the MOOC and take place at the end of every week.

Tailored towards school-level educators, Teaching Children with Visual Impairment: Creating Empowering Classrooms offers teachers the insight they need to create classroom environments that accommodate the learning needs of visually impaired children. It aims to encourage moving away from segregated schooling towards a more inclusive and integrated approach to learning. This approach provides both teachers and learners with an opportunity to understand what it takes to teach and learn in this environment and in turn overcome the hurdles of the past. 

For more information

Does your higher education institution offer MOOCs that are relevant to e/merge Africa?  If yes, please contact us for inclusion in future newsletters



SECOND ADUN COLLOQUIUM 10 – 11 March 2020: Stellenbosch, South Africa


Second ADUN Colloquium took place from 10 – 11 March 2020 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. This second colloquium afforded us the opportunity to set an inclusive agenda and to jointly determine our future actions. For those who were not able to join, the complete recording of the livestream for the first is available, provided by Centre for Learning Technologies, University of Stellenbosch. For our members  recommend viewing the following sessions: 

  1. The colloquium opening 

  2. The International panel discussion, on 10 March at 10:00 am

 We would like to thank ADUN for generously inviting members of the e/merge Africa team. We look forward to future collaboration since there are strong synergies across our networks.



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

Even professionals get stuck at times when facing daunting challenges. If you are one of them, how about considering a Peer-Assist session? Contact us to engage with one of our  online facilitators with your challenge. We will then set up a Peer-Assist session and invite members of our network to provide feedback on your challenge. Renew your ideas and get a new perspective!

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

Looking for conference and publishing opportunities? Go to opportunities on the e/merge Africa website

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.
2020 e/merge Africa.

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