Dear Colleague,

We hope you are well and making good progress with your teaching and research projects.  In this newsletter, we share the following updates: 

  • Facilitating Online course: late applications by 16 September 2019  

  • MOOC of the Month - The Unbundled University - The Market & Digital Technology

  • e/merge Africa Arabic - Arabic language webinars launched since August 2019 and on going

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

  • UCT Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Technology

  • Publishing and employment opportunities  - upcoming special issues and postdoctoral fellow

  • Upcoming conferences - current relevant face-to-face conferences and webinars

  • MOOC taker research survey - Help our UCT MOOC colleagues!



Facilitating Online course 

Dont miss out on the LAST cohort for 2019 is taking place from 30 September to 22 November 2019. We will accept late applications until 16th September 2019.  Further info and online application available here.

 Want to become an effective online facilitator? We invite applications to our fully online 8-week online facilitation course. 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 e/merge Africa network. This course is aimed at change agent educational technologists and educators within the African Higher Educational sector. 

 Please apply soon, as spaces are limited. Up to two FREE places are available per African higher education institution subject to constraints on the class size. Please get in touch if you want to involve a larger group of colleagues from your institution for a fee. To see if a fee may apply to your application please refer to our fee information here

MOOC OF THE MONTH: The Unbundled University, the Market & Digital Technology (starting 9 September 2019)

Discover the phenomenon of unbundling and how it affects higher education

Market forces and technology are changing the landscape of higher education. This course, a unique collaboration between two leading universities, explores one of the key changes in the context of global inequality: the unbundling of higher education. Sign up here


 You will learn about the concept of ‘unbundling’ and how the disaggregation of university degrees into component parts is affected by digital technology. You will explore the marketisation of higher education and investigate the implications of unbundling for not only the sector, but different stakeholder groups.

 What topics will you cover?

  • The language of unbundling as it relates to higher education provision.

  • Digital technology as an enabler or driver of unbundling.

  • The role of the market in higher education.

  • Mapping the Higher Education Terrain: South Africa and England.

  • Unbundling in the higher education sector.

  • Implications of unbundling for stakeholders.

  • Issues and debates about unbundling and rebundling.


e/merge Africa events in Arabic

Led by team member Mohamed Ahmed of Mansoura University, Egypt, we are currently piloting online seminars in Arabic who has convened three well attended sessions 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.


13 September 2019:  Open Education presented by Dr. Maha Bali from the American University in Cairo (Arabic)


Presenter: Dr. Maha Bali from the American University in Cairo

Date and Time:  Friday 13 September 2019, 4-5pm SAST/Cairo Time

 Dr. Maha Bali is an Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning & Teaching at the American University in Cairo (AUC). She is a full-time faculty developer and also teaches creative educational game design to undergrads. Maha Bali is a co-founder of, co-founder & co-facilitator of Edcontexts, editor of journal Hybrid Pedagogy and blogger at Prof Hacker. She is also International Director of Digital Pedagogy Lab.

She has a PhD in Education from the University of Sheffield in the UK, and believes very strongly in critical/interpretive approaches to social research, especially participatory approaches such as collaborative autoethnography. She tweets a lot @bali_maha and blogs at 

As we are having more events confirmed these will be announced on both our English and Arabic language platforms.

12 September, 5pm SAST How to Nurture the Researchers of Tomorrow

How do we become researchers? Whether we are crunching Big Data or interviewing individuals, as researchers we must be able to make decisions from the design stage through implementation of the study. To do so, we need to grasp the art and science of research and align selected methodologies, theories, methods, and ethics. For some, learning research roles and practices starts in the classroom with methods courses and projects. Others learn from insightful research supervisors who guide us and share their expertise. 


Moderator and Panelist: Janet Salmons, methods guru for MethodSpace

Panellist: Dr. Trena Paulus, East Tennessee State University

Panelist: Dr. Nicola Pallitt, Rhodes University

Panelist: Dr. Alice Barlow-Zambodla, the e/Merge Africa Network Regional Coordinator for Southern and East Africa

Date and Time: Thursday, 12 September, 5:00pm SAST


This webinar and hear from experienced instructors and mentors who have worked with novice researchers within and outside of academia. The panel will share practical lessons learned and answer your questions about teaching and guiding researchers.

Nurturing the Researchers of Tomorrow features an experienced global panel of presenters. I will offer a brief overview, followed by short presentations by each panelist. We will then discuss topics raised by panelists and participants. As we did with the first webinar on Creative Research, MethodSpace posts throughout August and September will introduce the panelists and their work, and offer background related to teaching research methods and guiding researchers. After the webinar we will post a link to the recording and respond to any questions we weren’t about to answer during the event.

Register now for the webinar on September 12. Find the time in your zone here.



18th September 2019: Designing for All: Accessibility and Universal Design 



Date and Time: Wednesday, 18 September 2019, 7pm SAST


As identified in a 2019 EDUCAUSE survey, accessibility and universal design for learning (UDL) ranked in the top 5 issues and opportunities for educators. However, Rieber and Estes (2017) noted a dearth of coverage related to people with disabilities in their review of all articles published in Educational Technology Research & Development (ETR&D) through 2013. While a growing body of research associated with universal design educational models to support accessibility has developed outside of the educational technology field, reviews of research suggest it's in a nascent stage with few empirically-based articles to support the effectiveness of theorized practices and frameworks to support learning outcomes resulting in a lack of consensus regarding the application of principles (Edyburn, 2010; Rao, Ok & Bryant, 2014; Roberts, Park, Brown & Cook, 2011). 

Given this gap, Rieber and Estes (2017, p. 16) argue, "Time has come to bring the best ideas from the instructional technology field to the design challenge of meeting all levels of accessibility."  This webinar is a response to this call. Join us as we consider ways both researchers and designers can make an impact to address this opportunity. We’ll explore the topic of Designing for All through the lens of universal design for learning and share resources to support more effective design practices.


Please click here for an accessible version of flier with more information.

Join the webinar: Designing for All: Accessibility and Universal Design 


Save the date: 28 October 2019: The Use of TurnItIn in the Higher Education: uses, abuses and myths 


Presenter: Sioux McKenna, Rhodes University, South Africa (

Presenter: Amanda Mphahlele, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Time and Date: Blended session / Webinar 28 October 2019 2 pm (SAST)  


The misuse of text-matching software in universities actively encourages students to plagiarise. While there is no doubt that plagiarism needs to be addressed to maintain academic standards and to safeguard the integrity of the academic project, there is a significant misunderstanding about what text-matching technologies do. This presentation draws from Amanda’s PhD study and a number of co-publications that Amanda and Sioux have produced to look at how text-matching software has been understood across the South African higher education sector. An analysis of institutional policies from public universities across South Africa and interviews with members of institutional plagiarism committees reveals that technology is a key facet in these universities' attempts to reduce the incidents of plagiarism and that Turnitin is the most favoured text-matching tool. However, the software is misunderstood to be a plagiarism detection tool and is used mainly for policing purposes, ignoring its educational potential for student development. These misunderstandings were found to direct students to behave in undesirable ways.

Professor Sioux McKenna is the Director of Postgraduate Studies at Rhodes University where she runs a number of support initiatives for supervisors and scholars. Sioux also runs a large PhD programme in higher education studies, with research focusing on teaching and learning, national qualification frameworks, the development of institutional policy, university governance, and alignment between policy and teaching, learning and assessment. 

Sioux’ particular concern is with who gets access to higher education and how the norms and values of the institution emerge as literacy practices. She has authored over sixty articles and book chapters, including co-authoring two books: Going to University (2018, African Minds) and Calling for Change (forthcoming, UKZN Press). Sioux has extensive experience in higher education having served on the South African accreditation committee for seven years and participating in institutional reviews in South Africa, Oman, Egypt and Bahrain.  Sioux is also the project manager for a number of international collaborations, including a national supervision development course, Strengthening Postgraduate Supervision (, and an online Creative Commons site, Enhancing Postgraduate Environments (

Amanda Mphahlele is a lecturer in Business Management at the University of Johannesburg and researching plagiarism for her PhD in Higher Education Studies through Rhodes University. 

 Please go here for more info and to sign up for the webinar.


 UCT Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Technology



Equip yourself for the challenges of 21st century higher education in Africa. 

For more info:

Apply now: Closing date 31 Oct




Project Manager Online Learning  at the University of the Witwatersrand

The Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management is seeking to appoint an Online Learning Project Manager. The successful applicant will be responsible for the development, production and rollout of blended and online programmes and courses within the Faculty, and will collaborate with academics on the design and set-up of these online courses. The ideal candidate will bring experience in managing online learning projects within a University environment and will have key skills in content development, instructional design and learning management.  Closing Date: 13 September 2019 For more details here


International Association Of Facilitators (Iaf)- Online Facilitation Unconference 

Monday, 7 October 2019 to Sunday, 13 October 2019: International Facilitation Week Events


Your favorite online unconference on the art and practice of facilitating in virtualenvironments is back! Join us to our 6th edition of the Online Facilitation Unconference during International Facilitation Week in October 7-13, 2019!

Happening alongside and as part of International Facilitation Week, this event provides a space for practitioners of all skill levels, from various backgrounds, and from all around the world to co-create a program based on everybody’s most pressing interests and needs. Discover new tools, learn new tricks, get input on your latest project, challenge or idea and discover new solutions – whatever you can think of that might benefit from picking an extraordinarily diverse and inspiring global brain pool.  More information Online Facilitation Unconference 2019.  Online Facilitation Unconference! Registration here 


 Please assist our MOOC colleagues from the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at UCT by completing this survey. For more about their research please view the recording of the MOOC taker research seminar presented by Sukaina Walji, Tasneem Jaffer and Jeff Jawitz in June 2019.

 Have you taken one of UCT massive open online courses (MOOCs) hosted on Coursera or FutureLearn? As you are aware, there are a lot of opinions about the value of MOOCs and we are conducting a study to find out if and how students from Africa have made use of UCT's MOOCs to support or supplement their studies or future career development.

 We would be very grateful if you participated in our research by completing our short survey. The survey should take you around 10 minutes to complete. Please click on this link to start the survey: MOOC Survey



Do you care about the 4th Industrial Revolution: 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 still grappling with the dynamics of the Third Industrial Revolution across our varied contexts?

The e/merge Africa team is planning 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 will need presenters who think way beyond the hype or even describing how our institutions will need to change. Please let us know if you think you should present in this series or have someone else who you would strongly recommend who is willing to be part of a panel about university responses to the 4IR. Send us an email or contact us via Twitter (@emergeafrica) or e/merge Africa Facebook group.



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 willing to share 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


Connect via Twitter Connect via Twitter
Join our Facebook Group Join our Facebook Group
Visit our website Visit our website
View our YouTube Channel View our YouTube Channel
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
2019 e/merge Africa.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
Connect via Twitter Connect via Twitter
Join our Facebook Group Join our Facebook Group
Visit our website Visit our website
View our YouTube Channel View our YouTube Channel
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
2019 e/merge Africa.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp