February 2021

Dear Colleague,

In so many ways 2021 is a continuation of 2020 but we hope that the pandemic will become a far less dominant feature of this year! We are looking forward to building on the partnerships of previous years and growing new collaborations and friendships as e/merge Africa professional development events continue to attract new colleagues and energy. 

e/merge Africa will continue evolving to offer events and processes which are better aligned with the needs of our members and which stimulate deeper engagement, including more workshops, a new course for colleagues preparing to teach online and more events based on research by our members. We will check in with you about your evolving contexts and needs and plan together for the future of e/merge Africa over the next few years. We appreciate your participation and input. 

In the February 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. Upcoming Online events/webinars by e/merge Africa friends
  4. Activities and ideas to help build a sense of community online
  5. Designing online conferences
  6. Opportunities and jobs
  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:

  • 17 May - 9 July 2021 (Apply by 9 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


Monday 22 February, 2021: Looking back, looking forwards together

Date and Time: Monday 22 February 2021 :2:00 - 4:00 pm SAST

For more information and sign-up  here

Description of the workshop: 

2020 was a difficult year for higher education in Africa. We learnt a lot - perhaps including some things we would rather not have learnt ... Amid the frustrations, shocks and tragedies there were also discoveries and some victories. We carry this year inside us but how do we use the lessons learnt as a springboard together to think, strategise, plan and act more powerfully this year and beyond. This is what the workshop is about. The facilitators will use processes designed to unleash the deep knowledge, creativity and brilliance of everyone there so participants can leave the workshop with energy, optimism, approaches and professional community to feed the wonderful and demanding work that we do. 

Bring your insights, questions, dreams, speculations and strategies (even the half formed ones).

Facilitated by: Tony Carr and the e/merge africa Team 

For more information and sign-up here


Thursday, 25 February 2021:  Selfcare for Educators and eLearning Professionals 


Date and Time: Thursday 25th February 2021, 2:00 - 4:00 pm  SAST

For more information and sign-up  here

Description of why the workshop: 

This is a workshop for academics and e-learning professionals in higher education to consider:

  1. Emotional boundaries: balancing compassion with self-care
  2. Meeting personal and external expectations
  3. Finding appropriate support for ourselves

During the difficult period of emergency remote teaching in 2020, many students were faced with immense personal, logistical, and emotional challenges. Many lecturers and professional staff have mentioned that being confronted with these realities made it difficult to establish boundaries between compassion and self-care. On the one hand, lecturers may wish to be a source of support and an anchor for their students. On the other hand, an  emotional involvement in these matters can come at a personal cost (family, research, mental health). At the same time, expectations for and involvement in research projects continue. The question arises: if one cannot check all the boxes, then which boxes should one choose to tick? What if personal or external goals are incompatible with acute responsibilities or needs?

What you will need for the workshop:

  • Something soothing - tea/ hot water bottle/ pet/ a friend
  • Paper and pencil
  • Headphones
  • A private/ safe place


Shanali Govender is a Lecturer, Academic Staff Development in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), University of Cape Town

Tony Carr is the convener of e/merge Africa and educational technologist in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), University of Cape Town

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 19 February, 2021:  MOOCs: Instructional Design Methodology and Tools of Open Learning Resources  (منهجية وأدوات التصميم التعليمي لموارد التعلم المفتوحة: MOOCs)


Date and Time:  Friday 19th February 2021, 4:00pm SAST/Cairo Time 

For more information and sign-up  here


As COVID-19 continues spreading in the whole world, how to keep learning in disruption has become a challenge to the global education community. There is therefore a huge need to design and deliver effective support services of online learning oriented for both teachers and students. There are several critical challenges that must be considered in the development and implementation of e-learning environments. These include encouraging open lifelong learning, valuing both informal and formal learning, addressing the open and social dimensions of learning, and recognizing the different contexts in which learning takes place. In particular, in MOOC environments, it is also crucial to investigate methodologies and tools to design learning resources that can be open and accessible online for an important number of learners. Open learning is helping democratize education, by making it more affordable, accessible, and attainable to learners, no matter their location or income level. 

In this workshop, we propose scenarios for design and delivery of open  online  learning in particular in a context of educational disruption and describe Instructional design approach and Tools for developing learning resources for  MOOCs.

Presenter Bio:  Dr. Lilia Cheniti Belcadhi, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Sousse, Tunisia.  She is a graduate of the University of Braunschweig in Germany where she read for an engineering and masters degree in Computer Science. She is a member of the PRINCE Research Lab at the University of Sousse. 

د. ليليا الشنيتي بالقاضي 

دكتورة و أستاذة محاضرة في علوم الكمبيوتر في المعهد العالي لعلوم الكمبيوتر وتكنولوجيا الاتصالات ، جامعة سوسة ، تونس ، و متخرجة من جامعة براونشفايغ في ألمانيا حيث حصلت  على درجة الماجستير والهندسة  في علوم الحاسوب.  باحثة وناشرة للعديد من البحوث في علوم الكمبيوتر والتقييم والتعلم الإلكتروني .خبيرة في التعليم عن بعد لدى العديد من  المنظمات الوطنية والدولية

AUF, ILO, Virtual   University of Tunis:  

حاليًا منسقة وحدة الابتكار التربوي في جامعة سوسة. أحدث مشاريع التعلم المعزز بالتكنولوجيا هي

(2017-2019):تقييم الكفاءات بناءً على  الألعاب (لبنان مصر و تونس)

 (2019-2020) لبنان ، مصر ، تونس وسويسرا) شبكة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا (LETS Learning Lab



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.


Upcoming Events 


9th February 2021: Can And Should Assessment Nurture An Orientation To Society And Social Justice?


Date and Time: Tuesday 9th February 2021 at 14:00 - 15:00pm London time (16:00pm SAST)

Registration use this link and more information, follow this link Webinar

Description:  This webinar explores the connections that can, or should, be made between how we assess students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) disciplines and nurturing an orientation to wider society, by which we mean a sense of interconnectedness between oneself and others. From a critical theory perspective, education should facilitate movement from a conception of the individual as autonomous towards the individual as a member of a larger society.

Registration use this link and more information, follow this link Webinar


9-10 March 2021: THE Southern Africa Impact Forum

Join the discussion virtually on 9-10 March 2021 to the THE Southern Africa Impact Forum, co-hosted with the University of Pretoria. 

The forum will provide an essential space for university leaders to develop collaborative arrangements that will shape innovations across Africa and foster transformative partnerships which seek to adapt to the disruptions from Covid-19, accelerate impact and meet the SDGs.   Registration is Free



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  


Call for proposals for #AECT21! This year's theme: "Homecoming (Homestaying): A Return to Learning through Innovation." Submit your proposals by 31 March 2021. Details at Call for proposal  

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 .















Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Centre for Innovative Educational Technology (CIET) is recruiting a lecturer - an Educational Technologist for their District Six Campus - Cape Town, WC ZA (Primary).  How to apply and more details,  here is the link 


EdTechHub  is currently recruiting for specialists (individuals from the Global South)  to support short-term EdTech- and education-related assignments. Applications will be accepted until the end of February 2021. You are welcome to review the attached job description (or on the Hub’s website here). Applications can be submitted through this link:


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

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. 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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