Africa

Equal research partnerships are a myth – but we can change that

Submitted by dene.mullen on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 09:01
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The idea of partnerships in research implies a shared pursuit of goals and interests. Usually, this is what draws researchers together and, without doubt, most of these partnerships are driven by an ambition for progress and development, be it personal, professional or of the institutions and communities with which we work.

Standfirst
The current movement for decolonising universities should also be applied to research ‘partnerships’ and their unequal balance of power, say Faith Mkwananzi and Melis Cin
Teaser
The current movement for decolonising universities should also be applied to research ‘partnerships’ and their unequal balance of power, say Faith Mkwananzi and Melis Cin

A model for developing global expertise in blended learning

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Wed, 22/09/2021 - 09:05
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Blended learning – a pedagogical approach combining face-to-face teaching with online course delivery – is gaining traction around the world thanks to its cost-effectiveness and flexibility, spurred on by the pandemic. However, the implementation of a successful blended learning programme is often complex, time-consuming and taxing on staff. This is particularly true for universities at the early stages of digital transformations, as they face a shortage of staff skills, connectivity issues and negative attitudes towards technology, among other challenges.

Standfirst
Daniella Bo Ya Hu outlines a framework for building expertise in blended learning using lessons in capacity development, staff incentivisation and leadership learned from an international pilot training programme
Teaser
Daniella Bo Ya Hu outlines a framework for building expertise in blended learning using lessons in capacity development, staff incentivisation and leadership learned from an international pilot training programme

Online teaching insights, part five: Online feedback and continuity

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 24/05/2021 - 09:00
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In part five of our series on improving online education for students and staff – based on extensive learner feedback and faculty insight – we focus on online feedback and course continuity.

Giving feedback online

Feedback should be timely, useful and kind.

Consider giving audio feedback to students on projects in process. It is much faster to give, and the coaching tone and replay-ability of the feedback makes it preferable to most students.

Standfirst
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching, put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo
Teaser
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching, put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo

Online teaching insights, part four: Course management and recording lectures

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Wed, 19/05/2021 - 09:00
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In part four of our series on improving online education for students and staff – based on extensive learner feedback and faculty insight – we focus on course management and recording lectures.

Availability to students, course management tips

Faculty should avoid technical clutter in shared documents such as Google Docs, and Google Slides, voice chats and Zoom meetings. Keep everything clearly laid out and linked in Blackboard.

Standfirst
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo
Teaser
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo

Online teaching insights, part three: managing workload issues and stress

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Wed, 12/05/2021 - 09:00
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In part three of our series on improving online education for students and staff – based on extensive learner feedback and faculty insight – we focus on managing workload issues and stress.

Managing workload issues

We need to remain focused on achieving our desired course outcomes but can be flexible about how we do it. We want to reach the same destination but do not have to take the same route we have done in the past. So be agile and willing to put in the effort to divert from “business as usual”.

Standfirst
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo
Teaser
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo

Online teaching insights, part two: participation and breakout rooms

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Fri, 07/05/2021 - 09:00
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In part two of our series on improving online education for students and staff – based on extensive learner feedback and faculty insight – we focus how to foster participation online and using breakout rooms effectively.

Participation: it’s the voices, not only the faces

We know many students don’t turn their cameras on and it’s difficult to teach blank screens, but we also know connectivity issues can make it impossible for some students to have good audio while their video is on.

Standfirst
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo
Teaser
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo

Online teaching insights, part one: social connection and listening

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Tue, 04/05/2021 - 09:00
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Student surveys, school-led discussions and communications have provided much learner-driven insight into needs, concerns and experiences around online education, which we wish to address.

We chose to do this as a community of learners, speaking to faculty spanning dozens of disciplines to gather tips for improving students’ online learning experience, after what has been an exceptionally challenging year for students and faculty alike.

Standfirst
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching, put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo
Teaser
Insights and lessons on effective tools and techniques to improve online teaching, put together by faculty spanning dozens of disciplines at the American University in Cairo

Using tech to connect refugees with pathways to higher education: an emerging case study

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 22/04/2021 - 09:00
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The Covid-19 pandemic and digital technology have opened up new avenues to support learners, enabling us to reach and support disadvantaged groups who have traditionally been excluded from higher education.

Standfirst
Kate Symons and Georgia Cole share key lessons from a pilot project aiming to support refugees and learners from disadvantaged communities in Uganda into higher education
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Kate Symons and Georgia Cole share key lessons from a pilot project aiming to support refugees and learners from disadvantaged communities in Uganda into higher education

Do unto students as they would have done to them

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 11/01/2021 - 09:41
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Building a community online supports students’ socio-emotional learning. This helps them understand how they and others think and feel about things – and how to manage those thoughts and emotions. 

This type of learning is particularly important in times of crisis when socio-emotional distress, such as loneliness and anxiety, can erode cognitive capacity. Learners experiencing trauma tend to struggle with managing time and meeting deadlines, and feel a higher cognitive load. 

Standfirst
Maha Bali offers practical advice on building equitable learning communities online no matter what students’ bandwidth or synchronicity of the class
Teaser
Maha Bali offers practical advice on building equitable learning communities online no matter what students’ bandwidth or synchronicity of the class

How to reach remote students with limited access to technology

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 05/10/2020 - 20:17
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Standfirst
Many students do not have access to the basic technology needed to support remote learning. Angela Owusu-Ansah of Ashesi University in Ghana explains how her institution has tackled this problem to ensure all students can access teaching online
Teaser
Many students do not have access to the basic technology needed to support remote learning. Angela Owusu-Ansah of Ashesi University in Ghana explains how her institution has tackled this problem to ensure all students can access teaching online