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ICT Integration in Higher Education in Africa - Challenges and Opportunities


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Saide presentation at the ICT in Higher Education Conference, 14 - 17 September 2012, Kempton Park, Johannesburg. Theme: "An African Perspective". Presentation on the challenges and opportunities for ICT integration in Higher Education. It includes case studies on PHEA ETI and OER Africa.

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ICT Integration in Higher Education in Africa - Challenges and Opportunities

  1. 1. ICT Integration in Higher Education:Challenges and Opportunities Greig Krull Saide 15 August 2012
  2. 2. Agenda • Context – Motivators and Constraints • ICT Integration in the areas of Higher Education – Research, Teaching, Administration • Challenges and Opportunities – Environmental, Institutional, People, Technology, Learning • Case Studies – Partnership for Higher Education – OER Africa • Discussion
  3. 3. Key Trends in Higher EducationPeople expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever andwherever they want toTechnologies used are increasingly cloud-based, and notions of ITsupport are decentralisedWorld of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the waystudent projects are structuredAbundance of resources / relationships via the Internet is increasinglychallenging us to revisit our roles as educatorsShifting education paradigms to include online learning, hybrid learningand collaborative modelsNew emphasis on more challenge-based and active learning The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition
  4. 4. Significant Challenges Economic pressures and new models of education are bringing greater competition to higher education Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline Institutional barriers present formidable challenges to moving forward with emerging technologies Challenges for libraries and university collections: how scholarship is documented, and the business models to support these activities The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition
  5. 5. Context1. What is your biggest motivator to integrate ICT into your teaching and learning?2. What is your biggest constraint to integrate ICT into your teaching and learning?
  6. 6. Motivators and Constraints
  7. 7. ICTs in Higher Education Areas Research Teaching Administration
  8. 8. How do you use ICT in? 1. Research 2. Teaching 3. Administration
  9. 9. ICTs in Higher Education
  10. 10. Types of Challenges Environment Institutions People Technology Learning
  11. 11. Environmental Challenges • People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to • Limited Regional Infrastructure – Electricity – Access to resources • High cost of bandwidth • Sustainability • Lack of national development, education and ICT policies
  12. 12. Environmental Interventions • Articulate a vision and a strategic framework for harnessing the potential of ICTs to address a countrys development challenges • Government focus on overarching and guiding national telecommunications and ICT policies, particularly as they relate to ICTs in education • Increase access to broadband • Partnerships between institutions, governments and businesses
  13. 13. People Challenges • Not all staff are ICT literate and can teach using ICT tools • Extra effort and time involved in using technologies • Lack of readiness of students to use technologies • Shortage of people with technical skills to maintain ICT systems
  14. 14. People Interventions • Develop internal capacity in the use of ICT • Staff – Implement incentive systems that promote the use of ICTs – Provide prior training for faculty when introducing ICTs • Students – Provide support and training for students
  15. 15. Institutional Challenges • Major financial investment needed • High cost of acquiring and maintaining ICTs • High cost of content (e-journals, digital libraries) • Some substitution of capital costs for labour • Consistency across departments
  16. 16. Institutional Interventions • Vision and commitment of the leadership to deploying ICTs • Require strong institutional policy (resource allocation) • Regional approach for joint negotiations on the cost of bandwidth • Promote collaboration among higher education institutions in all ICT-related activities • Identify ways in which the application of ICTs will significantly enhance the research and teaching capabilities • Look for freely available resources e.g. e-journals
  17. 17. Technology Challenges • Reliability and Security • System / Data Integration • Limited bandwidth • Inexperience in procuring appropriate ICT products and services • Use of unlicensed software can be very problematic
  18. 18. Technology Interventions • Create a technology plan that includes long term budgeting • Funds and staff available to sustain investments in ICT infrastructure and support systems • Enhance bandwidth/connectivity through the acquisition of suitable infrastructure • Understand total ownership cost (acquisition, installation, power supply, maintenance, replacement, training etc) • Piloting (test the efficacy of a technology) • Possible sharing or coordination of ICT usage with other institutions
  19. 19. Learning Challenges • Delivery methods – online, blended etc • Learning technology that is not used effectively • “Dumping” content • Content not adapted to the technology and context • Limited interaction between students and teachers/tutors
  20. 20. Learning Interventions • Review student needs, technology and content availability • Customise learning content appropriately • Produce high quality content with sound instructional design • Effective interaction of students with content, fellow students and teachers/tutors during the learning process
  21. 21. Summary • HEIs should integrate emerging technologies into their policies and programmes • Identify the specific roles of ICT in enhancing research and learning capabilities • Provide for adequate infrastructure backed by capacity building • Enhance ICT though inter-institutional collaboration • Success depends on sound financial and pedagogical planning • Wide adoption of ICTs calls for mindsets and skill sets that are adaptive to change
  22. 22. Case Studies Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) Educational Technology Initiative (ETI)
  23. 23. Project Objective “To support interventions in universities to make increasingly effective use of educational technology to address some of the underlying educational challenges facing the higher educational sector in Africa”The strategic objectives of the PHEA ETI are to:• Support teaching and learning initiatives that integrate educational technology• Promote collaborative knowledge creation and dissemination• Refine institutional systems so that they support teaching and learning more directly• Research and report on educational technology activity in African universities
  24. 24. Universities Involved University of Education Winneba (Ghana) Kenyatta University University of Jos Makerere (Kenya) (Nigeria) University University of Dar es University of (Uganda) Salaam (Tanzania) Ibadan (Nigeria) Catholic University of Mozambique
  25. 25. Project Examples• ICT and Elearning Policies• Implementation of Moodle VLE• Online courses and interactive e-content• Portfolios• Digitisation of Exam Papers and Theses• Migration of courses from Blackboard to Moodle• Open Courseware• Video and Audio Lectures• Executive Information Systems• Research Papers: Gender ICT Perceptions, Elearning Adoption
  26. 26. Achievements• Institutional commitments to ICT growing – has led to policies at some institutions• Strong focus on deployment of ICT to tackle teaching and learning challenges: • All institutions using Moodle • Some deployment of other technologies (mobile, radio, e-portfolios) • Extensive growth in number of online courses produced • Growing use of online courses on campuses• Research via case studies and external evaluation
  27. 27. Lessons Learnt• Working through rigid hierarchies creates problems in communication and implementation• Often Educational Technology units are marginalised• Capacity development is a key need, including ability to design projects• Lack of institutionalised incentives for academic staff to engage with educational technology• Limited ICT infrastructure remains a major barrier• Institutional commitment to ICT needed through presence of supportive ICT policies and ICT Funding
  28. 28. Conclusions • Basic problems such as limited bandwidth and intermittent electricity place significant limitations on the potential for growth • However… • Telecommunications capacity is growing rapidly • Expanding range of devices at reducing costs • Explosion of available quality content online that educators and students can link to • Need governments and institutions to continue investment and focus on ICT use in higher educationSee the results: (follow links to the PHEA Educational Technology Initiative)
  29. 29. Open Educational Resources
  30. 30. A resource Citation: Tony Mays 2011
  31. 31. An Educational Resource • What is the name of the bird in the foreground of the picture? • Can you name 3 other varieties of this kind of bird? Citation: Tony Mays 2011
  32. 32. An OER • What is the name of the bird in the foreground of the picture? • Can you name 3 other varieties of this kind of bird? This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License Citation: Tony Mays 2011
  33. 33. A remixed OER • The yellow hornbill shown left is one of four varieties of hornbills common across sub- Saharan Africa. The other varieties are the grey- and red- hornbills and the much larger ground hornbill. • As the name suggests, the large horny bill is the key characteristic of the species. What does this suggest about their typical diet? This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License Citation: John Doe 2012 Photo: Tony Mays 2011
  34. 34. Definition “Open educational resources are educationalmaterials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use and under some licenses to remix, improve and redistribute.” Wikipedia: OER,
  35. 35. MIT OpenCourseWare,
  36. 36. OER has the Potential to1. Increase availability of high quality, relevant and need- targeted learning materials2. Reduce the cost of accessing educational materials3. Allow adaptation of materials and possibly contribute to enabling learners to be active participants in educational processes4. Achieve collaborative partnership of people working in communities of practice5. Provide educators with access, at low or no cost, to the tools and content required to produce high quality educational materials
  37. 37. Creative Commons Licenses
  38. 38. A spectrum of rights Public Domain least restrictive X XX most restrictive All Rights Reserved
  39. 39. Challenges Licensing and Finding relevant / Copyright quality resources Clearance Policy implications Adapting or for ICT and remixing resources Intellectual Property
  40. 40. Summary• Technology must be seen as a supportive tool• The use of technology needs to add value• Adequate infrastructure is needed• Capacity building is a key focus• Collaborate with others and learn from experience• Emergence of OERs can support the trend to introduce elearning• Become adaptive to change
  41. 41. Discussion Thank you greigk_za Greig Krull This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
  42. 42. References • Johnson, L, Adams, S, and Cummins, M (2012). The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. • Isaacs, S and Hollow, D, (eds) 2012. The eLearning Africa 2012 Report, ICWE: Germany. • Commonwealth of Learning. 2009. ICTs for higher education: background paper from the Commonwealth of Learning. World Conference on Higher Education, Paris. • OER Africa: • PHEA ETI: aspx • Tony Mays, Saide, 2012, Recapping OER Presentation • Catherine Ngugi, OER Africa, 2012, Introduction to OER Africa Presentation