Quality Assurance of Online and Blended Higher Education: The Southern African Experience
November 16, 2022 (Wednesday)
14:00 - 15:30 UTC
16:00 - 17:30 Johannesburg time
A joint webinar of INQAAHE and the Southern African Quality Assurance Network (SAQAN)
This joint webinar session with the Southern African Quality Assurance Network (SAQAN) will focus on issues surrounding quality assurance of online and blended higher education within the Southern African context. As online and blended education becomes a more prevalent mode of delivery to support access and opportunity for a wide range of students across the region, issues surrounding quality become paramount. The need to share regional and international experiences of online and blended learning and the quality assurance thereof is opportune as we emerge from a time of significant change and now settle into planning of the future.
The session will include presentations from Dr Whitfield Green of the Council on Higher Education (CHE)- South Africa who will share findings from a survey report on how students accessed and used learning materials during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will further hear about the quality assurance of online learning from the Southern African perspective from Prof Richard Siaciwena of the Zambian Open University, and views about student-teacher experiences in online learning in Lesotho from Dr Paballo Mokenela. Dr Godson Gatsha of Botswana Open University will share his insights on academic integrity and quality assurance of online and blended learning. Finally Dr. Deb Adair of Quality Matters will consider the global trends and best practices surrounding online and distance education.
We are delighted to have the insights and expertise from:
The session will be moderated by Dr Mary Catharine Lennon of INQAAHE and will include a formal welcome from Prof Stephen Simukanga, President of SAQAN, prepared presentations from panel members, followed by a moderated discussion, with opportunities for participants to ask questions and inform discussions.
The recording of this session is available on INQAAHE's YouTube channel.
The following speakers will join us in this session:
Dr Whitfield Green
Dr Green currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Higher Education, an organisation mandated to conduct research on higher education, monitor trends in higher education, provide advice to the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, and the apex organization for quality assurance of higher education in South Africa. He was previously the Chief-Director: Teaching, Learning and Research Development in the South African Department of Higher Education and Training. Dr Green has worked in a range of education settings, having served as a high school teacher, as a teacher education college lecturer, and as lecturer and senior lecturer at university level. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Higher Diploma in Education, Bachelor of Education Honours, Master of Education, all from the University of Natal/KwaZulu-Natal he earned his PhD from the University of Stellenbosch. Dr Green has published in his field of expertise and also presented a number of papers at national and international conferences.
Prof Richard Siaciwena
Professor Richard Siaciwena is currently the Vice Chancellor of the Zambian Open University (ZAOU) where he previously served as the Director of the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Extension Services. He holds a PhD in Distance Education, from the University of Wales; an M.A. in Education and Postgraduate Diploma in Education, from the University of London; and a B.A. with Education from the University of Zambia. He has worked in the higher education sector since 1977, mostly at the University of Zambia where he lectured and held different administrative positions, notably Director of the Centre for Continuing Education and Director of the Directorate of Distance Education (now Institute of Distance Education). Professor Siaciwena served as Project Advisor for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Capacity Building in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Project, SADC Secretariat, Gaborone, Botswana where he participated in developing various regional ODL related policies and strategic frameworks. He Chaired the SADC Ad hoc Committee that developed the SADC Regional Quality Assurance Guidelines for Open and Distance Learning. He also facilitated workshops on the development of national ODL policies in a number of SADC Member States. Professor Siaciwena previously served as Strategic Adviser, Mozambique Open and Distance Learning (MODL) Project, Ministry of Education, Republic of Mozambique; and Advisor for: “A Secondary Distance Education (ASECA)” Project of the South African Committee for Higher Education (SACHED) Trust.
Dr Paballo Mokenela
Paballo Mokenela is a Lecturer and Head of the Adult Education Department at the National University of Lesotho (NUL). She is responsible for the management and administration of the Diploma, Degree and Masters in Adult Education programmes which are delivered through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode. Her professional association membership includes the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) Alumni, Technology Pedagogy and Education Association (TPEA), UK, and the Lesotho Education Research Association (LERA). Influenced by her interest in learner engagement through blended learning innovations, as well as appropriate tutor and learner support, her research interests are in the design and development of contextually relevant blended learning pedagogic models in higher learning. These include tutor and learner experiences, challenges, and evidence-based strategies to enhance performance in blended learning models which comprise online learning. She holds a PhD in Education (Nottingham Trent University, UK); M.Ed. (Counselling and Human Services), (University of Botswana); B.Ed. (Adult Education), NUL; Diploma in Open and Distance Learning (Open University of Tanzania); and Certificate for Distance Education Practitioners (UNISA).
Dr Godson Gatsha
Godson Gatsha is the Deputy Vice Chancellor Student Services at Botswana Open University (BOU). He is responsible for student support services and regional operations at BOU’s five regional campuses spread across Botswana. He was once a Regional Manager responsible for the Kang Regional Campus that serves students from marginalized communities. Godson has worked as an open distance learning (ODL) practitioner, a Director for Southern African Development Community (SADC) Centre for Distance Education, a SADC ODL Technical Advisor in Malawi and an Education Specialist, Higher Education at the Commonwealth of Learning, Canada. He has worked in various Commonwealth Member States as a Facilitator and Consultant for ODL systems, Quality Assurance, Qualifications Framework, Open Educational Resources and ODL Programme Accreditation and Standards. Godson holds a PhD in Education Policy Studies (University of Pretoria), MA in Distance Education (Indira Ghandi National Open University), MEd in Educational Management (University of Botswana) and several Diplomas including Graduate Diploma in Leadership in ICT and Knowledge Society (Dublin City University) and Monitoring and Evaluation (Stellenbosch University).
Dr Deb Adair
Dr. Deborah Adair is the Executive Director of Quality Matters, an international non-profit organization providing a scalable quality assurance system for digital learning. Utilized by over 1500 institutions across education sectors in more than 30 countries. QM’s tools and training support education professionals in improving digital education and meeting QM’s internationally-recognized standards. Dr. Adair also serves as the 8th President of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), a world-wide association of 300+ organizations active in the theory and practice of quality assurance in higher education. Previously, she has served on advisory bodies for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, the National University Technology Network, the Presidents Forum, and Credential Engine.
This session will be chaired by:
Dr Mary Catharine Lennon
Mary Catharine Lennon, PhD, is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board of Ontario (PEQAB) and Research Associate with the Centre for Canadian and International Higher Education (CIHE) at the University of Toronto (UofT). Dr. Lennon is also a Board Director of the International Network of Quality Assurance in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and chairs the Marjorie Lenn Peace Centre for Education and Capacity Building in Quality Assurance. Her academic and professional activities are in international and comparative higher education policy development and advice in areas including system design, accountability and quality assurance, and evaluation. Most recently, Dr. Lennon co-edited the book “Learning Outcomes, Academic Credit, and Student Mobility” and co-authored the North American chapter of “Global Trends in Higher Education Quality Assurance”. She holds degrees from Queen’s University, Simon Fraser University and the University of Toronto.