27 educators from 17 institutions across Africa came together to co-design and share best practices on pedagogy with a focus on facilitating inclusive classrooms at the just ended Education Collaborative workshop in June 2018.  Immense impact has been made in the various participating institutions as collaborators have introduced shared techniques and content learned at the workshop with fellow faculty members, employees, and students. Collaborators have also embarked on various post workshop projects with each other’s institutions for mutual benefits in curriculum sharing and development, institutional development, faculty training, faculty/student exchanges, EdTech, student-centered development and many more. Tremendous support shown by collaborators for these projects is a major step towards the collaboratives vision to transform higher education in Africa.

Kepler Kigali- Giving voice to value session

Landry Sugira a Remote Learning Coordinator at Kepler in Rwanda held a giving voice to values evaluation session with 20 of his students. Moduled after a session led by facilitators from Ashesi University during the collaborative, this exercise gave the students the opportunity to prioritize values in ethical action and to learn to speak up and be heard when faced with a decision to do something that goes against their values.

Students from Kepler taking part in the evaluation session

The students were given value ranking sheets consisting of 21 values to rank themselves accordingly and were instructed to choose the top five values out of the list that mattered to them most and would influence their decision making at the workplace, in social settings, and in all daily activities. Some values listed in the ranking sheet were: wealth, skill, power, pleasure, physical appearance, morality etc. The five top most important values selected were health, wisdom, knowledge, education, and wealth.   The students who took part in the evaluation were due to start jobs and internships at various companies in Rwanda and this exercise helped them to make more ethical decisions at the workplace and to reflect their values in all activities.

BlueCrest College-Staff Development Program

Collaborators who lead sessions at the workshop

57 full-time and adjunct faculty of BlueCrest College in Accra Ghana, took part in a staff development training workshop organized by the business school Head of Department Eva Esther Shalin Ebenezer. It was held to boost morale, teamwork, and spearhead the faculty towards the department’s vision to be the best business school in Africa. Eva was a participant at the Education Collaborative and based the training program on the content of the workshop. Six co-collaborators showed their support to Eva by leading sessions alongside some faculty from Bluecrest. Through training sessions and activities, faculty at BlueCrest were taught new techniques to try in their classrooms to make learning engaging such as using social media in the classroom, teaching effectively despite having limited resources by using with real-life scenarios, engaging students to lead more presentations. By the end of the training, faculty members were united and eager to try strategies. This workshop is expected to benefit  750 students in BlueCrest University.

Collaborators on AAU Talks

Collaborators being interviewed on AAU Talks

Participants and the project lead of the Education Collaborative were invited by The Association of African Universities for an interview on their live stream platform, AAU Talks. Participants shared what they experienced at the collaborative,  shed more light on the various projects  started with each other, the new techniques they have tried in their institutions and its impact. The current level of higher education in Africa was addressed and all gave their insights on current issues and provided solutions they wish to implement in their small way to raise the bar in African higher education.

Professional Development training for Staff at Crown Prince Academy

The Education Collaborative is centered on transforming higher education in Africa. However, this year’s theme on Facilitating inclusive classrooms cut across all educational borders such that, facilitators from basic school also benefited from content shared and impact has been measured at one basic school so far. Crown Prince Academy, a basic school in Ghana also benefited from collaborative content. Management of Crown Prince Academy organized a training workshop for staff and teachers to enable personal and institutional growth, to build team commitment, to build ideas on how to improve classroom management, and to learn new techniques to try in the classroom.Gracious Ampofo a participant at this years collaborative, facilitated a session on Cognitive Load theory to a 100 faculty & staff.  His presentation explored how the human brain works, learns and remembers, how lessons can be designed to be more memorable for the learner and how facilitators can capture the attention of students during a class. Post workshop, participants began using audio-visual display comics related to the lesson, and role playing to capture students attention, make learning relatable, and to increase student participation in teaching and learning. 750 students have been impacted at CPA with these classroom techniques.