College of Education and External Studies through its School of Distance and Lifelong learning, Institute of Open Distance and eLearning on the 9th to 10th July 2018 hosted its first international conference on Open Distance and E-learning in Makerere university main hall. It was a two days conference which was officially opened on Monday, 9th July 2017 by Dr. Eria Hisali, the Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe. The conference was under the theme: ’Emerging Open Distance and eLearning (ODeL) Technologies to Promote Inclusive, Quality and Equitable Education’’
Dr. Samuel Siminyu a lecturer in the Institute of Open Distance and eLearning, presided at the DELC2018 as the Master of ceremony for the first day while Dr. David Kabugo from the School of Education presided on the seconded day as the Master of Ceremony.
The Norwegian Government supporting Makerere University under its Norwegian Programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) Programme funded by (Norad) entered into a collaboration with the Makerere University, School of Distance and Lifelong Learning, Department of Open Distance and eLearning in the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) and the University of Agder- Norway in Implementing the Distance Education Leapfrogging Project.
The conference was honoured by many representatives, a team from the University of Adger led by Rector Prof. Frank Reikert, Principal and Deputy Principal College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi and Dr. Paul Muyinda Birevu respectively among other dignitaries and delegates.
The Principle, CEES Prof. Masagazi welcomed the delegates and congratulated CEES upon the DELP and the organisers in particular. He was grateful for the support from everyone, Makerere University, Professors and the University of Adger and he said the partnership with Adger University has led to many successes
The Deputy Principal, MAKCEES, Associate Professor Muyinda Berivu Paul, the DELP PI Makerere University, delivered his welcome remarks and reported that the projects have achieved 90% of its intended objectives and also stressed that the DELP project has gone an extra mile of doing other things that were not documented in the inception of the projects. Associate Professor Muyinda Berivu Paul highlighted a number of achievement of DELP Project since it started up to now
Assoc. Professor Jessica Norah Aguti, the Ag Director, Institute of Open Distance and eLearning, Makerere University delivered a very insightful keynote speech on “Capacity building for teachers: the weakest link in transforming ICT integration in Education”. This keynote speech was live streamed. 1st International Conference on Open Distance and eLearning (DELC2018) partnered with University of Cape Town UCT) and the E-merged Africa, to live stream the above mentioned DELC2018 Keynotes presentation.
One striking presentations 9th July 2018 was that from Dr. Onen David, Lecturer in the East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development. He presented a paper on Strengthening Doctoral Training in an African University: Staff and Student Perceptions of Two Capacity Building Initiatives. Some of the tools CEES uses to build capacity for improving doctoral training are conceptualization clinics, doctoral colloquia and seminar series. According to his research, Onen (2018) reports decimal participation in these events by staff and students. One of the reasons from his findings is that staff and students lack effective communication. Invitations to these events are done online through emails or Whatsup which many of our staff and students do not subscribe to. The solution therefore is to adjust the communication channel if we have to mentor each other through the above mentioned avenues.
Day two also kicked off with another exciting keynote speech presented by two professors from the University of Agder, Norway. Prof. Sven. A. Bjork and Prof. Maurice N Isabwe delivered another insightful keynote speech in the morning 10th July 2018.
At the conference research papers were presented on different topics and these papers will be compiled together into a book and will be published soon. This was stressed and communicated by the two Project Investigators: Assoc. Prof. Paul Berivu Muyinda from Makerere University and Prof. Maurice N Isabwe from University of Agder, Norway.
The conference was officially opened by Makerere University Vice Chancellor on the morning of 7th July 2018 and official closed on 10th July 2018 by Prof. Frank Reikert, the Rector of the University of Agder.