Digital transformation: Tapping the opportunities for higher learning

Thursday 15 November 2018

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Programme and abstracts

Thursday 15 November 2018

9:00am – 9:20am

Opening remarks:

Mr Rene Eno-Akpa, VUU Kampala, Uganda

9:30am – 9:55am

Session One: Keynote address:

Prof. Patrick Mangheni

10:00am – 10:50am

Session Two: Yahoo groups, blended learning and smart phone:

Prof. Martin O’Reilly, KIU, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


Using the story of how one distance learning department of a university in Tanzania has developed over the past five years, I will explore the potential of low-cost vehicles, such as Yahoo Groups for Universities & Colleges, for the organization and distribution of distance learning materials to students.  I will explain the benefits of using such vehicles and how it makes the creation of learning platforms for students a thing of ease – especially for those with limited ITC know-how – as well as a low-cost option for institutions wanting to begin distance learning.  I will also consider the benefits of this approach in the context of establishing devising blended learning programmes and having students access materials through their smart phones.

11:00am – 11:50am

Session Three: An anecdotal evidence of the role of incubation in the growth of business start-ups in Uganda

Dr Anthony Tibaingana, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda


Incubation is a well-known and accepted strategy for the growth of business start-ups. In spite of this accepted view, little is known about how incubators support the growth of business start-ups in the developing world, especially where the majority of business start-ups fail to celebrate their first birth day. As a result, this study explored the role of incubators on the growth of business start-ups in Uganda. The study interviewed managers of the incubator on services they offer. Focus group discussions with different owners of business start-ups were conducted to capture their perception on the services they received and how such support enabled the growth of their enterprises. The finding reveals that various services were indeed offered to support growth of business start-ups. The services ranged from creation of networks to other business development services such as mentorship, coaching, marketing and many others. The perceptions of the owner’s of business start-up were somewhat mixed because while the majority viewed the support as crucial in supporting the growth of their start-ups, a few others said they did not. Thus, a few business start-up owners viewed incubators as playing a limited role in the growth of the start-up. In fact, some start-ups survived without going to the incubation their own. The finding contributes to policy formulation on the role of start-ups and provides critical information to streamline incubation support processes in emerging economies.

12:00pm – 12:50pm

Session four: Reusable Learning Object Metadata Adaptation for Higher Education Instructional Design

Dr Joab Ezra Agaba , Makerere University.

Prof. Jude Lubega, UTAMU, Kampala, Uganda


Reusable learning objects have always been adapted in e-learning environments to serve different purposes in instructional design. This adaptation process is usually limited by varying metadata standards of reusable learning objects that in most cases do not conform to the standard structure of the learning objects for a given educational level. In this paper, we present an analysis of various learning object metadata standards and propose a new metadata structure for a higher education reusable learning object. We evaluate this new metadata structure by instantiating it with a learning object authoring tool that also supports adaptation of learning objects with multi-format assets. We use expert sampling technique to randomly select 8 experts in higher education instructional design (from three different universities) to evaluate the functionality, correctness and usability of the tool in authoring reusable learning objects with multi-format assets. This process is repeated with 10 experts in instructional design, randomly selected from 5 universities. The results from the two experiments show a strong positive correlation and this proves that the proposed metadata structure can be adopted by higher education institutions in instructional design process to create adaptable reusable learning objects.

01:00pm – 01:55pmLunch break
02:00pm – 02:50pm

Session five: Online education: unavoidable paradigmatic questions and reconciliatory spaces.

Assoc. Prof. Adalbertus Kamanzi, VUU Kampala, Uganda


Technological revolutions of whatever nature are always met with resistance. Similarly, the application of the online education systems as a result of the digital revolution is facing different practical challenges, particularly the socio-cultural ones. I argue that such challenges are a manifestation of a transitory pedagogical paradigm in higher education. What we need to do is to engage in a discussion that unveils the paradigmatic assumptions that, on the one hand, slow down the adoption of online education, and also those that, on the other hand, could provide options that could accelerate the adoption of online learning in higher education. In this reflective paper, the online education is taken to be an interface whereby the different actors in education battle around the key elements of any paradigm, the ontology, axiology, epistemology and methodology. Thus, the paper suggests going beyond the embattled elements by pointing out the reconciliatory spaces,

03:00pm – 03:50pm

Session six: Digital transformation, Deconstruction and Decolonizing the Mind Theory: Reading of Oppression in Ngugi’s Weep Not Child, digitization at work

Dr. William Barata, Department of Uvira Teachers Training
College (ISP/UVIRA)


This study has a literary, linguistic, social and global humanitarianism potential features which has much to offer to the field of literary research by putting much emphasis on literature produced and being produced in postcolonial periods. Another significance point of the present paper is that it focuses much on the redefinition of the Identity of the subject matter of any literary work to offer a new hope of restoring mankind. As a qualitative paradigm oriented research, for data collection, both textual and library research approaches were used whereas the data analysis stage made recourse to reader response and pragmatic approaches. As for the results, it has been discovered that Ngugi uses deconstruction device to mark the eclecticism of different conflicting ideologies throughout the course of his narrative and therefore the instability in the meaning of he oppressed identity with a post-colonial victimization discourse. Orientalism, Marxism, and Feminism limits projected Ngugi’s construction of the oppression truth object postulates decolonizing the mind theory as fitting epistemology in questioning the concept of Oppression. Furthermore, the same epistemological trend proves Ngugi’s commitment in struggling for the denied universal status of mankind for centuries denied by the imperialists and addresses the issue of civilizing mankind as a universal fact taken out race, gender, wealth, or geo-spatial possession. Decolonizing the mind theory depicts literature discipline as a universal reconciliation space and sets forth new foundations which promotes peace, pacific cohabitation among nations, democracy, common development.

04:00pm – 04:30pm

Concluding remarks: 

Prof. Everd Maniple, VUU Kampala, Uganda


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Adalbertus Kamanzi

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Adalbertus Kamanzi

With a keen interest in teaching and researching on development issues, particularly in the area of gender and development discourses. Dr. Kamanzi is a long term lecturer and research fellow at various universities including Uganda Martyrs University and African Studies Center, Leiden


Dr. Joab Agaba

With 14 years working in ICT industry, he is currently the e-learning director at Virtual University of Uganda. With experience in teaching software development and as a consultant in ICT, Dr Agaba also has a passion for e-learning implementation.

Vice Chacellor

Prof. Everd Maniple

With over 25 years experience in the fields of Medicine and Public Health, and 18 years in higher education and research, he is trying to research into how ICTs can reduce the gap between the people with health needs and the experts with the knowledge to meet those needs, so that distance is no longer a barrier to accessing health care and enjoyment of a high quality of life