In the first week of December 2020, the two UWC DAAD Centres of Excellence – the South African-German Centre for Development Research SA-GER CDR and the South African German Centre for Transnational Criminal Justice TRANSCRIM – took part in a training workshop on the use of the new DigiFace digital teaching and learning platform. Colleagues from Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, who are managing partners of the DigiFace project, organized and run the training workshop in a venue close to Cape Town.

DigiFace – short for “Digital Initiative for African Centres of Excellence” – is a new project funded by DAAD that aims at supporting and facilitating Higher Education learning and research at all DAAD African Centres of Excellence. The project is strengthening the Centres’ digital competencies as well as the networking among all the Centres – between all institutions involved, between staff, students, and alumni.

Core element of the DigiFace-initiative is the creation and establishment of a central interactive digital platform which is based on the Moodle learning management system. Participants in the training workshop started to develop course material and got a good understanding of both theoretical and practical knowledge required to make full use of the different tools and facilities of the platform. The workshop that way supported both Centres in offering course designs suitable for blended and hybrid learning, – both essential elements of the current and future learning environment at UWC. The two Centres, going forward, are joining forces to promote the use of the new platform in their respective institutes, and to collaborate more closely within the digital infrastructure that the new DigiFace project provides.

Members and facilitators of the training workshop: (back row right to left): Prof. John-Mark Iyi (UWC / TRANSCRIM), Lance Scheepers (UWC / SA-GER CDR), Ruth Knoblich (UWC / SA-GER CDR), Dr. Nortje Windell (UWC / TRANSCRIM), Elmien Waring (NMU Port Elizabeth), and Mike Swanepoel (NMU Port Elizabeth); (front row right to left): Shamiso Mandioma (UWC / SA-GER CDR), Karlien Potgieter (NMU Port Elizabeth), Prof. Paul Webb (NMU Port Elizabeth), and Dr. Michael Nguatem Belebema (UWC / SA-GER CDR).