In 2020, NEWAL conducted three e-learning workshops with lecturers and students in order to understand and address challenges related to e-learning and teaching in West Africa. This was a particularly timely activity given the abrupt change to online learning that occurred in March 2020 as a result of the global Covid pandemic. Two workshops were held with lecturers, and one workshop was held with students who took part in the 2020 NEWAL School for Water & Life.
As an outcome of the workshops, the following four categories of challenges were identified:
The following solutions were proposed:
Workshops for Lecturers 2020
The two workshops for lectures were conducted in French and English. Using the Design Thinking Approach, first the needs and problems of online teaching were analyzed. The following Pros and Cons of e-learning and online teaching were identified:
Workshop for Students 2020
Students from Togo, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Ghana took part in the the online workshop where needs and problems were identified and solutions to the challenges were ideated. The students’ reported experiences with online learning were as follows:
Summarizing the online/e-learning situation in West Africa in 2020: in Liberia online teaching did not take place at all; in Togo, in general none of the e-learning courses were recorded; in Ivory coast all courses were recorded; and in Ghana some courses were recorded.