Behind the scenes at Virtual University of Uganda

P1090476our campus in Kampala

Virtual University of Uganda (VUU) was granted a licence from the Uganda National Council for Higher Education in 2011, and we have been growing steadily since. We are proud to be pioneering elearning in Uganda and the region, and we are gradually becoming more well known even outside the continent. We had our first graduation in July and it was a colourful and happy occasion presided over by our Chancellor Lady Justice Flavia Senoga Anglin. Our friends on Facebook number almost 27,000, and we are also very visible on Twitter and Google+.

Our students come from, among other places, Uganda, the Philippines, the UK, Belgium, Tanzania, Malawi, South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Burundi, and Kenya, including a number of Ugandan professionals living abroad). Our staff are sourced globally, regionally, and nationally and represent Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands, England, Scotland, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameron, Italy, and Bolivia. We are a hard-working group and undertake all our tasks with professionalism and integrity.

Our Vice Chancellor is the veteran Belgian educationalist Professor Dr Michel Lejeune. He studied in Belgium, Oxford, and Canada, and holds two PhD degrees from Louvain. Having been a high court judge in Belgium, he was the founder Vice Chancellor at Uganda Martyrs University, and later the Deputy Executive Director at the Uganda National Council for Higher Education.  Those of you who know him, will remember that he is uncompromising about quality in higher education.

Michel pic

Second in command is Professor Dr Deirdre Carabine, Director of Programmes (Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs). She studied in Belfast, Paris, Munich, and Dublin, and is also the holder of two PhDs. She came to Uganda in 1993 to work at Uganda Martyrs University, and by the time she left, she was Deputy Vice Chancellor (AA), having also headed the Institute of Ethics and Development Studies and set up the School of Postgraduate Studies. She then founded International Health Sciences University before moving on to become founder Vice Chancellor at Virtual University of Uganda. She is passionate about online learning and has overall responsibility to ensure that all teaching and learning materials are of the best possible quality. She is also chief editor for the VUU Open Access Resources Series.

Carabine

The Chairman of our Board of Trustees is Professor Dr Charles Olweny, senior oncologist and educationalist, and previously VC at Uganda Martyrs University; the Chairman of our University Governing Council is Professor Dr Patrick Mangheni, formerly CEO of RENU, the Research and Education Network of Uganda. The other members of our full-time staff include Ms Lindo Victoria Ndagire, University Secretary in the Registry, and Mr Vincent Oloya in the Finance Office. All other staff members are contracted to teach courses in their areas of expertise. Our current programme leaders are Dr Ashis Brahma (Holland), Professor Adalbertus Kamanzi (Tanzania), Drs Arjan de Jaeger (The Netherlands), and Drs Jimmy Opoka (Uganda). I think you will agree that we are a diverse but well-qualified team.

It is because we have a very sleek physical infrastructure that we can concentrate on quality multi-media materials that make the student learning experience more enjoyable. This is what our Learning Platform looks like:

Moodle

You simply log on, go to your classroom, and learn! Simple. And we are always on hand to help you. We are proud of the fact that we offer premier student support both within and outside traditional office hours. So you do not have to travel to the university EVER: except perhaps if you wish to attend graduation! All registration, learning, Live Classes, and examinations are done online. All you need is a reliable internet connection. No more traffic jams as you struggle to reach the university at 6.00pm four evenings a week! Learn while you earn, as we say, and, most conveniently, learn at your own pace and in your own place!

If you would like to be part of this revolution in learning, visit our website to find out more about us. Currently, we offer Master’s degrees in Public Health, ICT4Development, Executive MBA (with Oil and Gas specialization and Hospitality Management coming soon), and MA International Development. We also offer a number of free online course each year (called LOOCs — Little Open Online Courses). These lead to postgraduate certification. We also offer training programmes for university staff who wish to learn how to be an online lecturer or how to manage an eLearning Platform.

To contact us, visit the website,  phone Victoria on +256 312 202137 or +256 772 202137, or mail Victoria at infovuu@virtualuni.ac.ug. You can also call in to our campus at 425 Zzimwe (Church) Road, Muyenga, Kampala (opposite Tankhill Parade).

We look forward to welcoming you as our student!

Advertisements

Drop in Day

Our first drop in day last month was a great success. We were especially pleased to welcome those students and staff who flew in from neighbouring countries. We had a very fruitful time together and hope to make it a bi-annual event.

Our next big event is graduation which takes place on Saturday 18 July 2015. Our Chancellor, Lady Justice Anglin Flavia Senoga will award certificates and confer degrees on our pioneer students.

Our next intake starts on 10 August. There is still time to apply online at: www.virtualuni.ac.ug. We are ready to welcome you to the revolution in higher education!

VUU DAY 028

Uganda’s first free and open online course

Virtual University of Uganda
Postgraduate Certificate Course: Project Management for Development
18 May – 20 June 2015
Uganda’s first open online course!
Project Mgmt

“Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives. A project is a unique, transient endeavour, undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits.” (https://www.apm.org.uk/WhatIsPM)

This open online course is a short, intensive course offered at postgraduate level for a maximum number of 50 participants. You will be required to pay only a booking fee of UGX 100,000 (Ugandans and EAC members) or US$50 for others. Successful completion of the course will guarantee a Course Certificate which will be presented at the VUU 2015 graduation on 18 July.

If you are interested in learning more about project management (in the context of development) to become more productive in your current professional role, or you simply want to add project management to your existing skills set, then this is an excellent course for you. You do not have to attend class or travel to the university: you study the whole course online when you are able to log in to the teaching platform. The course is also intended to be a gentle introduction to online study for those who have no experience in online learning.

moodle

According to PMI, “projects can be simple or complex. While simple ones can be managed with a little bit of planning and a healthy dose of common sense, complex projects need a more formal approach.” In this course you will learn all the key elements of good project planning such as estimating, planning, and scheduling. You will also learn how to anticipate potential problems (risks) and ways to mitigate these. You will learn key management skills and monitoring and evaluation techniques to ensure that the projects you are involved in are successful.

register now

Please ignore the last line of the application form. Contact infovuu@virtualuni.ac.ug to find out how to pay the booking fee.

VUU – leading the way in online education

visit our website at: http://www.virtualuni.ac.ug

We are hiring …

Fully Licenced by the Uganda National Council for Higher Education

The Virtual University of Uganda is a private university licenced by the Uganda National Council for Higher Education. VUU offers programmes for professionals online, using a blended appraoch, or via digital distance learning. Virtual University of Uganda’s administration offices are located in Muyenga, Kampala, while the classrooms, meeting rooms, registry, and library are fully virtual using a Moodle platform hosted by UP Learning in The Netherlands.

Applications are invited for the following positions:

Assistant Registrar

Moodle Administrator

The applicant for position one should hold at least a Bachelor’s degree with five years experience in a related position with excellent administrative, computer, and public relations skills.

The applicant for position two should ideally hold a master’s degree with a specialization in education with at least five years experience in the field.

Both candidates should be knowledgeable about higher education in Uganda and be willing to work with minimal supervision in a small committed team.

A letter of application, together with an up-to-date CV and the names and email contacts of two referees (not related by blood or marriage) should be sent /delivered to:
VUU, P.O. Box 70773, Clock Tower, Kampala or
VUU, 425 Zzimwe Road, Muyenga or
infovuu@virtualuni.ac.ug
Closing Date: Friday 26 September 2014 at 12 noon.

Interviews will be held at the University premises on Zzimwe / Church Road shortly thereafter. A candidate who is not invited for interview should consider his/her application unsuccessful.

Applicants should be ready to take up these positions on 5 January 2015. An attractive remuneration package is offered for each position.

 

Teaching and Learning Online

Teaching online may well be the future for most academics worldwide. However, transitioning to an online or mixed-mode way of teaching and learning can be difficult: old mind-sets are hard to change. We are all used to the 1 teacher – 100 students (or more) scenario, teaching (or dictating) for 1 timetable hour in 1 classroom with a black (or white) board and, perhaps, a projector for the ubiquitous powerpoint presentation!

But times are fast changing. While it is difficult for many institutions to bring elearning on board — staff and student resistance and fear, inadequate resources, lack of IT skills, poor support from management …. we at VUU believe that the time is now to take the plunge. We have launched three postgraduate programmes entirely online, and while it has not all been plain sailing, it has worked! Our students are full elearning students.

Having been there and done that, so to speak, we at VUU now want to share our knowledge and experiences. To this end, we are organizing a series of training programmes for third-level institutions and their staff. The first of these is on eTutoring. Should you wish to take this course (or you know someone who might be interested), please visit our Academic Website for more details and access to the online Application Form.

www. virtualuni.ac.ug/vuu-corporate-academy/

 

Strategic Capacity-Building Programmes for eLearning Delivery

Virtual University of Uganda offers Strategic Capacity Building Programmes in eLearning  tailored to meets the needs of Uganda’s Universities

moodle

Moodle Management for Senior University Administrators **

In order for university departments to to deliver online programmes successfully, in-house managers are a central and crucial part of the operation. This capacity-building programme targets senior university administrators (already computer literate) who would be responsible for the continuous content delivery for online courses. Administrators learn the technicalities of advanced content provision online, including setting up examinations, quizzes, forums, and wikis), and how to work closely with the academic staff tutoring the courses and / or providing content so that the student learning experience is smooth and trouble-free. Administrators are trained to present learning materials in a creative, learner-friendly way, and how to provide online student support. Managers will also learn how to set up Course Libraries using open access materials.

Moodle managers trained by VUU attend a week-long session at VUU (10:00–16:00), and continue the training online for a further two weeks. Successful completion of all parts of the course results in a certificate in “Moodle Administration”. The programme is limited to 12 people per training session.

Online Teaching using Moodle for University Lecturers **

The pedaqgogy used in a classroom is quite different from the pedagogy used in an online learning environment. This programme will offer interested lecturers a unique opportunity to hone their teaching skills in an online environment. Tutors will learn how to tailor their existing courses for an online platform, how to manage the learning environment as an “editing” or “non-editing” lecturer, how to participate in wikis and discussion forums, how the set, mark, and comment on assignments and examinations, and how to set up chat sessions with their students. Special online demonstration classes will test the tutor’s knowledge of the system.

Moodle Tutors trained by VUU attend a week-long session at VUU (10:00–16:00), and continue the training online for a further two weeks. Successful completion of all parts of the course results in a certificate in “Moodle Teaching at University Level”. The programme is limited to 12 people per training session.

Cloud-Based Management Systems for University Administrators **

Using simple, affordable, cloud-based apps (both paid and freely available) can transform a faculty or department into a streamlined, paperless environment where communication is almost immediate and information shared seamlessly. Cloud-based university management systems mean that minutes of staff meetings, boards, and senates, notices, timetables, and other information can be uploaded as PDFs to a specially-customised (and easily-managed) website where access is instantaneous. Wikis can also be set up as Departmental Notice Boards hosting a broad range of information from the Faculty / Department s to Dissertation Title and Supervision lists. Different levels of security and access can be set up to ensure confidentiality. Automatic emails can alert users to new uploads.

Cloud Computing Administrators trained by VUU attend a week-long session at VUU (10:00–16:00), and continue the training online for a further one week. Successful completion of all parts of the course results in a certificate in “Cloud-Based Management”. The programme is limited to 14 people per training session.

Using Social Media for University Public Relations **

This specially tailored training programme targets university PROs and Official Spokespersons responsible for the dissemination of official information for their institution. Participants learn how to set up, customize, and manage official Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, Google+ accounts, and blogs. PROs will learn how to maximize their online presence using inexpensive target ads on Facebook and Google Ads.

PROs trained by VUU attend a week-long session at VUU (10:00–16:00), and continue the training online for a further one week. Successful completion of all parts of the course results in a certificate in “Social Media Management”. The programme is limited to 12 people per training session.

Managing a Moodle Server **

IT managers and senior technicians learn how to set up and customise their own Moodle server. This training is organised by VUU so that the best of Uganda’s IT experts share their Moodle knowledge. This capacity-building programme runs for four Saturdays at VUU and is limited to 14 participants. Follow-up support and trouble shooting are available on request.

Complete Package Training and Support: Transitioning from  Paper-Based Delivery to Online Learning using Moodle **

VUU offers strategic, hands-on support to enable university departments make the transition from paper-based learning to online learning. There are two available options: fully online, multimedia-based in real time (synchronous) OR mixed modality as in a USB stick containing the full course materials presented as a leaning website (asynchronous).

In terms of synchronous learning, we upload your materials to your Moodle server and train your administrator to maintain and update the materials. We also train the lecturers who will be tutoring online. After training support and minor trouble-shooting can also be arranged where necessary. In terms of an asynchronous learning system, we build a complete learning system using the static Moodle system: Poodle. Further information is available on request.

Special: Universities who sign up for any of the training programmes offered by VUU, will receive an on-site half-day presentation session with the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Deans, and other senior managers of their institution. This presentation will familiarize the senior staff with the broad modalities of online learning and ensure they are familiar with the level of support necessary for their institution to enter into the area of eLearning.

**Price available on request; please contact v.ndagire@virtualuni.ac.ug for further information.