The “Curriculum Development at African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)” builds on research findings and scientific collaborations established and maintained within the DFG Special Priority Program “Adaptation and Creativity in Africa. Technologies and Significations in the Making of Order and Disorder” (SPP 1448) since 2010. We work on the transfer of knowledge generated by the SPP, focusing in particular on knowledge about the social and cultural dimensions of science and technology developed and/or deployed in African contexts. We believe that this knowledge is valuable and needed not only in the field of the humanities and the social sciences but also in the field of engineering and medicine. The objective of this project is to publish several open access volumes with some thirty case studies on developments in African contexts where science and technology play an important role. The authors of these case studies will demonstrate how the understanding of their case studies gained from Science and Technology Studies (STS) and at the same time show how STS needs to change by being deployed in African contexts. The volumes are in preparation and will appear in 2023.

We start from the observation that university capacity building constitutes a travelling technology. The concept of travelling technologies has been intensively studied by various projects of the SPP. Drawing on this empirical research, we stress the creativity that emerges from the translation of a circulating model—in this case models for scientific capacity building—into a localized context. In doing so the project introduces a critical and reflexive understanding of the production, institutionalization, and transformation of higher education at African HEIs. This understanding is systematically being elaborated and used in the development of new applied conceptual as well as digital tools and devices.

With our guiding question “When is (the internet) a resource?” we aim to capture some of the effects of broadband internet and access to digital products in African HEIs. Beyond digital innovation in the classroom and on campus, the project critically explores employment opportunities of graduates and analyzes the impact of the ‘gig economy’ (e.g. crowdsourcing platforms & digital factories) in the region.

Having selected the Department of Computer Science at Gulu University in Uganda as partnering institution, the project explores existing as well as potential learning infrastructures and (digital) opportunities for students, graduates and lecturers. The project maps and improves the on-campus knowledge and learning infrastructures in the first intervention. To enrich teaching and learning experiences, we introduce an offline digital archive that provides access to massive open online courses (MOOCs) on relevant topics in the second intervention.

Gulu University has developed an infrastructural solution that can be deployed freely at any university in the region, on the continent and beyond. The solution is open source and freely available. For technical support, please contact Benedict Oyo (Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science and Dean of the Faculty of Science) at Gulu University by email:

Online video courses are published on e-learning platforms such as Coursera and edX. The underlying obstacle we have identified is that even though videos with relevant content for teaching and learning are freely available, they cannot be accessed reliably or at scale at a resource limited environment such as Gulu University. We have contributed to making courses accessible, first at Gulu University and later at any other university.

Our online video courses are designed as a ‘flipped classroom’. Any lecturer has the possibility to give to their students videos to watch at any time, on their own devices and wherever they are. After a lecture has been delivered in the classroom, the lecturer can now instruct students to follow a selected video as homework. Students return to class to discuss the content of the video together with the lecturer.

For this purpose, the IT Department of Gulu University downloads a video used for e-learning once to a locally hosted “video mirroring” server. The video is then distributed to students’ mobile phones free of charge as they are connected to the university’s WiFi. The students download the video to their mobile phones on campus. Leaving campus or being offline, the video can be watched anywhere the students chose to go at any time.

This take-home video component of “Curriculum Development” was conceived, designed and implemented by a team with the following members:

Richard Rottenburg (PI)

Ed Akerboom (Programer)

René Umlauf (Researcher)

Benedict Oyo (Department of Computer Science, GU)

Daniel Ogenrwot (Department of Computer Science, GU)

David Pakono (ICT Directorate, GU)






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