Pretoria to Khartoum - how we taught an Internet-supported Masters' programme across national, religious, cultural and linguistic barriers

16 Apr 2007

This article tells the story of the design, development and presentation of eighteen months of coursework for a Master's degree programme in Computer-Integrated education at the Sudan University of Science and Technology in Khartoum from 2002 to 2004. The focus is on what was learnt in adapting a programme presented at the University of Pretoria to cope with the challenges of teaching at an institution thousands of kilometres away, where technological infrastructure, time and policy issues; and even the weather played an often disruptive role. The data sources from which the story is constructed are field notes and preparation material, the project diary, informal discussion both physical and online; interviews and email messages with students, local facilitators, local administrators and presenters; as well as the electronic artefacts produced by the students. A comparison between a synthesis of the literature and the narrative description leads to the identification of seven assumptions that may guide the design, development and presentation of international, cross cultural Internet-supported teaching initiatives.