Call for contributions in co-edited book on ‘Co-teaching/researching in an Unequal World: Using Virtual Classrooms to Connect Africa, and Africa and the World’

Edited by Zifikile Phindile Shangase, Daniela Gachago and Eunice Ivala


Traditionally, co-teaching or team-teaching is discussed in the context of K12 education, in particular, in relation to specific subjects or issues, such as teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) or supporting learners with disabilities. However, researchers have recently been exploring the concept of co-teaching within institutions of higher education (IHEs), in fields such as teacher education, and as a response to massification of access to HE (Morelock et al, 2017) but also in the context of internationalisation and globalisation.

Co-teaching in a ‘global classroom’ (Kahn & Agnew, 2017) gives students the opportunity to hear multiple perspectives on the same topic and to learn from experts within and outside their institutions (Minett-Smith & Davis, 2019); broadens potential student base and can extend a University brand; and offers cross-institutional networking and research opportunities (Clark & Wilson, 2017).  Technology has the potential to support international partnerships between universities, facilitated by networked/blended/online pedagogies. These partnerships can bring together students and teachers from widely differing backgrounds, cultures and locations, to combine global perspectives and local relevance (Stewart & Gachago, 2016). Despite the above advantages, over half of universities’ collaborative teaching ventures have failed, with participants blaming bureaucratic administration, departmental silo mentality, work ethics, lack of flexibility and cultural barriers for the breakdown of collaboration. Furthermore, collaboration often fails due to a lack of a shared vision, poor administrative support and difficulties with funding arrangements (Morelock et al, 2017).

South Africa (SA) is still haunted by the legacy of Apartheid, which limits SA’s ability to collaborate and reach out beyond local borders and lecturers and students often lack the financial means to study, research or work abroad. Emerging technologies such as virtual classrooms, social media, MOOCs or Open Educational Resources / Practices provide opportunities to support academic collaboration across geographical distances (Bali and Caines, 2018; Czerniewicz, 2018). There is however, limited research around the use of context-sensitive use of technology to facilitate inter-institutional collaboration in teaching and learning and research globally  (Clarke & Wilson, 2017) and in the African context. This book will contribute insights towards closing this gap in knowledge by providing a range of chapters reflecting on how academics and academic staff developers have employed technology across the African continent and beyond, to co-teach and co-research. Some of the insights the book will provide are: on benefits and challenges of such collaboration, affordances of technologies to bridge unequal divides, emerging practices of continental collaboration and beyond, framed by a (Pan-)African spirit. Such collaborations also have potential to explore how these innovative approaches can support decolonising the African Higher Education institutions curriculum in support of this current agenda.


We believe that it is of particular importance to research this issue from a Pan-African perspective, considering the huge differences in terms of resources but also in terms of beliefs around teaching and learning on the continent. International co-teaching, co-learning and co-researching require strategies and pedagogies built around collaborations, a plurality of knowledges and experiences, interconnections, networks, and engagement with the world. We would like to focus on initiatives that have grown from the Global South, which might have international collaborators but where the leadership resides in Africa. This edited volume will allow sharing of a wide range of experiences from the African continent, that not only focuses on the use of technology but engages more deeply with issues around cross-cultural collaboration. We also invite accounts of projects that failed and which can provide important lessons for future collaborations.

We are inviting submission to an edited collection of conceptual or theoretical papers and empirical research.

Based on the literature provided above, potential themes for this book are provided below.

  1. Emerging practices of co-teaching and co-research
  2. Pedagogies for co- teaching and co-research
  3. Tools and technologies to support co-teaching /co-researching
  4. Skills needed for co-teaching / co-researching
  5. Admin/management challenges when setting up partnerships, managing partnerships such as commitment, and funding
  6. Facilitating intercultural co-teaching/research (how does one negotiate power dynamics etc)
  7. Evaluation criteria /quality assessment used during/after the co-teaching /co-research experiences
  8. Implications/recommendations for curriculum development and academic staff development

The above themes will guide interested contributors in sharing their insights on how they have employed, supported, researched technology across the African continent and beyond, to co-teach and co-research and the issues that arose in the process and the curriculum development and staff development imperatives to be taken into consideration during co-teaching and co-researching. We encourage collaborative writing with the co-teaching / co-research team to acknowledge the multiplicity of experiences, views and cross-institutional learning.


This book is aimed at:

  • Academics at institutions of higher learning in Africa who have an interest in co-teaching and co-researching
  • Academics from Africa and beyond who would like to collaborate internationally through co-teaching/research using networked learning;
  • Innovation centres that support the use of technology for co-teaching/research;
  • Offices in charge of internationalisation strategies and initiatives in higher education institutions;
  • Management and decision-makers who are in charge of creating supportive environments for international collaboration on co-teaching and co-researching
  • Academic staff developers who need to support international collaborations on co-teaching/research
  • Curriculum developers interested in designing courses for diverse audiences


Submission of abstracts (250-500 words), author(s) details and key words by 20th of December 2019

Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 31st of January 2020

Submission of chapters: 31st of March 2020

Completion of blind peer review process: 31st of July 2020

Final submission of chapters: 30th of September 2020

Final manuscript to publisher: 31st of December 2020

For more information, please contact one of the co-editors:

Dr. Zifikile Phindile Shangase, University of KwaZulu-Natal,

Prof. Daniela Gachago, Cape Peninsula University of Technology,

Prof. Eunice Ndeto Ivala, Cape Peninsula University of Technology,

Information on the publisher

The book will be published by Vernon Press ( We are still negotiating the possibility of an open access option. We are also in conversation with AfricanMinds as publishers for the African market.


Bali, M. & Caines, A. (2018). A call for promoting ownership, equity and agency in faculty development via connected learning. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. 15(46).

Czerniewicz, L. (2018). Inequality as Higher Education Goes Online. Bonderup Dohn, N., Cranmer, S., Sime, J.-A., de Laat, M., Ryberg, Th. (Eds.): Networked Learning. Reflection and Challenges. Springer (eBook).

Clark, C.H., &  Wilson, B.P. (2017). The Potential for University Collaboration and Online Learning to Internationalise Geography Education. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 41(4): 488–505.

Kahn, H. E., & Agnew, M. (2017). Global Learning Through Difference: Considerations for Teaching, Learning, and the Internationalization of Higher Education. Journal of Studies in International Education, 21(1), 52–64.

Minett-Smith, C., & Davis, C. L. (2019). Widening the discourse on team-teaching in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 0(0), 1–16.

Morelock, J. R., Lester, M. M. G., Klopfer, M. D., Jardon, A. M., Mullins, R. D., Nicholas, E. L., & Alfaydi, A. S. (2017). Power, perceptions, and relationships: A model of co-teaching in higher education. College Teaching, 65(4), 182–191.

Stewart, K., & Gachago, D. (2016). “Being Human Today: A Digital Storytelling Pedagogy for Transcontinental Border Crossing.” British Journal for Educational Technology, 47 (3), 528–542.

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