Collaborative Development and Utilization of iLabs in East Africa

Collaborative Development and Utilization of iLabs in East Africa

Cosmas Mwikirize (Makerere University, Uganda), Arthur Asiimwe Tumusiime (Makerere University, Uganda), Paul Isaac Musasizi (Makerere University, Uganda), Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa (Makerere University, Uganda), Adnaan Jiwaji (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), Josiah Nombo (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), Baraka Maiseli (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), Teyana Sapula (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) and Alfred Mwambela (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-186-3.ch006
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Since 2005, Makerere University and the University of Dar es Salaaam have taken definitive steps toward the development and utilization of iLabs. This chapter presents the iLabs experiences of the two East African universities. The experiences presented here are characterized by: institutionalization of developer teams, development of ELVIS-based iLabs, staff & student exchanges, and utilization of iLabs to support curricula. The two universities have also undertaken to setup iLabs communities at peer universities and other higher institutions of learning in East Africa.
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Institutionalisation Of Developer Teams

Makerere University

When iLabs were introduced in 2005, the iLabs Project at Makerere University (iLabs@MAK) had one developer; Mr. Albert Lumu. In 2007, iLabs@MAK, under the leadership of Professor Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa, embarked on a more structured approach to team building. An institutional iLabs@MAK project team structure was put in place. The structure had provisions for the Principal Investigator, the project administrator, the research co-ordinator, graduate developers and undergraduate developers. The student developers work under the guidance and supervision of the staff members. The iLabs@MAK Project is hosted by the Faculty of Technology. Figure 1 shows the iLABS@MAK structure as of November 2010.

Figure 1.

Team structure of iLABS@MAK project


The student developers are chosen holistically on merit from the BSc Computer Engineering, BSc Electrical Engineering and BSc Telecommunications Engineering Programs. This ensures continuity of the team when the majority of the final year developers leave on completion of their undergraduate studies. One of the core values of iLabs@MAK is the provision of equal opportunities to both male and female students. As of November 2010, eight of the sixteen undergraduate student developers are female.

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