Engaged Scholarship in the Information Systems Discipline

Monday 14 September 2020

The 2020 AISSAC Seminar is an ancillary event of SAICSIT 2020
Free Participation  Register Here 
(Presentations and Panel Discussion will take place via the Zoom Platform. Please see the SAICSIT website for more details)

Theme Of The Seminar

In 2020, the African continent is still plagued with inequalities with respect to access to education and technology. While for some, opportunities to learn are limitless and access to top of the range technologies is a given, for others, not so much. Hence, the need for Engaged Scholarship in the Information Systems Discipline is ever more present in this day and age.

We ought to strive to partake in Engaged Scholarship through our research, our various teaching and learning initiatives and by giving back to the community through various projects.

We ought to introduce ethical participatory research in our undergraduate and postgraduate curricula to mutually benefit our students, the disadvantaged communities within our society and our academic institutions.

During the 2020 AISSAC seminar, which we will provide a platform for the tertiary institutions of the Western Cape to share their views, experiences and initiatives to promote Engage IS Scholarship. We will share insights into projects that have an impact on the community, and how to promote transformation through Engaged Scholarship.

Please join us!

Key topics to be addressed include:

  • Keynote - Perfecting the blend: A decision framework for blended learning
  • Service-Learning Pedagogy in Information Systems: Perspectives from IS Department at UCT
  • Working towards an engaged scholarship and Co-Creating  knowledge 
  • Notions of 'Theory' and their Suitability for Information Systems Engineering
  • Panel Discussion - Contributing towards Engaged IS Scholarships: Experiences & Initiatives


Prof Johannes Cronjé
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Prof Johannes Cronje

 Keynote Speaker
Perfecting the blend: A decision framework for blended learning

Johannes Cronjé is the Dean of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. 

He was born in Davenport Iowa in 1959 when his parents were there doing more than just studying.  At the age of eight months he persuaded his parents to return to South Africa where he attended an die Laerskool Anton van Wouw and then Pretoria Boys High School where he matriculated in 1976.

Following this he enrolled at the University of Pretoria where he obtained the BA majoring in Afrikaans, English and Anthropology, the BA honours as well as a Teachers' diploma before reporting for military service at the Infantry School, Oudtshoorn.  During his second year of national service he completed an MA in Afrikaans literature while serving on the Angolan border.  He then taught English and Afrikaans at Pretoria Boys High until 1986 when he was appointed lecturer in Language Communication at Technikon Pretoria.  

He obtained a Doctorate in Afrikaans Literature in 1990 and then a Masters Degree in Computer-Assisted Education from the University of Pretoria. From 1994 to 2007 he was a professor of computers in education with the University of Pretoria. He has also been visiting professor at Sudan University of Science and Technology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; the University of Joensuu, Finland, and the University of Bergen, Norway, The Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven, Belgium, The University of Namibia and the University of the Free State, South Africa.

He has supervised or co-supervised 75 Masters and 65 Doctoral students and published more than 45 research papers.

Gwamaka Mwalemba
University of Cape Town

Gwamaka Mwalemba

Service-Learning Pedagogy in Information Systems: Perspectives from IS Department at UCT

 Gwamaka Mwalemba is a lecturer in the Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town (UCT). He holds a Master of Commerce in Information Systems, Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Information System as well as Bachelor of Science in Computer Science all from UCT.

He has over 10 years of experience in IT and higher education industry specifically focusing on projects and research related to ICT education and innovation in developing countries context. 

Gwamaka is also the manager of Enterprise System Education for Africa (ESEFA), a collaborative programme aimed at creating and supporting context relevant curriculum and teaching materials, on the subject of enterprise systems, across sub-Saharan Africa.

Prof Mmaki Jantjies
University of the Western Cape

Prof Mmaki Jantjies

Working towards an engaged scholarship and Co-Creating  knowledge 

Mmaki Jantjies is an Associate Professor in the Information Systems Department at the University of the Western Cape. Her research area focuses on ICT4development and largely seeks to understand the role that mobile and electronic advanced technologies can have in  enhancing  education in developing countries.

She further serves on various forums such as the Equals research group and the AI research network. In her community work, she runs several programs that work towards reconceptualizing teacher training and pupils education in a digital society. 

Prof Stefan Gruner
University of Pretoria

Prof Stefan Gruner

Notions of 'Theory' and their Suitability for Information Systems Engineering

Stefan Gruner is an associate professor of computer science at the University of Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, where he lectures mostly theory-based courses (such as compiler construction or formal methods).

With his additional M-qualification in philosophy, Gruner is also active in interdisciplinary fields such as philosophy of science, philosophy of technology, and philosophy of informatics (meta- informatics).


Panel Discussion: Contributing towards Engaged IS Scholarships: Experiences & Initiatives

Through engaged scholarship, we can strive to repair the damaged social networks of our individualistic society. We can also foster and enhance a sense of community and belongingness amongst participants, as well as respect for and tolerance for diversity. There could be a deeper awareness of societal concerns, and a strengthening of ethical values through volunteerism and civic engagement.

Tertiary institutions and NGO partners could work together to pursue this goal.

The aim of this panel discussion is to discuss and unpack the vision, goal, expectations and challenges of these stakeholders, as they engage in various activities to address the inequalities of the past. We also aim to improve and identify initiatives that could allow us to achieve our common goal of having a meaningful and impactful engaged IS Scholarship.

Questions to be addressed by the panel:

  • What does engaged scholarship mean to you?
  • In your opinion, how do tertiary institutions contribute towards engaged scholarship in 2020? Do they contribute?
  • What are your expectations of the various stakeholders that you collaborate with while partaking in engaged scholarship? (tertiary institutions if you are an NGO partner / NGO partners if you are from an academic institution)
  • What challenges do you experience while collaborating with various stakeholders to promote engaged scholarship? (resources?, buy-in? commitment?)
  • Are there any unintended Consequences (good or bad)?
  • What is the way forward? How should be design our future initiatives?

2020 AISSAC Seminar Programme

Time  Event Speaker
08:30–08:45 Opening & Welcome Prof Maureen Tanner
08:45–09:45 Keynote:
Perfecting the blend: A decision framework for blended learning
Prof Johannes Cronje
09:45–10:00 Q&A  
10:00–10:30 Service learning pedagogy in Information Systems: Perspectives from the IS department at UCT Gwamaka Mwalemba
10:30–10:45 Q&A  
10:45–11:00 BREAK  
11:00–11:30 Working towards an engaged scholarship and co-creating knowledge Prof Mmaki Jantjies
11:30–11:45 Q&A  
11:45–12:15 Notions of ‘Theory’ and their sustainability for Information Systems engineering Prof Stefan Gruner
12:15–12:30 Q&A  
12:30–13:30 LUNCH  
13:30–14:45 Panel Discussion
Contributing towards engaged IS scholarship: Experiences & initiatives
Gwamaka Mwalemba
Barbara Schmidt
Benita Moolman
14:45: 14:55 Life Achievement Award Prof Maureen Tanner
14:55–15:00 Workshop Closing Prof Maureen Tanner
15:00–15:15 BREAK  
15:15–16:45 AISSAC AGM Prof Maureen Tanner


Digital Libraries