E-learning services have evolved since computers first were used in education. In many developing countries, education is one of the most under-resourced sectors in society. At a time when global developments are increasingly influenced by ICT, these educational shortcomings are bound to have disastrous consequences for future generations.

In a new thesis the focus is on how collaborative e-learning can be integrated in the teaching and learning process to support learning at the university level.  Evelyn Kahiigi has used her native Uganda as the example in her thesis.

“The main research question was how collaborative e-learning can support student learning at the University level in Uganda. My motivation was inclined to effective use of e-learning as a tool to support students learning  in a context with limited resources,” Evelyn says.

The thesis explores an approach to supporting students' learning, a peer assignment review process model for collaborative e-learning within three exploratory case studies carried out at Makerere University Uganda. The model used students to support each other’s learning through four process stages: familiarization, assignment, review and feedback.

“Peer assignment review facilitated the students learning. Students were able to actively participate in the course, gain experience in critical reading and evaluating peers work, while reflecting on their own work,” Evelyn explains.

The thesis provides a practical approach for designing and implementing collaborative e-learning approaches to support student learning at the university level in a developing country context. It further highlights factors that are pertinent to supporting and sustaining student learning in a collaborative e-learning environment under the following categories: Institutional Readiness, Technology/Infrastructure Readiness and Pedagogical Change.

Evelyn's PhD thesis was funded under the Makerere University-Sida Bilateral collaborative Research Support Programme - a sandwich model research programme.

“With the availability of supervisors interested in my research area, I sought admission at DSV. I have spent part of my time at DSV, and at the rest at Makerere University, my home university,” Evelyn tells.

Evelyn's plan is to take on a teaching and research role at Makerere University, and will apply for a PostDoc within or outside Sweden.

Thesis was defended on 17th January 2013.