Strengthening staff capacity and developing blended learning courses in East African Universities - Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning

Scaling up capacity on all aspects of blended learning – including interactive content design, quality assurance and virtual learning platform utilisation – is a recognised priority among higher education institutions across East Africa. The implementation of blended and digital learning is a complex process, presenting many challenges, particularly for institutions in the initial stages of their digital transformation.

The Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL) enabled participating universities to rapidly, and sustainably, scale up capacity for blended learning design and delivery. The project supported 23 universities to develop, deliver, and share blended content – and enhanced the expertise of academic staff to successfully deliver blended learning.

The approach

The key components of the project were:

  • Pedagogical development: PEBL academics leading on module development were trained in blended learning pedagogy.
  • Curriculum design: Academics across the PEBL network developed and rolled out a series of qualityassured, credit-bearing, blended courses in a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programmes: ICT, business, health and applied sciences, and education. All courses were hosted on the open-access platform OER Africa and are available for any university to download for use and adaptation.
  • Quality assurance: A Quality Assurance (QA) Rubric was produced to standardise the quality assurance process for blended learning content and help academic developers benchmark the features of any blended learning module against defined standards in eight distinct areas, from instructional design and navigation to assessment and student support.


  • 26 quality-assured, blended modules developed and available on open access platform OER Africa
  • Over 44,000 students enrolled on PEBL modules, including 8,000 registered for courses outside their home institutions
  • 76 academics trained by PEBL to support online and blended learning, with capacity building cascaded to a further 3,441 lecturers
  • 21 PEBL network universities used the Institutional Quality Assurance Review Tool to assess their blended learning capacity
  • More than 10 universities adopted or adapted PEBL’s Quality Assurance Rubric to assess blended courses

The partners

The PEBL partnership was led by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (UK), working with Commission for University Education (Kenya), Commonwealth of Learning (Canada), Kenyatta University (Kenya), Makerere University (Uganda), Open University of Tanzania, State University of Zanzibar (Tanzania), Staff and Educational Development Association (UK), Strathmore University (Kenya), University of Edinburgh (UK), and the University of Rwanda.

Find out more

PEBL summative evaluation: read the report

PEBL modules: view the courses.

See also