Virtual Collaborative Scholarship for Development

Published on Apr 06, 2016

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Virtual Collaborative Scholarship for Development

Maha Bali, PhD (American University in Cairo)

Potential/Challenges of virtual collaboration for scholars from or in developing countries

Practical examples

Focus on Power Dynamics
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Why Collaborate?

What for?
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Bakhtin, 1981

  • “I am conscious of myself and become myself only while revealing myself for another, through another, and with the help of another… I cannot manage without another, I cannot become myself without another”
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Four Types

  • Learn together e.g. MOOCs
  • Co-author/present
  • Co-teach
  • Other professional development

Power Dynamics

  • Infrastructure/ Technology esp synchronicity
  • Language
  • Timezones
  • Culture
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BUT: Intersectional

  • Power of being cultural hybrid
  • Power of being a minority in spaces that are trying to be inclusive
  • Effect of being exotic

Virtual Collaborative Teaching

  • Soliya (cross-cultural web-video dialogue)
  • #TvsZ

How to create spaces that subvert power

inequalities in cross-cultural teaching?

"enthusiasm for audiovisual synchronicity often comes without sufficient discernment, and without deliberative consideration of how asynchronous learning can be not only viable but productive" - Bali & Meier, 2014

"synchronous thinking and responding could not happen when you should think of the content in another language’s logic and translate your ideas to English" Participant quote from Bali & Meier, 2014

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Timezone sensitivity

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Open Collaborative Learning

  • Critiques of MOOCs and other open learning
  • What would a postcolonial MOOC look like?
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On whose terms do we participate in

Open Online Learning
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"we cannot find common bonds if we forget the paradox of trying to find similarity in difference" Sharma & Bali, 2014

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  • Virtually connecting
  • Digital Writing Month

Untitled Slide


  • How to initiate?
  • The process
  • The fruits

What Will You Do?

Thank You -- @bali_maha