My guest for today’s episode is Lianne Keiller, a Physiotherapist-turned-technologist who is now the IT Manager for Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, the oldest and one of the largest Higher Ed institutions in South Africa.
In this fantastic conversation, we talk about almost everything under the sun related to the delivery of a successful elearning experience for a very diverse community of over 25,000 students.
From the LMS choice, to the “lobbying” that allowed them to provide laptops and “zero-rated” access to the Moodle LMS; to the “unprecedented” levels of student stress and anxiety that led to the improvement of digital services support and the Mobile learning experience; you will definitely find Lianne’s stories fascinating, and maybe even relatable.
In this exciting conversation we talk about:
What is it like to work at Stellenbosch University, a public research institution, the oldest in South Africa; and what it means to be a “previously privileged” university
How the pandemic did not disrupt the school year for South African students, but it turned out to be “trial by fire” for IT administrators
The community engagement-based strategies that allowed the team led by Lianne to provide comprehensive technological solutions to a vast community, even at times of record stress and anxiety levels among students
The “organic” upbringing of Lianne surrounded by tech, including an early cellphone adopter parent, a lifelong familiarity with all kinds of tech, and her final transition from the medical field into a full-time tech manager
Lianne’s thoughts on budget-proof tech and a curriculum that is able to adapt to what students have access to and with which they are comfortable