Tabisa Mayisela

Principal Investigator

Dr Tabisa Mayisela

Project Manager

Ntobeko Mbuyisa
Office: 021 650 5191
Mobile: 081 416 2685

July 2019 - May 2021

Project Manager

Tess Cartmill

October 2018 - January 2019;

June 2021 - To date

Scoping Researcher 

Henry Trotter

(January 2019 - August 2019)

Editor and Publishing Manager 

(To date)

Shanali Govender


Shanali Govender

Glenda Cox


Dr Glenda Cox



Laura Czerniewicz


Sukaina Walji

Research Consultant

Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams


Thomas King

Project Curator

Thomas King

Case study researchers


Anelisa Dabula

Research themes: OER Development Models

Anelisa Dabula holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Geography and Environmental Management and a Master’s degree in Population Studies both obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her Masters research was based on social issues with strong ties to adolescents which made her conduct her research on father-to-child relationships through the perspectives of young fathers in which she hoped to identify the dynamics young fathers faced in their journey of fatherhood. Her background is in developmental economics, migration, fertility, sexual and reproductive health and rights of gender and inequality, educational development and adolescent health. Human Geography has become the current focus for her PhD in Geography and Environmental Management. Apart from her position as a research assistant at Morris Webb Research Relations (an institution within UKZN), her work experience has exposed her to working closely with students through Student support services. Within Student support services she worked as an academic mentor and advisor, tutor and team leader for the Academic Monitoring Support at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.


Mahlatse Malatji

Research themes: Open Educational Resource grants


Mahlatse was born and bred in the Northern Province, currently known as Limpopo. She attended her elementary school in Phalaborwa Primary School, Namakgale and completed her high school at Lebeko High School in Ga-Mashishimale village. She completed her LLB (Honours) at the University of Limpopo in 2016 and a Professional Master’s degree (Labour Law) at the University of Cape Town in 2017. Mahlatse is currently a PhD student (Commercial Law) at the University of Cape Town. Mahlatse has worked in various organisations and has skills including research, administration and teaching. She has worked as a Student Assistant at the University of Cape Town, a lecturer, coordinator and research assistant for a Dispute Resolution Course on behalf of the University of Cape Town (Law@work) and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. She has also served as a visual research clerk for the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town. In addition, she worked as a student assistant at the Wilfred and Kramer law library at the University of Cape Town. She is currently working as a Student Housing and Residence Life coordinator at the University of Cape Town.


    Motshidisi Gertrude van Wyk

    Research themes: Disability Access; Flexible Learning

    Motshidisi Gertrude van Wyk holds a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on Gifted Education, from Central University of Technology in the Free State province of South Africa. She has over 22 years of teaching experience and has worked as an elementary school teacher and a part-time lecturer in Teacher Education for postgraduates and undergraduates at Central University of Technology. She is currently a full time Doctoral student in Educational Leadership program, with a focus on Education of Diverse learners as well as Gifted Education at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in the United States of America.


    Mukhtar Raban

    Research themes: Blended Learning; Innovative Leadership

    Mukhtar Raban is a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at Nelson Mandela University. After teaching in English as a Second Language (ESL) programmes in colleges in the Middle East, he joined the university’s Applied Language Studies department. His teaching practices focus on technology-enhanced language learning with a particular focus on blended learning and related pedagogies. He was awarded the university’s ‘Excellent Teacher of the Year’ in 2015. His research interests include technology-enhanced learning, blended learning, digital humanities, and humanising and critical pedagogies. He has presented at local and international conferences and serves as an official learning and teaching advisor to the International Open University in Malawi and Gambia. He is currently reading towards a PhD in education with a focus on critical digital pedagogies for language learning and teaching.


    Sue Gredley

    Research themes: Recognition of Prior Learning; Funding for Access

    Susan is a PhD candidate at the University of the Western Cape (UWC); her doctoral research explores socially just pedagogies in higher education through the lens of participatory parity. She holds an Honours in English and a Masters in Adult Education from the University of Cape Town (UCT). Over the past ten years Susan has worked in a range of academic roles and spaces at UCT and UWC. At UCT she has been involved in teaching and convening roles in the Writing Centre, Disabilities Studies Unit, English Department, and the UCT Global Citizenship Programme. At UWC she has for the past decade worked closely with the Women’s and Gender Studies department in various teaching and research roles, most recently convening and lecturing on two of the undergraduate gender studies courses. Susan’s work and studies at UWC and UCT have reinforced her interest in exploring socially just ways of teaching, learning and engaging with students who are in turn motivated to contribute to the urgent project of social transformation in South Africa. When not involved in academic pursuits she loves running, reading, exploring local spaces, and quality time with her dog Lexi.


    Sara Black

    Research themes: Innovative Culture; From Communities of Practice to LSS

    Sara Black has worked in public education for 12 years as a teacher, analyst and researcher. In August 2019 she submitted her PhD which examines how key policies in the basic educator sector reproduce existing inequalities in high schools. She has also worked in teacher development, heading up the Newly Qualified Teachers Project at UCT for its first two years, and mentoring pre- and in-service teachers across Cape Town. Her research interests include the privatisation of public education, the role of teacher unions in education leadership and change, education philosophy and critical policy sociology.

    Sara is passionate about radical social justice and removing barriers to powerful ideas and knowledge. A bit of a nerd, she likes to read social theory, and regularly participates in reading groups and popular education initiatives with other like-minded activists and scholars. In a prior life she worked as a software developer in the private sector. When not hiding behind a book, she's normally found running the mountains with her hound, growing something pretty or tasty in her garden, or comfortably wedged behind a piano.


    Sinethemba Zungu

    Research themes: Student Support; Distance Education

    Sinethemba Zungu holds a Master’s degree in housing from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has a background in Community and Development studies, which equips her with the ability to thrive in an environment of multi-stakeholder networks. Sinethemba has experience working with and for Non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), private companies, research institutes, local and provincial governments initiating research studies to explore ways of creating opportunities for the previously disadvantage individuals in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Her expertise lies in network and relationship building. Sinethemba has interests in notions of innovative thinking for impactful service delivery in local government, inclusive policy development, social justice and social sciences research.


    Thamsai Dhurumraj

    Research themes: Professional Development

    Thasmai Dhurumraj lecturers in undergraduate and postgraduate in the Department of Science and Technology Education. Her qualifications are: BSc–majoring in chemistry and physiology, PGCE majors Physical Sciences & Natural Sciences, HBed majoring in educational leadership and management, Med & PhD focus in Science Education – with a focus on teacher beliefs, teacher knowledge and professional development and its influence in the teaching of Sciences.


    Cheng-Wen Huang

    Research themes: Online Assessments

    Cheng-Wen Huang completed her PhD in Education at the University of Cape Town. She has worked as a lecturer in English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen) as well as a researcher on the Commonwealth Digital Education Leadership Training in Action project at CILT, University of Cape Town. Her research areas include multimodal social semiotics, academic literacies, argumentation, digital literacies, open education, social justice and assessment.


    Barbara Jones

    Research themes: Micro-credentials and Badges

    Barbara Jones has a Master’s degree in Education (Curriculum Development) from the University of Cape Town, and a strong background and continuing interest in adult education. She has considerable and varied experience as a freelance higher education researcher, most notably on projects investigating Recognition of Prior Learning practices in higher education institutions and on flexible and blended learning and teaching in higher education. Access to and success in higher education has also been a focus of several research projects in which she has collaborated. In the last few years she has been working as a Curriculum Development Specialist, first at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and presently at the University of the Western Cape.

    COOL Project Alumni


    Ncebekazi Lutuli

    Research themes: Micro-credentials and Badges; Online Assessments

    Ncebakazi Lutuli graduated from the University of the Free State in 2014 with a BSc. Agriculture in  Agronomy and Agricultural Economics and BSc. Agriculture Honours degree in Agronomy. After graduation, she worked in the agribusiness sector for two years, first, as a co-ordinator for a feedlot project for smallholders and, later as an agriculturalist whose main functions was mentoring farmers on the Land Bank Retail Emerging Markets programme. Her passion for agricultural and rural development saw her pursuing a Master of Commerce in Agricultural Economics and International Rural Development at Lincoln University, New Zealand, which she completed in 2019 with first-class honours. Her master’s thesis investigated how phone apps could be used to support participatory agricultural extension in South Africa. Ncebakazi is passionate about the provision of access to education and information to everyone, and institutional innovations that provide access to financial services and markets to smallholders towards a more equitable and just South Africa.