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Joint Advanced Seminar 4: An intriguing Digital Experience

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, JAS 4 was one of its kind since it was held virtually with a mixture of online classes and in-country residential training. The exposure to the use of online learning tools such as google classroom and google chats throughout the JAS was a great and timely opportunity for me to learn since we have transitioned to teaching online in my institution.  However, at first, navigating through google classroom was not easy for me, and sometimes I experienced unstable internet that interrupted learning. 

The residential training was quite exciting. It offered a protected time away from work and home to focus on the JAS activities.  In addition, I enjoyed in-person interaction and discussion with other fellows in my country, something I had greatly missed during the online remote training. 

The whole JAS 4 experience was a very intriguing one for me. During the 7 weeks, I was privileged to get exposed to various sessions such as being an educator, policy influencer, academic leadership, being a researcher among others. These courses equipped me with critical skills and knowledge that will be very useful for my doctoral journey and career life in academia.  My most memorable experience was working together online to develop a multidisciplinary proposal with a team put together within a very short time under very difficult circumstances. The virtual conference provided an opportunity to connect, learn and network. Drawing from these experiences, I am confident that the relationship and networks developed through the team and during the entire CARTA program will yield extensive collaboration and partnership in the future. 

The facilitators were passionate, committed, and offered a high level of expertise during the sessions. The learning objectives for each session were well communicated and timely feedback on questions and assignments were provided. The synchronous sessions were very engaging, reflective and I learned a lot. Overall, JAS 4 was very beneficial to me and the skills and knowledge gained will be useful to my entire career.