I am Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning & Teaching at the American University in Cairo (AUC). I am a full-time faculty developer. (For a more formal bio to use when you invite me to speak, please check out https://blog.mahabali.me/bio)
I teach digital literacies and intercultural learning to undergrads. I am currently co-facilitating Equity Unbound, an equity-focused, open, connected intercultural curriculum, with Catherine Cronin and Mia Zamora.
I have taught creative educational game design to undergrads (I used to also teach ed tech to teachers but haven’t done so for a few semesters now) and have done lots of open pedagogy. My 2020 Open Pedagogy project has been the development/curation of these Community-Building Resources for online learning during COVID-19 times
I’m co-founder & co-director of virtuallyconnecting.org, co-founder & co-facilitator of Edcontexts (now archived), editor at my favorite journal, Hybrid Pedagogy and I was a blogger at Prof Hacker, formerly at DML Central and I write a lot for Al-Fanar Media. I was also previously an International Director of Digital Pedagogy Lab. I am on the advisory boards of Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange and OneHE, as well as the local NGO EducateMe.
I have a PhD in Education from the University of Sheffield in the UK (dissertation on development of critical thinking at AUC), and believe very strongly in critical/interpretive approaches to social research, especially participatory approaches such as collaborative autoethnography.
My research interests are quite diverse and include (links go to publications):
- Higher education, faculty development (I am on the editorial board of Teaching in Higher Education and the Journal of Pedagogic Development)
- Critical thinking, critical pedagogy, critical citizenship
- Openness in Education (I was invited to keynote the OER17 conference)
- Intercultural learning, community-based learning (I keynoted UniCollaboration conference 2018
- eLearning, educational technology, MOOCs (I’m an editor at Hybrid Pedagogy, Learning, Media and Technology, and Online Learning Journal; I was on the Steering Committee of the 2015 Emerging Technologies for Online Learning conference and #ALTC 2016, OER18, ALTC 2018 and OER19 conferences, OpenEd18 conference)
All of my publications are here
Recent awards and honors:
- Recipient of the Educator Award, 2023 Open Education Awards for Excellence from Open Education Global
- One of 30 Higher Ed IT Influencers to Follow in 2023 by EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education (the only person from my region and only one of two people outside North America)
- I was the 9th person interviewed on the Leaders and Legends of Online Learning podcast.
- I was featured alongside 15 amazing women of the open movement in the UnCommon Women 2018 Coloring Book – thanks to Kelsey Merkley and @UnCommon_Women.
- Along with Catherine Cronin and Mia Zamora, our project Equity Unbound was selected for Mozilla Open Leaders, cohort 6.
In case you’re wondering, here is my NameCoach badge and here’s an old recording of how you pronounce my name.