School of Computing


Career profile

  • 2000-current : School of Computing, Florida, Johannesburg (Internet Programming).
  • 1996-1999: Department of Human Movement Sciences, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa (Sports Psychology, Sports Sociology, Biomechanics).
  • 1994-1995: Leadership and Advancement Foundation, St Luke's Senior College, Midrand (Physical Education, Geography, Mathematics), and part-time lecturer in Departments of Human Movement Sciences, RAU & Wits, Johannesburg (Perceptual Motor Learning).
  • 1992-1994: Department of Human Movement Sciences, RAU, Johannesburg (Biomechanics, Perceptual Motor Learning). 
  • 1989-1992: George Campbell Technical High and Afrikaans Hoer Durban Noord (now Durban North College), Durban (Physical Education, Geography, Business Economics, Technical Drawings, isiZulu).

Research interests

E-learning, especially as it relates to the development, use and value of information systems.

Human computer interaction (HCI), specifically as it relates to psychophysiogical factors. Psychophysiology is an area of psychology that measures an individual's physiological responses to indicate his/her psychological state. We have instruments available to measure:      

    • brainwaves (EEG - electroencephalogram)
    • galvanic skin response
    • skin temperature
    • reflexes/reaction times
    • oculomotor muscle activities (EOG)
    • electrocardiogram (ECG)
    • blood pressure

Psychophysiology has many applications, e.g.  adaptive learning systems, physiological and affective computing, online marketing endeavours, in combination with eye-tracking equipment to provide richer data, evaluation of usability and user exerience etc. You are welcome to contact me for further information should you be interested in research in this area!

Sociology of the WWW, as it relates to social network/s user experiences.


Journal publications

van der Merwe, T.M. (2018)
Exploring the Relationship between ICT Use, Selected Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study
The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education

van der Merwe, T.M.; Armitage, G (2018)
Towards a Provisional Workplace E-learning Acceptance Framework for Developing Countries
Communications in Computer and Information Science

van der Merwe, T.M. (2014)
Community of Inquiry Framework: Employing Objective Measures in Search of a Relationship among Presences and Student Learning Outcomes
International Journal of Learning Technology (IJLT)
(9) 3
pp 304-320

van der Merwe, T.M. (2012)
Applying the Community of Inquiry framework: a novel tool for systematic and economic coding and analysis of forum discourse in situ and in context.
International Journal of Learning Technology (IJLT)
(7) 3
pp 246-260
View/download link:

van der Merwe, T.M.; de Villiers. M.R (2012)
Collaboration in online discussion forums: An activity theory-driven model for managing socio-cultural influences, illustrated by a case study
(34) 3

van der Merwe, T.M.; de Villiers. M.R (2011)
The Partial Approach to Grounded Theory Integrated with Activity Theory: A Generic Framework, Illustrated by a Base Study in an e-Learning Context
(Special Edition Number 4)
pp 365-402

van der Merwe, T.M.; van der Merwe, A.J.; Venter, LM (2010)
A Model to Direct Online Continuous Professional Development Opportunities for Mathematics Teachers in the South African Context of Disparities
African Journal of Research in SMT Education
(14) 3
pp 65-80
View/download link: ISSN:

Conference proceedings

Azeta, A.; van der Merwe, T.M. (2018)
Gender Differences in Postgraduate Technology Usage at a Christian University
ICEL 2018
Cape Town

van Heerden, ME; van der Merwe, T.M. (2017)
An Assessment Strategy for Learning in a First Year Programming Course: A Case in Open Distance E-Learning
9th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Barcelona (Spain)
pp 7764 - 7773

van der Merwe, T.M. (2015)
Automated Language Processing and Semantic Classification: A Preliminary Effort to Examine the Relationship between Distance Student Online Discussion Forum Discourse and Learning Outcomes
SACLA 2015
pp 144 - 153

van der Merwe, T.M.; van Staden, WJC (2015)
Unsolicited Short Message Service Marketing: A Preliminary Investigation into Individual Acceptance, Perceptions of Content, and Privacy Concerns
14th International Information Security South Africa (ISSA) Conference, 12-13 August
View/download link:

van Heerden, ME; van der Merwe, T.M. (2014)
Employing Objective Measures In Search Of A Relationship Between Knowledge Blogs And Introductory Programming Performance Outcome
9th International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL 2014)
Valparaiso, Chile, 26-27 June 2014
pp 185 - 189
View/download link:

Naicker, N; van der Merwe, T.M. (2014)
Mobile Learning in Higher Education: a Study of the Operational Readiness of Students at a South African Higher Education Institution
5th International Conference on Education and Information Management (ICEIM-2014)
Durban, South Africa, June 21-22,
pp 271-278

van der Merwe, T.M.; van Heerden, ME (2013)
Ease Of Use and Usefulness of Webinars in an Open Distance Learning Environment: An Activity Theory Perspective
Annual Conference of the South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT 2013)
East Londen
pp 262-270

van der Merwe, T.M.; van Heerden, ME (2012)
Webinars: Ease of Use and Usefulness for Disadvantaged Students in a Low Bandwidth ODL Environment
7th International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL 2012)
Hong Kong, China
Academic Publishing International
pp 445-452

Naicker, N; van der Merwe, T.M. (2012)
Mobile Learning in Higher Education: a Study of the Technology Readiness of Students at a South African Higher Education Institution.
Annual Conference on WWW Applications

van Rooyen, C.; van der Merwe, T.M. (2012)
A Preliminary Security Analysis of Open Source Web Application Deployment in the ZA Namespace Landscape.
Annual Conference on WWW Applications

Conference proceedings (non peer-reviewed)

Allwood, J; Hammarstrom, H; Hendrikse, A; Ngcobo, M.N, Nomdebevana; ; van der Merwe, T.M. (2010)
Work on Spoken (Multimodal) Language Corpora in South Africa.

Conference Presentations

van Heerden, ME; van der Merwe, T.M. (2013)
The influence of blogging in a 1st year programming module through ODL
Magaliesburg, S.A.