Information and Knowledge Management

E-Learning, Information and Knowledge Management Training through the Internet, or eLearning, is the first step in accelerated capacity building and is a cost-effective means of providing initial training. Since the launch of the FAO IAEA eLearning system in 2005 over 1,500 students have registered. Asynchronous eLearning courses provide “what is wanted, when and where it is wanted”. Such flexibility is especially important to people who are already in the workforce.

Fundamental to the eLearning strategy is the knowledge commons where information is split into small parts such as glossary terms, references, multimedia items, and FAQs. These information sub-components can then be aggregated into knowledge objects, such as eArticles and slide shows. For example, glossary terms, references, and multimedia items can be used to build a slide show about a particular topic. Various slide shows and eArticles can then be aggregated to an eLearning course covering a wider theme.

The advantage of having information of different complexity is that the individual parts can be used more than once thus avoiding unnecessary duplication of work and wasting of resources. For example, the glossary term “reference material” can be explained in a slide show on “Calibration” and an eArticle on “Statistics”. Similarly, a slide show on “Radiotracer use” can be included in a course on “Pesticide residue analysis” as well as in “Laboratory technology”.

Existing eLearning courses include: Pesticide Residue Analysis, Pesticide Management, and Laboratory Pre-requisites 1 and Ecological Risk Assessments of Pesticides.

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