One of the projects that currently keep me busy is the development of an online course that introduces attendees to the principles of DNA Barcoding. We are working closely with our experts for distance education here at the UofG and this week is the start of the advertisement campaign for the first offering. This course is an exclusively web-based course which is offered over an eight week period starting on July 8th. On average, six to eight hours of study time are required each week to study the course material which will consist of reading, audio and video material. Participants will have weekly assignments/quizzes and have plenty of opportunities to participate at discussions that are happening in designated chatrooms. The number of participants is limited to ensure adequate mentoring by the instructor.
I am a big fan of distance learning as it provides access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or even both. Especially its asynchronous nature makes it very attractive to many as learning is self-paced and allows participants to engage in the exchange of ideas or information without the dependency of other participants involvement at the same time or the need to show up at a particular time for a lecture or seminar. It requires some learning skills and self discipline though.
Eventually this will hopefully develop into a full university course that includes a suite of modules and a hands-on unit. However, first things first. We will start with the Introduction to DNA Barcoding Course in July. I am currently working on the course content and I will also be the instructor.
If you are interested please have a look at www.dnabarcodingcourses.com. The site details course content, tuition fees, requirements, etc.