e-Learning module developing electronic communities
By Ann Tothill
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 08 May 2006
The Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK) steering group announces the release of the newest information management resource kit e-learning module ‘Building Electronic Communities and Networks’.
The module is designed to help users develop the strategic, interpersonal and technical skills required to establish and sustain electronic communities. It provides an overview of the benefits and opportunities offered by online communities for facilitating knowledge and information exchange.
"This latest e-learning offering in the IMARK suite supports the sharing of knowledge through the creation of electronic communities, and will be used in developing FAO as a knowledge organisation," said Anton Mangstl, director of Food and Agriculature Organisation’s (FAO) Library and Documentation Systems Division.
"The module will enable users to establish, diversify and strengthen knowledge networks, and offers a range of solutions for developing electronic communities in areas of the world with limited access to information and communication resources." It is envisioned that the module will benefit people in a wide range of jobs.
The module provides learners with guidelines for the design of an online community or network; and the criteria for selecting appropriate online tools. The coursework amounts to five units subdivided into a total of 29 lessons, ranging from approximately 15 to 90 minutes duration, for a total of up to 25 hours of self-paced instruction. Specific course features include the ability to design a personalised learning path distinctive of all IMARK modules; a built-in glossary; facilitation guides and additional tools and applications.
All IMARK modules are available at no-cost online, and on CD-ROM upon request. The module was developed by FAO and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). A wide range of experts and institutions contributed to the development of the module.
The Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK) is a partnership-based e-learning initiative to train individuals and support institutions and networks world-wide in the effective management of agricultural information. IMARK consists of a suite of distance learning resources, tools and communities on information management.
With over 30 partners and collaborating institutions from around the globe, IMARK activities are coordinated through a Steering Group whose members are: the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), FAO, the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), Inter- American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (Cirad), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).