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EuFMD e-learning: New tools for new challenges

 

EuFMD has developed a new e-learning capacity which will substantially increase the reach and depth of our training programme. The e-learning website is the result of an ongoing collaboration between the Royal Veterinary College (UK) e-media and distance learning units and EuFMD, and can be seen here https://eufmd.rvc.ac.uk/. With two courses already available and others in development, EuFMD e-learning will contribute to FMD preparedness and control efforts through complementing our existing range of training courses and addressing specific issues by offering tailored training solutions.

 

What is the format of the EuFMD e-learning courses?

The courses are composed of a combination of click-through e-lectures, decision choice exercises, videos, interactive webinars and active forum discussions, where trainees interact with each other and the EuFMD team to ask questions, discuss issues and get to know each other. The EuFMD e-learning experience is not passive; rather, the EuFMD team maintains continuous active contact with trainees, ensuring they get the best from their learning experience.

 

What e-learning courses are available?

  • FMD Emergency Preparedness course: The FMD Emergency Preparation Course is an entirely online course designed to be used to provide veterinarians with the vital background knowledge that they would need in the face of an outbreak of FMD. It is aimed primarily at veterinarians who would be asked to visit farms to diagnose FMD and/or carry out epidemiological investigations. It is designed to be readily adaptable, so that were an outbreak to occur, additional area specific information can be included at short notice.
  • Real-time FMD Field Training Induction course: The EuFMD has trained over 300 vets (mainly from Europe, but also from Australia, Africa, America, Turkey and Nepal) in its real-time FMD field outbreak investigation courses since 2009. Since May 2013, we have offered an online e-learning induction course to trainees, prior to their arrival in the field. This has been extremely well received and has successfully helped trainees prepare for the field work, allowing them to gain a much deeper knowledge of FMD by covering many of the important issues before they then get to apply their new-found knowledge in the field.
  • Refresher training post-field training: Experience does not end when trainees return home. Through e-learning, we now offer post-course refresher training several weeks after the field real-time training ends. This reinforces learning and it also includes practical advice to trainees on how to “cascade” their training; in other words, our aim is to “train the trainers” and support them in passing on their knowledge.

 

What e-learning courses are in development?

  • Training for experts in applying the FMD Progressive Control Pathway (PCP): This e-learning course will be a component of a larger EuFMD training program designed to train experts (including FAO HQ and regional staff) in how to help countries affected by FMD to use the PCP to improve their FMD control efforts; how to coordinate and lead regional PCP roadmap meetings; and how to address region-specific issues. The e-learning component will help trainees become familiar with the overall concepts and key issues prior to an in-person training workshop where the more conceptual elements will be worked through and practical ways to implement the PCP discussed.
  • FMD modeling and decision support tools as aids to contingency planning: EuFMD offers training to its member states in how to apply FMD models and decision support tools to the task of improving contingency planning. We will soon be complementing this training module with an integrated e-learning induction course for prior to the workshop and a post-workshop advance modeling application e-learning module to build on learning outcomes afterwards.
  • Practical epidemiology for progressive control of FMD: This course is designed to complement ongoing EuFMD training activities in countries with endemic FMD which wish to develop risk-based strategic plans and associated PCP activities to better control FMD. Developed to address a specific need, this training matches EuFMD knowledge transfer resources with those engaged in national FMD control efforts.
  • Introduction to epidemiology for FMD control: This short e-learning course is being developed to introduce those engaged in other EuFMD training modules to the key concepts of epidemiology, with a particular focus on FMD control.