The GRID3 Training Team has been working full speed to develop an online Learning Management System (LMS) that will make it possible to train hundreds of data experts during a time in which COVID-19 makes in-person interaction limited. Now the platform is ready and being implemented in various of the GRID3 countries. The LMS aims to complement and substitute face-to-face learning activities and will be an inherent part of the GRID3 programme even beyond COVID-19.
The GRID3 LMS, available at learn.grid3.org, hosts GRID3 courses and teaching materials, and allows to engage directly with enrolled participants in one application. GRID3 is now implementing distance learning activities, built around defined geospatial competencies, linked to the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM), and using the classification of learning activities. These two frameworks are widely-used methods and models that aim to harmonise competencies and statistics related to learning activities across countries.
The LMS will host courses around the following themes: Foundations of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Statistics; Support for Population Census and Microcensus; Gridded Population Survey; and Spatial Analysis, Statistics and Visualisation.
Selected participants are enrolled in the system and receive access to a learning plan based on the available courses supporting the desired geospatial competencies. Individual users are then able to interact with the GRID3 site primarily through their dashboard, which displays courses, modules, social hubs and learning plans. All the information needed is available in one central location.
While face-to-face learning remains GRID3’s first choice for capacity strengthening, the implementation of the GRID3 LMS at a wider scale allows training commitments to continue during COVID-19 and will supplement in-person engagement beyond the pandemic. The system is up and running for cohorts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and is due to go live in July for selected partners in Nigeria.