For some years now portions of education, training and learning have been moving into the online realm, most notably through self-paced methods, including reading, pre-recorded lectures and quizzes, and these have proved useful for some fundamental topics. While we feel there is nothing better than direct interaction with an experienced instructor, in a world where direct interaction is off the table, we want to access the next best alternative.
We see a solution in remote delivery where the online teaching is live in real-time and combined with periods of self-paced learning through reading and quizzes. A key challenge will be to establish the optimal length for each element. Traditional lectures and meetings generally last no longer than an hour or so, in order for peoples’ attention to remain focussed – any shorter and the topic may not be sufficiently developed, any longer and concentration can wander. Online attention spans are thought to be considerably shorter – the ideal length of time for a talk or lecture may be only 30 minutes before breaking for a quiz, exercise or Q and A session. Live sessions could perhaps last 60–90 minutes if there are plenty of breaks and thought is given to issues associated with staring at screens for prolonged periods of time. Materials for self-paced learning also need to be thought-out – they should be well-structured and broken into smaller sections to tie-in with the live learning and ensure not too much is crammed into the time between lectures.
A key consideration for us is working with each instructor to find the model that works best for him or her. Some will prefer numerous short and punchy lectures, while others will opt for longer sessions that allow for more in-depth treatment of a topic. Some will rely heavily on interactive exercises and others on demonstrations. In every case, we want a solution that allows for live visual and audible feedback from course participants to maintain class momentum and enthusiasm.
Taking all these factors into account, GeoLogica is pleased to announce that we can offer online training as an in-house option for most of the courses in our portfolio. Topics range from Fundamental to Advanced courses in Basin Analysis, Resource Plays, Structural Geology, Geophysics, Evaluation Methods, Geophysics, Reservoir Characterization, Depositional Systems and Reservoir Engineering. Most of our courses can be tailored to fit an individual company’s needs and the delivery method can also be modified to suit. You can download a list of our latest online course offerings here or contact us with your requirements.
All of us at GeoLogica believe the most effective teaching is face-to-face – yes, it is more expensive but, in the end, people learn best through direct, human interaction and experience. Attending a classroom course with your peers and colleagues also provides an unquantifiable stimulus of human interaction, which helps develop a deeper understanding of the topic. And in the field, the full sensory immersion of observing outcrops provides an unbeatable learning environment. Nevertheless, there is a space for online leaning, so long as it is designed to be efficient, effective and engaging. Advantages can include reduced need for travel, less time away from the office for participants and cost savings. And, in these challenging times, social distancing.
‘Experiential’ learning, whether face-to-face or online, is thought to be fundamental to human understanding of the world around us. It is unlikely that online methods will completely replace traditional teaching methods but perhaps there is an optimum combination of online and face-to-face methods. Time will tell.