DIT puts e-learning on the map in Cyprus

January 13 2004: DIT's Department of Geomatics will launch a unique e-learning programme in Cyprus next Monday. Fifteen staff from the Department of Lands and Surveys in Nicosia will start a six-week Continuing Professional Development programme that has already been successfully piloted by DIT with the Irish national mapping agency, the Ordnance Survey.

The programme was funded by DIT's e-learning fund and was developed over the last two years by Mr. Kevin Mooney and Dr. Audrey Martin from the Department of Geomatics and was facilitated by Dr. Jen Harvey and Ms Lisa Keegan from DIT's e-learning team.

Mr. Mooney said the team was delighted that the research project had been so successful and the next stage will be to commercialise the programme and make it available to wider participation. "This programme is aimed at people working in the geographical information community who wish to continue their professional development. Over the last two years we carried out two pilot programmes with 30 participants from the staff of the Ordnance Survey who were based all over Ireland. Having attended a one-day workshop in DIT, they followed the programme on-line for six weeks. At the end they gave us terrific feedback which enabled us to adapt the programme for wider dissemination."

The collaboration with Cyprus resulted from international presentations made by Mr. Mooney and Dr. Martin. Dr. Martin and Ms Keegan will travel to Nicosia this week to present a one-day workshop for the fifteen course participants, and the on-line programme will start on Monday. Mr. Mooney said there was another exciting aspect to the project as it also involves cooperation with the University of Cyprus. "As the Department of Lands and Surveys has limited ICT facilities inhouse we are collaborating with the University of Cyprus for the pre-course workshop and for local technical support throughout the course. The university does not currently offer programmes in Geomatics, and perhaps this initiative may lead to wider cooperation in the future."

The programme in Cyprus is entitled 'Co-ordinate Reference Systems for Spatial Information'. The team hope that the physical distance between Ireland and Cyprus will highlight any true 'distance-related problems and issues' which can be addressed before making a commercial programme available internationally. Meanwhile, the programme will be offered commercially in Ireland from the end of February to a target group coming typically from the Irish geographical information community.

For more details on the programme contact Kevin Mooney at Kevin.mooney@dit.ie

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