Newswise — Milan, 2 August 2016 - The IFCC is pleased to announce its eAcademy initiative. eAcademy aims to make high quality educational modules available to its membership and will provide a resource for individuals in their training, as well as for those involved in the planning and organisation of educational programmes.
The eAcademy is a Learning Management System using a curriculum based approach to catalogue and access educational material and contains linked presentations, webinars and other educational material.
Two approaches are being used to acquire novel high quality material for the eAcademy. The first is to identify interesting presentations at IFCC and National Society scientific meetings and courses for recording and inclusion in the eAcademy. The second approach, to which IFCC is devoting most of its effort and resources, is to commission international experts to prepare single or series of short modules on specific topics for incorporation into the eAcademy.
Using a specific software platform, present.me, PowerPoint slides can be coupled with author voiceover and even video to produce these modules. Each module includes keywords, searchable on the website and learning objectives. When the 3rd phase in the eAcademy, currently under development, is launched, a series of questions, designed to assess how well the learning objectives have been met, will be incorporated into each module.
Among the already available modules in the eAcademy, we can find:- a presentation on laboratory accreditation, by IFCC Past President Dr Graham Beastall;- two modules on aspects of the laboratory assessment of thyroid function, authored and presented by Dr Carol Spencer. - Others currently being prepared include a series of presentations on evidence-based laboratory medicine and one on immunoassay as well as more on a range of single analytes.
Dr Khosrow Adeli, IFCC Communication and Publication Division chair, says: “In recent years distance learning has become a key initiative of the IFCC and is a strategic priority for the Executive Board. In selecting topics for inclusion in the eAcademy we have taken note of those highlighted by National Societies as being priorities for distance learning requirements, as well as the need for material on basic clinical laboratory and management practice for those in training. Much high quality distance learning material is produced by other professional bodies and we are providing links to these from the eAcademy. We are particularly grateful to the European Federation of Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) and the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) for allowing us access to material on their websites. All material published on the eAcademy or recommended by our committees is reviewed beforehand by members of the IFCC Committee on Distance Learning. It is through the generous financial support of Siemens that we are able to finance this approach”.
IFCC has also just begun a project, under the direction of C-IeL member Eduardo Freggiaro, to translate much of the eAcademy material into Spanish utilising a subtitling online collaborative platform called Amara. Using Amara means that a large number of people work simultaneously in the translation of videos from English to Spanish. So, a small contribution in translating the video coupled with the contributions of other partners can achieve the enormous task of translating all the educational content. As such the IFCC is currently seeking volunteer translators to take part in the project and thus convert the educational material within the eAcademy from English to Spanish (and potentially other languages in the future).
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