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How ORISE is Making a Difference

Partnership with NLM to Develop E-learning Courses

The transition to e-learning takes more than just logging on to computer.

Development of an effective online learning program requires many steps. The Specialized Information Services (SIS) Division of the National Library of Medicine sought support from ORAU (through its management of the ORISE contract) to make the seamless transition from traditional, in-person instruction to Web-based, self-paced training.

As a first step, ORAU directed eight bimonthly staff trainings on best practices in e-learning and instructional design. This vital coursework was successfully completed on the topics of training material development, test item construction, and organization of large-scale, multicourse trainings.

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ORAU technical training specialists introduced SIS staff members to TopClass, the new learning management system software, and they practiced setting up courses online where students had easy access. This access allows SIS to expand its reach in an efficient, cost-effective manner. Participation is no longer limited by classroom space. Instead, training is available to people from across the country without the expense of travel.

With guidance from the ORAU specialists, SIS staff members are putting instructional design principles into practice. Together, they are converting existing materials into an e-learning format organized around course goals and objectives. They are rethinking and shifting the teaching approach to student-focused learning. The six SIS training programs included in this reframing for online use are NLM Environmental Health and Toxicology Program, Disaster Information Management Research Center, HIV/AIDS, Office of Clinical Toxicology, General Medical Health Information and Outreach.

ORAU continues to provide technical and professional support in the conversion and administration of the learning management system.

ORISE is managed by ORAU for the U.S. Department of Energy.

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