Last updated: 01.02.17

Virtual College storms ahead with online training for weather forcasting

Virtual College has been chosen to create bespoke online learning resources for the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

ECMWF is an independent intergovernmental organisation, supported by 34 states. It is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States.

Providing training for Member and Co-operating States is an essential part of what ECMWF does and they wanted to develop e-learning modules to be used in training activities either as stand-alone resources or as part of other courses.

Sophie Thornton, from Virtual College, explained: “This is a particularly interesting project as the content is either highly academic or very technical and appropriate for a diverse audience including academics, scientists, forecasters, technical staff and software developers.“

Each group has different needs: academics and scientists may be interested in the working of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models or the theory underpinning NWP concepts, forecasters in the interpretation and use of meteorological products whilst technical staff may be interested in software installation and maintenance.

Virtual College’s approach will be to enhance and enrich the complex and detailed content required for the 12 bespoke content modules, using its expertise and experience to make the online learning materials interactive and engaging.

ECMWF’s Anna Ghelli commented: ”This is our first venture into online learning and we are already seeing the benefits of Virtual College’s resources, experience and expertise in guiding us on the best way forward.”

The new resources will give the learner bite sized pieces of learning that they can refer back to easily and will also provide the lecturers with assets which they can use flexibly to complement their own face to face training.

Users of these courses will mainly come from different European countries so e-learning means that they can easily fit the learning in at a time to suit them without taking days to travel to traditional training sessions.