The Center for Animal Health and Food Safety engages in a variety of eLearning projects locally, nationally, and globally, which employ innovative practices for distance and technology-supported education. eLearning courses allow policy makers, industry professionals, veterinarians, and other collaborators to develop abilities, create peer networks, and increase cross-cultural interaction while still remaining within their professional practice and continuing to work.
A global workforce demands innovative training to support work related to global food systems and industry. Since CAHFS has many international partners in conducting research with translational health implications, we employ eLearning to reach a broader audience to ensure that what is being learned in the University setting is being translated to professional practice.
Designing curriculum to maximize learning
CAHFS eLearning is designed to be performance-focused, realistic, and as engaging as possible. The CAHFS eLearning team has formal training in learning theory (how people learn), instructional theory (how we can help people learn), and the technology-enhanced tools that support optimal online and hybrid-format learning. In this way, research-heavy information can be delivered to audiences who may not have a research background in an accessible, efficient, and informative way.
Experts in the field
Faculty at the University of Minnesota and their global partners are at the forefront of research on global health and food systems challenges. The CAHFS eLearning team works daily with these experts to craft learning modules that bring critical scientific knowledge to working professionals. eLearning allows for a global reach, in multiple languages, increasing the audience size and scope. As one of the five designated Organisation for World Animal Health Collaborating Centers for Capacity Building, CAHFS carries its global mindset into all eLearning initiatives, carefully considering an eLearning participant’s context and culture in building coursework.
Since CAHFS began investing in eLearning, the center has reached far beyond Minnesota to deliver interactive, accessible, and flexible coursework to learners around the globe.
Programa Regional de Educación Sistemática de Servicios Veterinarios is an innovative educational initiative that aims to increase the capacity of veterinary services within the countries of Latin America.
Upcoming eLearning modules will be an extension of the USDA-ARS grant entitled, “Epidemiological analysis of foot-and-mouth disease virus in Uganda.”
This effort will be a collaboration between Andres Perez, DVM, PhD, Endowed Chair of Global Animal Health and Food Safety and director of CAHFS, Kimberley VanderWaal, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the U of M, and staff at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient, New York. The Plum Island Animal Disease Center is the only laboratory in the United States to work with foot-and-mouth disease.
The modules will reach individuals in the Ugandan national veterinary service to enhance their current surveillance and control practices.