The AAPG Education Department is breaking new ground
using the Internet to bring affordable training to its members.
In January the Association will launch Interactive
Online Learning (IOL) in association with the American Geological
Institute (AGI) and the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) at the
University of Texas at Austin.
After about four years of searching for a professional
long-distance education solution, Robert Millspaugh, AAPG outgoing
science director, and the Education Committee decided to partner
with AGI and BEG on the module they had already produced.
Because they were such a good match both in content
and affordability for AAPG's long-distance needs, AAPG's Foundation
willingly joined forces with AGI's Foundation, which produced the
Millspaugh envisions these courses will not only
allow members to "train on-demand," but it will help bring training
to our members in more remote locations.
Bob Young, chairman of the Education Committee, believes
distance learning is a "key initiative within AAPG," and called
it possibly the "best available training alternative for members
at some remote locations."
Millspaugh said that "one hope is that our international
members will be able to log on to the WWW and take this training.
This is a phase of training that adds to current education offerings.
There is still certain subject matter that is best offered in a
"Content and quality of the online training materials
can fill gaps in a member's knowledge or be used to refresh knowledge,"
Young noted. "It may also be a lower cost alternative because of
the potential for savings on travel and time away from the job."
These online modules, which BEG's Scott Rodgers has
constructed along with Chris Keane, AGI's technology and development
director, caught AAPG's attention primarily for their clarity, brevity
and user-friendly interface.
Rodgers worked with members of BEG who provided the
content for each course.
AAPG's Education Committee members studied and tested
the modules and are actively involved in promoting their use.
This Web-based training will include 15 individual
modules that are self-contained. A student will be led through the
material in about two hours, and the student determines his or her
Each module includes concise background information
that sets the stage for an exercise. Exercises are interactive and
colorful, utilizing an investigative approach to the data and material
provided. Once completed the "expert" solution is compared to yours.
While completing the exercise students may refer
to a glossary of terms focused on the module's topic. Also just
a click away is the help of an "expert" — in other words, access
to more details about material being taught.
Every module has the same format and feel to make
it easy for the user to navigate through the modules. Modules may
be taken in whatever sequence you desire.
For continuity's sake several modules include data
from the Stratton Field in South Texas, which has a fluvial depositional
Each module costs $35 — but discounts are available;
enroll in four modules of your choice at the same time, and each
will be discounted $5 for a total savings of $20.
At the end of each course you will be asked to evaluate
your experience. CEUs will be offered.
Also new to AAPG's Web site is the announcement for
the annual meeting in Houston featuring online hotel registration.
AAPG is using Conferon to facilitate this registration.
Want to know who else will be at the meeting? Use
the online registrant directory. Once an attendee's registration
is processed, their name, company, city and state will be added
into the directory. You may search for attendees by any of these