“Where can I find the WMO Global Campus? How can I join?”
These and similar questions are frequently heard these days by the WMO Education and Training Office. The answers are simple, but they do require some explanation: “The WMO Global Campus is all around us, including all WMO Members that offer education and training services. You do not need to join in any official way. You will be a part of it whenever you use the resources it offers and make your own contributions to the initiative.”
Confusion about the initiative may come from the name itself, a combination of almost contradictory words, “global” and “campus,” which when placed together become a metaphor for the potential linkages between all education and training institutions serving WMO Members. Some may immediately think that “Global Campus” refers to a move to online learning. But while online options are considered an important component to meeting the learning needs of WMO Members, these are just one tool, one means to increasing opportunities. The WMO Global Campus is an ambitious initiative that began in the years leading up to the WMO Executive Council (EC) Session 66 in 2014, which made the decision to launch a feasibility study on the concept as a way of increasing collaboration, cooperation and sharing between education and training institutions. The 17th World Meteorological Congress extended the study one year later.
The goal of the WMO Global Campus concept is to increase capacity to educate and train professionals within WMO Member states and territories. While individual institutions are continuously working to meet expanding capacity development needs, Member surveys and requests have shown that supply is still not meeting demand. However, through collaboration and sharing, it is expected that this gap can be bridged.
But the more ambitious and innovative a concept, the more time it can take time for tangible results to appear. Thus, the initial excitement and high expectations seems to fade away while teams work diligently, but sometimes invisibly, to create viable plans and effective solutions. The WMO Global Campus efforts have followed this pattern. Nonetheless, the Global Campus Working Group of the EC Panel of Experts on Education and Training has impressive outcomes to report.
WMO Global Achievements
- The WMOLearn portal (learn.wmo.int) was established early in 2017 on the WMO public website. This portal points to all external tools and resources related to WMO Global Campus activities, as well as news and highlights on collaborative projects.
- A WMO Global Campus Roadmap has been completed and is available for review on the WMOLearn portal. This Roadmap provides information on the background, justification, priorities, activities and implementation goals for the initiative. As befits a “feasibility study,” the Roadmap will be updated up to the time it is submitted as a report to18th World Meteorological Congress in 2019, when ongoing implementation will be decided.
- The WMOLearn Events Calendar was launched in mid-2017, thanks to host and developer, the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, and the Task Team advisors. The calendar is based on the EUMETSAT/WMO VLab calendar, which was provided to support the initiative. Further refinements have led to its current implementation at learningevents.wmo.int, which features information on courses and other learning opportunities in all WMO regions. This calendar, when adopted for use by Member education and training institutions, will function as a one-stop location for information on upcoming events, including a search capability to narrow in on specific needs.
- The new WMOLearn Library is a new addition to the WMO E-Library (library.wmo.int). Using this section of the E-Library, users will be able to find learning resources from both WMO Publications as well as from external providers. The WMOLearn Resource Catalogue is expected to offer hundreds of learning resources representing nearly all service areas of Members before the end of 2018. Special attention is being given to resources related to WMO competency frameworks, with initial task teams stressing Aeronautical Meteorology and Climate Services. The resources will be useful for both training providers, to aid in the creation of courses and course materials, and individual learners.
- Collaborative projects between institutions are promoted and their products made accessible from WMOLearn. The project descriptions on the portal are intended to inspire new collaborative ventures and new offerings from the community. Other mechanisms for promoting collaboration and sharing best practices are in planning, including a database of experts.
- The COMET Translations Resource Centre (TRC) has been developed as a collaboration between the COMET Programme and the Meteorological Service of Canada, and with input from WMO. The TRC offers A Guide to Translation Project Management; several Glossaries related to meteorology topic areas; a guide to Writing and Editing for Adaptation, Translation, and Localization; information on Planning and Preparing a translations projects; and information on translation tools. A community forum is also provided (courses.comet.ucar.edu/course/view.php?id=181).
Quality assurance has been a consideration each step of the way, and processes are in place for both the Events Calendar and Resource Catalogue to encourage the sharing of only high-quality learning opportunities. All contributors are made aware of quality standards and must acknowledge that they are followed. The portals are monitored by expert teams.
The WMO Global Campus aims to build a wide community of practice of education and training providers in WMO disciplinary areas. A publication is planned to highlight innovations within the Education and Training Programme, and a community blog is being investigated.
Promotional materials are needed to encourage participation, and efforts are planned to ensure high visibility of all WMO Global Campus activities and tools. Social media will play a key role with WMO Global Campus Connect, including both a Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/1879738025638713/) and a WMO Global Campus Connect LinkedIn group (www.linkedin.com/groups/7403773).
The Global Campus is also regional, and Regional Associations are being encouraged to increase regional collaborations on education and training activities, including needs assessments and cooperative projects. Regional resources are also highlighted on WMOLearn, and meetings of training providers in many regions are being planned. Meetings of Regional Training Centres are in planning in various regions and subregions.
The WMO Global Campus Feasibility Study will continue at least through Congress 18 in 2019, and more activities will emerge or be enhanced during this time. But the only way for this initiative to be fully successful is with the involvement of all Members. You are encouraged to visit WMOLearn and use the Calendar and Catalogue to find learning opportunities. If you are a training provider, you are encouraged to share your courses and products there as well. And of course, we hope you will find inspiration to collaborate with other training providers to achieve your development goals.