Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Terrorism E-learning courses now!

E-learning is a clear winner. E-learning has finally caught on with terrorism. Its news for the e-learning fraternity that Informa has joined forces with the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews to offer the first transnational e-learning course in the study of terrorism. The 16-week course enables participants to receive a solid grounding in the causes, consequences and responses to terrorism.
And now the flip side. Even while the terrorism courses are being created one wonders whether actual terrorists will get hold of these courses and redefine their modus operandi. The other concern is that terrorism as a subject is extremely dynamic and requires real-time capture of data without which the courses will become a mere "content junk" as they will not be enable learners to practice their learning in countering terrorist attacks or making any difference to this onerous issue that impacts the society at large.

However, the attempt to develop e-learning courses for terrorism is laudable. The first stride is important. The rest will follow.


PK Dubey said...

India should learn a lesson from this....what say?

Raj Kishore said...

the issue is extremely sensitive...needs to be handled with care.


Archana said...

I think the main concern as Raj suggested would be about handling the content.

Genralizations should be avoided. You need to remember that people for different race and creed will be taking the course.

M Taylor said...

Asim Choudhury makes a very valid point – terrorists getting hold of details of this course would not be appropriate. It is why three vital security processes are in place in the Certificate of Terrorism Studies at all times: the identities of all applicants are independently verified and their references scrutinised, the course content does not contain sensitive information plus all materials are open source. Plus, the learning management system is hosted on a secure site and is password protected.

Another good point is also addressed. There can be rapid shifts in understanding of terrorism, so the course updates and reviews subjects continually via its deep understanding of the subject through the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews. This course has simply been made available online for a global, web-astute audience.

What's more, all students are able to access Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC) for the duration of their studies. This valuable website contains daily updates on terrorism events around the globe, ensuring that the core learning content offered by St Andrews is complemented by the latest news. This, too, helps students understand the changing risks.

Max Taylor, Course Director and Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews

Prashant Philipose said...

The title of this piece/article/news/gossip/harangue is slightly confusing. Who is the target (cant help the pun) audience? Is it the counter-terrorism/homeland security guys or the terrorists themselves? I'll be damned if a terrorist is taking e-learning courses.
Jokes aside, I can definitely confirm that a Mumbai-based company is working on “Terrorism” related courses for an American University for the growing homeland security sector.
The clarification by Max Taylor has also laid to rest some very valid points that Asim raised.

Anonymous said...

by the way....this was developed from scratch by an indian elerning company !