A new online learning centre promises to radically change the nature of education and skills acquisition for engineering professionals around Australia.
EOL, an initiative launched by Engineering Education Australia at the behest of parent organisation Engineers Australia, is set to radically change the way in which engineers in the country expand their skill base as well as engage in professional development.
The EOL site hosts hundreds of educational resources which have been purpose-designed by professional engineers, including short courses, technical presentations, webinars, case studios, video footage and written articles.
The site already provides over 500 program topics to choose from, which can be accessed via a tiered subscription program which allows first time visitors to sample some of the materials for free.
The chief benefit of the website is the convenience afforded by online learning, which users are able to access at their own convenience and discretion irrespective of the time of day or location constraints.
Online learning also promises to save companies time and money, as they will no longer need dispatch staff to workshops or training sessions which are often held in far-off locations.
"The main idea for EOL is to provide continuous professional development for all engineering-related professionals, no matter where they are," said Ann Ellis, group general manager of Engineering Education Australia.
The EOL site will be of particular benefit to engineers working in remote areas, as they will be able to use the course materials as long as they have access to an internet connection, obviating the need for lengthy road trips or expensive air fares.
"In the past, with travel and accommodation expenses, engineers in regional areas sometimes found it difficult to attend workshops," said Ellis. "This is going to be a game changer for those people, because now they can develop their business and engineering skills more conveniently from their office at any time."
Stephen Durkin, CEO of Engineers Australia, said that in addition to providing "continuous learning" to engineers in the country throughout the course of their careers as qualified professionals, one of the goals of the EOL site is to make Engineers Australia a global centre of expertise and training for engineers.
"We'd like engineering professionals to recognise and regard Engineers Australia as being the global home, or first port of call, for their ongoing learning and continuous professional development," he said.