International training courses on radar meteorology have been offered since 2008. They are organized with the contribution of Eumetcal member institutions and partners; in particular DWD has ever since handled the course management and hosted the classroom phase in its training facilities. Beside the support of Eumetcal, also WMO has been involved with a generous sponsorship to course participants from transition countries.
The course edition 2017 “Weather Radar Application in Nowcasting for Weather Forecasters” was in blended format, like the previous ones, with eight topics covered during the online phase (self-study, live presentations, tests and homework for students) and a one-week classroom phase at the training centre of the DWD in Langen. More information about the topics covered in the original course announcement.
Two categories of students were defined: a) only online participation, b) participation in the online phase and the classroom phase. This enabled more people to join the course and as a result, 24 only online students and 16 classroom/online students participated, leading to a total of 40 students.
Seven trainers from Eumetcal member and partner institutions helped with the online phase: preparing material for the students’ self preparation and delivering online lectures. Because quizzes and homework were a crucial part of this phase, the trainers evaluated the homework of 40 students. During the classroom sessions in Langen, six trainers guided students through the exercises and group works.
Eumetcal supported the course by offering the web conferencing system and online course platform (Met Learning). This support helped the trainers and the course manager to have ready built course environment and technical support during the online sessions.
The majority of students provided the proof of their skills by delivering at least 50% of the homework and quizzes in high quality. On the last day of the classroom phase, the students were asked to fill out a short test, which all passed successfully. Some participants also impressed the trainers with an outstanding engagement during the classroom part. Subsequent feedback from participants was very positive.