Second half of 2014, blended
The Satellite Applications Course (ESAC) aims to help the learners to prepare better forecasts through the use of satellite information. In the past the course was a fortnight long and classroom-based. In 2013 we decided to shorten the classroom phase to one week and combine it with a five-week online phase. We completely re-designed the classroom phase by minimising the number of lectures and introducing more hands-on practice.
Based on last year’s positive experience, EUMETSAT, together with the Centres of Excellence in Nairobi (Kenya) and Niamey (Niger), delivered two blended courses. For the Anglophone Africa the online component took place 16 June to18 July. It was attended by participants from 19 countries and was followed up by an onsite course in Nairobi 25–29 August. Two months later, a similar model was available for the participants from 16 Francophone African countries. The online component was delivered 6-31 October, followed up with on-site course hosted in Dakar 24–28 November.
Moreover the 12th was the first time the course took place outside of Niamey, actually in Dakar. The lack of the operational environment simulated in previous courses in Niamey was replaced with practical sessions to improve the forecasters’ skills in identifying fog, smoke, dust and convective initiation. There were requests for the duration of the classroom phase to be extended by one week, which we will consider in our planning for 2015.