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Well Aware expands to eLearning

New online training available for professionals who work with private well owners.


June 19, 2013
By Heather Kirby

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Well Aware has taken the leap into eLearning with the development of online training for professionals who work with private well owners.

Well Aware has taken the leap into eLearning with the development of online training for professionals who work with private well owners.

This leap has maintained the key messages of the 12-year-old program (protect the source, test the water, maintain the well, plug and seal unused wells, and hire only licensed well contractors) and adapted them to an interactive, online format. This was successfully achieved with leadership from Grant Murphy of Two Point Oh! e-Learning Services, who completed the learning design for the course and software application implementation.

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The Well Aware online course outcomes are as follows:

  • Value the importance of protecting public health by maintaining a safe drinking water supply.
  • Understand the basic functions of a private drinking water well.
  • Complete the Well Aware self-assessment of a private drinking water well.

To achieve these outcomes, an eLearning platform called Moodle is used: an open source software application that is used by many colleges and universities around the world for their distance education programs. This platform allows the course facilitator and participants to interact with each other in many different and engaging ways through, among other methods, quizzes, polls, case studies and input to the course database collection.

The most valuable interaction is found in the discussion forums, where both the facilitator and participants have the opportunity to contribute in meaningful ways to questions or topics posed by the facilitator. Attachments such as photos, diagrams or web links can be used to support and deepen the conversation. The discussion postings are relevant for the current session, ensuring that the context is a reflection of the participants’ needs.

The Well Aware self-assessment tool is the icon of this process and was the basis of the online course design. The key learning objective is to ensure that participants use the self-assessment tool properly; the online activities help to ensure that they understand important terminology and supporting best management practices. A report, including recommendations, is generated based on the information provided by the participant. The high level of quality assurance is maintained by contracting a third party (a licensed and practising hydrogeologist) to review and subsequently approve the reports. The approved report is then mailed to the participant to serve as an action plan.

Through Well Aware, technical support is provided during regular business hours. The program can be accessed by a computer with an Internet connection.

The Well Aware online professional development course may be taken by people who work with wells on a regular basis, including government, public health, municipal, conservation and stewardship staff from all provinces.

To register for a course, go to www.wellaware.ca.


Heather Kirby is the Well Aware program manager and course facilitator. She can be reached at 705-745-7479, ext. 114, or hkirby@greencommunitiescanada.org regarding how Well Aware can help you. To discuss other elearning development opportunities, contact Grant Murphy, Two Point Oh! eLearning Services at 519-897-7073 or www.tpo-training.com.


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