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Interview with Dr Verena Ras Part 2

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In the second part of this interview, Verena is talking about different obstacles her team has to overcome in order to develop and run the bioinformatics courses.

What are specific difficulties and challenges faced by the bioinformatics trainers in Africa? In your own country, would you face similar/different obstacles?

Bioinformatics courses run by H3ABioNet are excellent examples of the true collaborative nature of this type of training, involving team coordination of diverse and distributed expertise.

Can you list a few ways mentioned in the interview used to overcome some of the main obstacles to learning/training? How are the team members supporting each other?

Verena also talks about thorough planning before each course run, as a crucial element of the whole process of organising training.

In your opinion, how important is it to assign specific responsibilities in a complex model of training, such as this one? Do you plan to do that?

What role does the Learning Management System (LMS) play in planning and delivery of the courses Verena describes?

Have you ever been participating in online forums, as a way of asynchronous communication with a specific community of interest? How can forums help to facilitate training?

Verena mentions some contextual factors that can influence the training, such as political unrest.

Can you think of any other factors? If you feel comfortable, do share with other learners other main disruptive factors you face as a trainer in your own situation.

Finally, Verena talks about how the team evaluated their training. What methods did they use?

What kind of evaluation you are planning? Have you ever used the tools Verena is mentioning, such as scales or surveys to gather information? Will you use them in your course design?

For your further reading, please find links in the See Also section with more examples of bioinformatics training in Africa.

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Train the Trainer: Design Genomics and Bioinformatics Training

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