The first face to face testing of our knowledge base platform

We finally started and had our first day of lectures at the International Training course on Plant Genetic Resources and Genebank Management in Korea.

A bit chalenging as many of the participants or lecturers where still recovering from long flights and jetleg… It is also fasting season and some participants are muslims.

A few difficulties on establishing good internet connection.

A few chalenges of people getting lost and main entrances being blocked due to the preparations for the official launching of the training that will occur tomorrow (in the entrance hall) with VIP people.

A few chalenges on comunication due to language barriers (people from so many Asian countries each one with its own language and not so often exposed to english)

But, despite these minor difficulties it was really great to meet such a diverse group of participants, some more experienced than others in genebank issues, others with chalenging experience on a wide range of crops.

Very well gender balanced with many women amongst them, a good improvement achieved compared to other similar trainings. 

We had our first working group, to solve 3 specific problem scenarios of chickpea, rice and barley. We had divided the participants into 3 groups, trying to assign participants to crops they did not have experince on.

This had advantages:

We have now a fair idea of the learning skills they could acquire from the resources given (this website) .

They were immediatly faced with a problem and had to make a few important decisions on which genebank procedures to follow and how to solve the problem.

But also disadvantages:

Participants did not have time to meet each other and be familair with the skills of each others.

Participants did not have opportunity to learn much before the exercise. They just had to ‘jump in’ into a hipothetical problem.

Neverthless, all groups understood well what they had to do and gave a good draft of important steps to follow. A few missing steps were then pointed out or corrected and discussed in plenary. 

Ideally it would be useful to do a similar exercise at the end, but unfortunately this is not possible for practical reasons. We will rely on the information that participants will provide on the evaluation questionnaires.

Hope both participants and lecturers will continue to benefit from this training in the few coming days, during the lectures and the practical exercises too.

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