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GIA begins Gem Identification as eLearning course
The course makes learning fascinating with video tools
By: Diamond World News Service
Aug 3 2010 11:23PM
Reference: 5186  


The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has introduced a Gem Identification course in its Web-based Distance Education program, and is conducting it through the eLearning module. Although Gem Identification is considered the most challenging course in the G.G. programme, with maximum assignments and 500 gemstones to examine, Duncan Pay, director of Course Development for GIA, views the eLearning version as fascinating, explaining, “The content is more interactive and you see so much more. You read about how to use a refractometer, for instance, and then watch how to do it. It’s almost like looking over your instructor’s shoulder before you try to use one on your own.”

The course entails practical videos depicting the feel of a student proxy, as students view a virtual ‘being’ examining the stone similar to the one they will be looking at, with the same tools they’ll be using, and who shows them what they need to look for, through the 500 gemstones – 20 sets of 25 stones – in the course.

The videos are larger than usual videos in other eLearning programmes, allowing for a closer view of the stone’s features. “It’s not just the colour,” Pay said. “You can see the texture, the quality of luster and the inclusions. The videos are like guided tours through all of the types of stones you look at so you can see what’s important.” Students are also guided by the course in understanding what to expect before they start, view the complete course structure, and also go back electronically to review stone sets similar to the ones they’ve already submitted.

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