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Simon Houlding is Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc., responsible for EduMine, the professional development division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry. He is a practicing professional engineer and author.

EduMine: A Look Back from Retirement

We started EduMine 18 years ago in 1999. Our mission from the start has been to disseminate technology to the mining community around the world using the Internet as our platform. There were no LMSs (Learning Management Systems) when we started … we had to develop our own courseware template with a minimum bandwidth requirement to reach remote mining operations with poor Internet connections. We started EduMine with the support of Andy Robertson and InfoMine in 1999. With retirement a reality, it is appropriate to

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A Cost-Benefit Comparison of Different Formats for Training in Mining

This cost-benefit comparison of short course, live webcast and online course formats for training in mining looks primarily at (1) minimizing the cost of training and, (2) minimizing workplace disruption. There are obviously other benefits that could be included in a comparison, such as achievement of training objectives, trainee engagement (including peer review and networking), and convenience of access. However, these have been dealt with extensively elsewhere (Houlding 2014), (Allen and Seaman 2013), (Houlding 2014). In summary, it is generally recognized that online courses produce

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About MOOCs and Learner Retention in Online Education and Training

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) presented by the Ivy League universities have been touted as the “next big thing” in online education. So far they have failed to deliver the promised revolution … initial attendance is often high (in the tens of thousands) but learner retention is low (about 5%) (see Retention and Intention in Massive Open Online Courses, June 2013). Lack of engagement is generally given as the primary cause of the large dropout rate. MOOCs employ a familiar “talking head” format with video

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What will be the Impact of Big Data on Education in Mining?

What is big data? Big data is a catchall phrase that refers to the vast numbers of data sets that are collected daily. It promises to revolutionize online learning and, in doing so, higher education (US News Aug 2013). Big data consists of high volume, high velocity and high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery, and process optimization (ASTD 2014). Big data offers enormous potential to organizations with the capabilities to collect, store, interpret, and

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