Original Press Release
Joint Venture to Bring Environmental Site Assessment Course Online
Press release date: March 24, 2010
ASTM International and Environmental Data Resources Join Forces
W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., -One of ASTM's most popular educational offerings, the E1527 Environmental Site Assessment Course, will soon be offered online for the first time. The new course is the result of an eLearning joint venture announced today by ASTM International, one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world, and Environmental Data Resources Inc. (EDR), the leading provider of environmental risk information in the United States.
For years, ASTM has offered many popular and authoritative in-person training courses matching a number of its published standards. The E1527 in-person course has been taught at many locations around the country since 1993 when the Environmental Site Assessment standard was first published. With each update of the E1527 standard, there have been changes, both subtle and far-reaching, that trigger a need for a deeper understanding of the language and intent of the standard.
Scott Murphy, director of educational services at ASTM, welcomed the chance to reach a broader audience that might not have had the flexibility or schedule to attend an in-person course. "We view this as an opportunity to extend the reach of educating professionals on one of the most widely used ASTM standards," says Murphy. "Specifically, we do not see this new offering as taking away or diminishing our in-class course, but rather to broaden its accessibility to a wider audience of professionals."
In 2008, EDR launched a successful online environmental training venture tied to its social networking site, commonground. Building on the foundation of the successful eLearning platform developed by EDR, ASTM will gain the experience and knowledge needed to launch the online version of its popular E1527 course. Under the terms of the partnership, EDR will coordinate, host and co-promote the course, while ASTM instructors will develop the content and facilitate the course. The online E1527 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment course is expected to be available by late summer.
"ASTM E 1527 is a cornerstone of environmental due diligence, so it's no surprise that the E1527 training course is so highly sought after," says Jack Huntress, vice president of eLearning for EDR. "We are proud to work with ASTM on bringing this course online, because this ties directly into our eLearning objective of helping to promote consistency and quality in the environmental due diligence industry. EDR's customers are constantly performing work under the E1527 standard, and making ASTM's expert training more accessible will be a very positive development."
Unlike previous implementations of online training, the eLearning platform tied to EDR's commonground online community provides for a highly interactive experience. "Commonground University incorporates a number of social aspects, and a facilitator with over 20 years of experience provides participants with feedback and guidance along the way," Huntress explains. "Further, we do what is called blended learning, combining asynchronous, or self-paced coursework, with periodic live Web conferences. In this way, participants feel more connected to the material and the others in the class, and we get as close to a classroom experience as possible. Feedback over the past year from participants affirms that students have responded favorably to these interactive features. We will take these lessons learned and apply them to the ASTM course offering as well." Future plans may include additional courses. "We hope this is just the first of a number of successful ASTM online courses," says Murphy.
Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe.
Environmental Data Resources, Inc. (EDR) is the leading provider of environmental risk information services and related workflow applications in the United States. As the innovator of the most comprehensive database of environmental and historical land use information, the company provides reports, subscription services and other solutions to help its customers reduce environmental risk. EDR, whose customers include commercial and residential real estate professionals, environmental consultants, lenders, corporations, attorneys and government agencies, is also the creator of commonground (http://commonground.edrnet.com), the first global online community for property due diligence professionals. Established in 1991, EDR is headquartered in Milford, Conn., with regional offices located throughout the United States. EDR is wholly owned by DMG Information Inc., the business information division of Daily Mail and General Trust, plc (DMGT).