Gem Identification, with the most assignments and 500 gemstones to examine, has a reputation of being the most challenging course in the G.G. program. But Duncan Pay, director of Course Development for GIA, says the eLearning version is a fascinating and helpful journey through the world of gemstone identification.
“There is a whole new dimension to Gem Identification,” Pay said. “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 practical videos are like a student proxy, he adds. Students will see someone examine a stone similar to the one they will be looking at, who uses the same tools they’ll be using, and who shows them what they need to look for. This will be helpful as they work through the 500 gemstones – 20 sets of 25 stones – required to complete the course.
The videos in Gem Identification are in a larger format than ones in other eLearning courses, so it’s easier for students to see the features of the stones.
“It’s not just the color,” 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.”
The eLearning course also lets students get an idea of what to expect before they start, he said. They see the complete course structure, how the practical assignments relate to the stone sets, and they build on each other. They can also go back electronically to review stone sets similar to the ones they’ve already submitted, because they’re documented in their coursework.
For more information about GIA eLearning, call GIA Admissions at 800-421-7250, ext. 4001, or visit www.gia.edu.