A new study from Cranfield University has found that e-learning can be a critical tool in fighting invasive plant species. The cost of dealing with invasive species in the U.K. is about £1.7 billion per year.
Often, the spread of invasive alien plant species is accidental and caused by low biosecurity knowledge and poor cleaning practices. The team found that a simple e-learning course can help overcome these issues.
During the study, which was carried out at the University of Leeds, over 600 field workers and researchers were surveyed before taking e-learning courses on invasive species and biosecurity. They were also surveyed six months after taking the course.
Results showed that after taking the “Better Biosecurity” e-learning course, participants showed greater knowledge of the risk of accidentally spreading invasive species. They also showed an increase in biosecurity behavior and cleaning practices.
This study was published in Biological Invasions.