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"How Can Your Educational Modules Contain Interactive Online Simulation?" icon

How Can Your Educational Modules Contain Interactive Online Simulation?

The Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) is a multi-university, NSF-funded initiative with a mission to lead in research, education, and outreach to students and professionals, while at the same time deploying a unique web-based cyber-infrastructure to serve the nation’s National Nanotechnology Initiative. The primary NCN outreach vehicle is the nanoHUB – our web site found at The nanoHUB currently provides interactive online simulation and educational resources such as tutorials, seminars, and online courses. In 2004 alone, over 3,200 users explored our educational and outreach resources. Over 1,000 users performed some 60,000 on-line simulations. The raw web-page hit count exceeded 3.7 million. The nanoHUB provides access to about 30 research codes, ranging from toy-models to sophisticated simulation engines. Users can access these codes on their own desktop through any standard web browser, with no special setup or installation requirements. The NCN provides the resource for models, simulation and computation free of charge and reach a broad audience. One facet of this infrastructure involves the development of educational modules tailored to the instructional needs of different communities and educational backgrounds. These educational modules will be hosted on the nanoHUB and will break down the elements of the curriculum into smaller components tied to simulation exercises on the nanoHUB. The educational modules will consist of PowerPoint presentations with voice-over, lecture videos on various nanoscience topics, and learning objects that link to online tools, quizzes, homework problems, and problem solutions. These educational modules will be described using a formal XML-based metatagging scheme being considered by IEEE for adoption. Adherence to such global e-learning standards will allow us to post these module descriptions at other web-sites, such as the NSF sponsored MERLOT web-site (, and it will allow educators and scientists at a wide range of institutions to integrate these modules into on-line class management systems. This presentation will overview the NCN mission, our cyberinfrastructure for software deployment, and our approach to developing and deploying educational modules on the nanoHUB.


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