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Following the initiative of Prof. Peretz Lavie, the President of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Prof. Haick Hossam of the Department of Chemical Engineering - has designed, developed, and will deliver a massive open online course (MOOC) on Nanotechnology and Nanosensors. The course will be given both in English Language, and, for the first time in the world, in Arabic Language.
The MOOC on Nanotechnology and Nanosensors addresses a wide range of students in the world and its development team is diverse and unique. Assistant Prof. Miri Barak, from the Department of Education in Science and Technology, is the pedagogical designer and advisor, Mrs. Meital Segev-Bar is the teaching assistant, and Dr. Raed Shoroush and Mrs. Abeer Watted provide support to the Arabic version of the course.
In the past two years, there is a growing trend among elite higher education institutes towards the development and delivery of state-of-the-art MOOC. MOOC is a web-based course designed to support a large number of participants. MOOCs are a recent development in the area of online distance education, providing free and accessible high-quality education to the masses. Contrary to traditional courses, MOOCs allow open and free registration to any non-credit participants, without any limitation on age or academic record. Thus, might include thousands or even hundreds of thousands of students from all around the world.
Nanotechnology and Nanosensors is a course for people who are interested in learning about novel sensing tools that makes use of nanotechnology (a technology that relies in the regime between one to hundred nanometers, viz. billionths of the meter) to screen, detect, and monitor various events in either our personal or professional life. The students discover the fascinating world of nanoland that bumps up against the basic building blocks of matter. As such, the students discover how holding the nanoland with various sensing devices together could lay the groundwork for infinite innovative applications in every part of our daily life, starting from in-vivo and ex-vivo diagnosis and treatments of diseases, continuing with quality control of goods and environmental aspects, and ending with monitoring security issues. In this endeavor, the students learn how to fabricate such new tools, how to characterize them, how to control them, and how to integrate them in the various applications.
The Nanotechnology and Nanosensors MOOC includes ten classes of 3-to-4 short lecture videos. Because anyone with an Internet connection can enroll to the course, the teaching team can't possibly respond to students individually. Therefore, the course is designed in such a way that minimizes the involvement of the teaching staff. The course includes three types of assignments: weekly quizzes, forum activities and a final project. The weekly quizzes, which are automatically graded, provide students with an opportunity to review the learning materials throughout the week.
The forum activity includes three parts: answering an open-ended question, providing feedback to peers, and ranking their contribution. The forum activity is graded according to the average votes, posts, and views of each participant. In the final project, students are asked to work in groups, writing a report that focuses on the utilization of nanotechnology and nanosensors to imitate a specific sense that relates to human senses: vision, hearing, taste, smell, or touch. The students are required to discuss the multidisciplinary design, providing ideas for characterization, and fabrication of an artificial sense. The project is graded by peers, according to a ridged grading rubric developed by the instructors.
Prof. Haick told: "It is a privilege for me to provide a course that would be available for free to every person in the world. The current MOOC initiation, supported by the Technion as well as the course's team, will contribute to an efficient dissemination of unique knowledge to a wide spectrum of people in both the developed and developing countries, without admission bureaucracies."
Assistant Prof. Miri Barak says that the development of MOOCs improve academic teaching by encouraging the design of high quality learning materials, including unique graphics and visualization. Because students come from different countries and diverse cultures there was a need to adapt the learning materials, targeting a wide range of participants. In addition, because students cannot ask questions during the lecture, there was a need to troubleshoot difficulties in advance, providing more thorough and comprehensive explanations.
The MOOC course is available for free to anybody who is interested in extending his knowledge. The registration to the course could be done through: www.coursera.org/technion
The MOOC course delivered by Prof. Haick is supported by the Center for promotion of Teaching at the Technion, headed by Dr. Abigail Barzilai.
For more information, please click here
Prof. Hossam Haick
Chevalier de l'ordre des Palmes Academiques
Head of the Laboratory for Nanomaterial-Based Devices (LNBD) and Volatile Biomarkers
Department of Chemical Engineering and Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel
Website: lnbd.technion.ac.il | www.lcaos.eu
Dr. Silvia Birsan
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