Using Enhanced Learning Technologies to Teach Nanoscience Research Techniques to Postgraduate Physics Students

Etain Kiely

Abstract


Progress in nanoscopic materials research requires observation and understanding of the molecular arrangements of materials by using capital-intensive equipment such as Electron Microscope (SEM and TEM), and other types of spectroscopy. There is also a great need for teaching data analysis and essential technical skills for experimentation using complicated analytical instrumentation capable of providing information about nanoscale physical, chemical and functional properties. Teaching for characterisation of these new materials and devices to fully understand the physical, structural and functional properties is of great importance. This paper addresses this demand, which led to the development of the web-based multimedia-teaching package called Nanolab. The paper illustrates the experiences of implementing Nanolab as a pilot site utilising:
(a) a web-based technology for delivery;
(b) text, graphics, sound, Authoware, Flash MX for interactivity;
(c) a number of video links to specific laboratories; and
(d) a web-based discussion group set-up to stimulate cooperation and problem solving. This paper describes the design and development of Nanolab teaching/learning package from both pedagogical and technical perspectives

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