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Development Of An On Line Introduction To Nanotechnology Course: Issues And Challenges

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Web-Based Learning in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.423.1 - 13.423.9



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Paper Authors


Sohail Anwar Pennsylvania State University-Altoona College

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Dr.Sohail Anwar is currently serving as an Associate Professor of Engineering at Penn State University Altoona College. He is also serving as the Chair of the EET Advisory Faculty Committee for Excelsior College, New York. Since 1996, he has been an Invited Professor of Electrical Engineering at IUT Bethune, France. Dr. Anwar is also serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Engineering Technology and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Pennsylvania Academy of Science.

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Harpal Dhillon Excelsior College

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Dr.Harpal Dhillon is currently the Dean of the School of Business and Technology at Excelsior College. In the past, he has taught undergraduate
and graduate courses in Information Systems, Software Engineering, and Project Management at University of Maryland, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and George Washington University. Dr.Dhillon worked as owner/senior executive in three systems engineering companies over a period of 20 years. His research interests are in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction, Quality Assurance, and Applications of IT in Telemedicine and Web-based Distance Learning. Dr. Dhillon is a member of the Executive Board of the NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of an On-line Introduction to Nanotechnology Course: Issues and Challenges


The emerging field of Nanotechnology is leading to a technological revolution in the new millennium. Realizing the need for providing nanotechnology education and training at the undergraduate level to technicians and technologists, Excelsior College, a well respected distance learning institution in higher education has recently embarked upon a plan to develop and implement an on-line 4-year nanotechnology degree program. Since the Excelsior learning model permits offering a course of study with a significant amount of the coursework and other requirements met by external courses and workforce experience, hence the on-line instruction elements will be phased in gradually. Initially, two on-line nanotechnology core courses will be developed. The first one, titled “Introduction to Nanotechnology” is currently under development. The second one, titled “Basic Nanofabrication Process” will be developed during Summer 2008.

This manuscript describes the development of on-line nanotechnology courses at Excelsior College. The manuscript discusses several issues to be dealt with during the development of the above mentioned introductory on-line/web-based nanotechnology courses and provides details regarding the course development strategy Excelsior College will be using to address the above mentioned issues. The manuscript also describes the innovative course development model used by Excelsior College. This course model combines virtual reality, graphics, text, and sound. The model features a multidisciplinary perspective and is designed specifically for the needs of working adults.


Nanotechnology is the creation of functional materials, devices, and systems through control of matter on the nanometer length scale and the exploitation of novel properties and phenomena developed at that scale. Nanotechnology holds singular promise to revolutionize science, engineering, and technology. It already has significant impact in countless industries including communications, medicine, environmental cleanup, agriculture, and more. Innovative materials, components, and systems based on nanotechnologies are recognized as promising growth innovators for the years to come. It is expected that eventually nanotechnologies will merge into a technology cluster offering a complete range of functionalities in information, energy, construction, environmental, and biomedical domains. The extensive use of nanotechnology will create a significant demand for workers who can provide technical assistance in the development of products and processes using nanotechnology concepts.

As estimated by the National Science Foundation (NSF), two million technical workers will be needed to support nanotechnology industries worldwide within the next 15 years

Anwar, S., & Dhillon, H. (2008, June), Development Of An On Line Introduction To Nanotechnology Course: Issues And Challenges Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3915

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