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KAUST launches first digital lab for distance learning

by Lisa A. Yeager

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) launched its first virtual lab to function as a web platform for distance studying semiconductor fabrication. The fab lab, short for Virtual Fabrication Lab, is a web-based totally digital surroundings designed to help schools with semiconductor tool fabrication tactics and related complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology. The digital lab, developed via the Computer, Electrical, and Mathematical Science and Engineering Division (CEMSE) at KAUST, trains users in quit-to-end device fabrication series using well-tested procedure protocols. Each schooling session is followed by way of an interactive Q&A session.

“I turned into inspired by way of the vision to provide get entry to lots of college students and other lovers who do no longer have to get right of entry to pricey cleanroom centers,” said Dr. Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, a professor in the electric-powered engineering software at CEMSE. Fab lab intends to provide the crucial detail lacking in online education, which is an experimental module through labs,” he delivered.

At the postgraduate level, distance mastering is a gateway for students around the sector to have an open entry to understanding and interacting with academic materials and techniques profoundly specific from their normal ones. “Distance mastering is a vital tool to offer stronger learning opportunities to our globally cell pupil populace,” said Dr. Tony Chan, president of KAUST. “In the entirety we do, we intention to be ahead-looking. Distance studying suits flawlessly with this goal,” Chan delivered.

KAUST’s first involvement in distance mastering took place in 2017 in the CEMSE division. CEMSE and Blue Waters Online Course co-produced a MOOC (massive open online path) on high-performance computing featuring Professor David Keyes, director of the Extreme Computing Research Center (ECRC) at KAUST. Two years later, the fab lab changed into introduced, taking e-mastering to the next stage.

“The virtual lab is a thrilling idea to take a department of technology that has always been gated by using the provision of a high-priced lab,” stated Professor Mootaz El-Nozahy, dean of CEMSE. “At KAUST, we’re looking to take this idea to the farthest, thereby sharing our infrastructure with the arena.” The fab lab became provided on April 24 at some point of a webinar prepared and hosted with the aid of the IEEE Electron Devices Society.

Established in 2009, KAUST is a graduate-level studies university placed at the shores of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. The college is devoted to advancing technological know-how and technology through interdisciplinary studies, schooling, and innovation. Research conducted by way of college students, faculty, scientists, and engineers ambitions to address the world’s urgent clinical and technological challenges associated with food, water, strength, and the surroundings.

The market for distance learning programs is divided into three segments, namely K-12 Learning, Higher Education Learning, and Corporate Learning. It should be clear that “distance learning” in today’s practice includes online learning, eLearning, flexible learning, and blended learning. In 2012, the market for distance learning was estimated by analysts to be at US$90 billion. It is projected that it will reach US$220 billion by 2017 in which the equivalent market share of the three segments would become: K12: 27%, Higher Education: 58%, Corporate: 15%.

Global Market Leaders

In the Higher Education segment, online courses are mostly offered by top online universities across the world. The Open University in London, one of the pioneers in distance education, is currently one of the largest providers of distance learning programs to both local and international students in Europe. In the United States, the Harvard Extension School and the University of Phoenix offer a wide range of distance education programs. These programs are delivered in video, live web conference, and hybrid (a combination of on-campus and online delivery models). At present, the U.S. and European markets account for more than 70% of the global distance learning industry.

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