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Experiences with Interactive Remote Graduate Instruction in Beam Physics


An Internet-based course in Beam Physics being offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University is described. This course is part of the MSU Virtual University Degree program in Beam Physics (VUBeam, 1998), and had about 100 registered participants at approximately 25 different sites all over the world at its debut. For the purposes of this course we are using ISDN-based and Internet-based videoconferencing tools, Internet-based transmission of audio and video recordings of the lectures, an interactive Internet-based homework system with on-line grading, and we provide the participants with downloadable lecture notes in a variety of formats.

Beam Physics as a more recent subfield of physics is concerned with the behavior of particle beams in particle accelerators. Because accelerator laboratories are usually not directly connected to university environments, the proper training of beam physicists at these sites often less naturally than in other fields. The availability of video conferencing and other Internet-based tools offers students and employees an option of increasing or refreshing their knowledge of Beam Physics. This approach provides an efficient and inexpensive mechanism to learn in a systematic fashion and offers the opportunity to earn university credit and even degrees without leaving the workplace.

M. Berz, B. Erdelyi, J. Hoefkens, Journal of Interactive Learning Research 10,1 (1999) 49-58


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