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Short description of E-neuro project

The E-neuro project aims to develop new, flexible software in order to redesign (with similar contents) two current simulated research projects (computer-driven simulated Neurobiology research projects within Bachelor and Master courses for Medical Biology, Molecular Life Sciences and Cognitive Neuroscience students, Radboud University, Nijmegen). The goal of the simulated projects is to teach the students how to judge a research problem (experimental set-up to be used, inventory and choice of techniques/approaches, interpretation of the results obtained) and how to develop a research strategy, and to make them familiar with research terminology. The students focus on research strategies and techniques involved; theoretical aspects are less important. The experiments are thus performed “on the screen”, i.e., not with “wet experiments”, and the students are supported and directed on the basis of information delivered to them via the course-URL.

The new, user-friendly, efficient (i.e., requires limited assistance from teaching assistants) and broadly applicable (including options with choices in answers and paths as follow-ups of the answers) software will contain up-to-date graphical possibilities (e.g., possibility of including movies) and be of great value for the design of simulated projects by others (within the Faculty of Sciences, other faculties of Radboud University, or other universities within and outside The Netherlands) and will be freely available (open-source software with central collection of answers and possibilities for follow-up communication with students) and web based.

The project plan involves the adjustment of the existing RuDiag software (e.g., build modules) such that the contents of the existing simulated research projects can be transferred, including the interactive learning path that is necessary to facilitate the courses. The added value of the new software is that, in contrast to the existing content-E software, it will allow unique teaching possibilities, and both teacher and student will experience it as being user friendly, interactive and robust. Furthermore, the new software will be generally and broadly applicable with a number of up-to-date (modular and graphical) possibilities (see above). The fact that the new software will be open source and web based will make it available to a wide variety of persons directly or indirectly involved with teaching in the Netherlands and beyond.

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