Jupyter notebooks for teaching and learning

Jupyter Notebooks are interactive documents that combine code, equations, visualizations and text. Versatile and flexible, they allow teachers to develop virtual demonstrations, interactive exercises or multimedia handouts very easily.
Notebook example

Example notebook hosted on noto (https://noto.epfl.ch), the EPFL JupyterLab Platform.

One-click access to notebooks with Noto (http://noto.epfl.ch)

Called Noto, EPFL’s JupyterLab centralized platform allows teachers and students to use Jupyter notebooks without having to install anything on their computer: they can easily access, modify and run notebooks online with a simple web browser.

Noto is accessible to all members of the EPFL community upon simple authentication with Gaspar login: https://noto.epfl.ch
Get started right away without configuring your computer or installing libraries! You’ll get a private workspace and free computing.

The currently supported programming languages are Python, R, C and Octave.

Don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] for any question.

Teaching with notebooks

Whether in basic sciences, in engineering or in computational sciences, notebooks have multiple uses.

For instance, virtual demonstrations and simulations make it possible to dynamically visualize abstract notions such as vectors representing forces, speeds or accelerations. Their goal is to facilitate the understanding of the concepts behind physical phenomena and help to deconstruct the misconceptions that hinder students’ learning.
► See the notebooks designed by Cécile Hébert for in-class virtual demonstrations in the General Physics course: https://go.epfl.ch/mecadril

Notebooks can also be used as course documents in the form of interactive textbooks or interactive exercises sheets. In addition to including elements of the course theory in LaTeX, notebooks allow students to execute the code and therefore see how the programs work in practice. Supporting interaction by nature, possibilities for creating exercises in notebooks are almost infinite. For instance, did you know that you could integrate auto-corrected quiz in notebooks?
► See the notebooks designed by Paolo Pradoni as an interactive textbook for the Signal Processing course: https://go.epfl.ch/COM303-noto

Of course, notebooks can also can be used by students to analyze data during projects or lab sessions and create rich project or lab reports.

Want to learn more? Contact us at [email protected].

Getting started

Check-out our quickstart guide “How to move my computer labs online using Jupyter Notebooks (R, Python, Octave, C)”: https://go.epfl.ch/online-lecturing-noto-quickstart

Have a look at our FAQ at the bottom of the page.

Financial support for developping notebooks

The Vice-President for Education supports the creation of notebooks for education through the DRIL fund (Digital Resources for Instruction and Learning). Two calls for proposal are organised per year.

More information

Noto is a project of the Vice Presidency for Education, carried out by the LEARN, CAPE and CEDE centres with a financial contribution from SwissUniversities.

FAQ

Nothing to install! With Noto, you get started right away without configuring your computer or installing libraries.

Just connect to https://noto.epfl.ch/ with your GASPAR account (or the account of the Swiss University you are affiliated to). You’ll get a private workspace and free computing.

Notebooks are simple text files, so they can easily be shared by usual means e.g. sent by email, uploaded on a website or on Moodle, etc. like you would do with any other type of document (pdf, doc, etc.).

To download a notebook from your Noto workspace to your computer, simply right-click on the notebook in the left pane of the Noto interface, then select “Download” in the contextual menu.

To execute a notebook that someone has shared with you, you can then simply upload it to Noto by drag-and-dropping the file onto your workspace.

However, if you need to share more than one notebook or if you want the person to easily see the content of the notebooks you are sharing, then it is easier to use other means and for this Noto supports sharing through git.
You can clone and manage a git repository on Noto as you would do on your own computer. Then, thanks to a simple tool called nbgitpuller, you can easily generate shareable links for any of the notebooks from this repository.
Learn more on: https://go.epfl.ch/noto-share