DRIL Fund: Supporting Educational Innovation

DRIL = Digital Resources for Instruction and Learning

The vice-presidency for education created the DRIL fund to support teachers in creating digital resources for education. Two calls for proposal are organised per year. An editorial committee composed of representatives from schools evaluates the projects.

The vice-presidency wishes to strengthen the use of digital resources in teaching basic polytechnic skills (math, physics, computational thinking) and core concepts in science and engineering (e.g. control systems and fluid dynamics for mechanical engineers; electromechanical conversion and electronics for microtechnics).

NEW. Open your courses. To augment EPFL’s open educational resources offering, the DRIL fund supports teachers in adapting / transforming their existing course material. You can obtain funding to hire up to one month of teaching assistant to help you adapt the course material, e.g. redraw figures, obtain copyright clearance, find open alternatives to replace copyrighted material, etc. The resulting material has to bear a Creative Commons Licence and be made available freely on Moodle (with guest access) or other open channels.

NEW. Create MOOCs from your class recordings. Some classroom or home video recordings are of very good quality (audio, video, easy to segment) and can serve as a basis to produce a MOOC without much additional video recordings.

The DRIL fund can support you in developing quizzes and assignments to augment the existing video material and transform your course into a fully fledged online course to be published on edX or Coursera as well as on the local courseware.epfl.ch platform.

MOOC production can also be produced by the Center for Digital Education for master and doctoral courses when the content preparation is supported by the labs.

Jupyter Notebooks. Jupyter notebooks are used to demonstrate concepts in class, to engage students in interactive extercises, as well as to create interactive textbooks. Have a look at the notebooks that have been developed by your colleagues at EPFL: https://go.epfl.ch/explore-our-educational-notebooks.

We are running a centralised Jupyter Hub for education at which allows students to run Jupyter notebooks without installing any software, directly from the browser. It supports Python, Octave, R, Javascript, and other specialised environments. There is also a Moodle integration to facilitate the management of notebook based assignments.

NEW. Automatic Graders. Automatic grading of Jupyter notebooks and programming assignments allows to provide quick and detailed feedback to students. The DRIL fund can support you to add grading capabilities to  programming exercises (writing unit tests, defining feedback, etc.). For Jupyter notebooks, we are supporting Otter Grader on our centralised Jupyter Hub platform. For other forms of programming assignments, dedicated grading infrastructures are usually maintained by the labs.

Be creative. In addition to MOOCs and Jupyter notebooks, we invite you to develop digital tools that provide more, quicker and richer feedback to students, that help them solve complex problems, give them the possibility to run experiments and link domain knowledge with a computational approach.

Application. We encourage you to coordinate the application with other colleagues who might benefit from the same developments and to discuss your project with your section director. We also recommend that you contact the Center for Digital Education (Patrick Jermann) to assist you in preparing your project application.

Next call for proposal: April 1st 2024. Download the submission form.

Running projects

Type Title Contact
Fall 2018
Notebook Notebooks for signal processing. Paolo Prandoni
Notebook Interactive Linear Algebra. Daniel Kressner
Notebook Computational Classroom Demonstrations and Problem sets for Materials Science and Engineering teaching. Véronique Michaud
Notebook Jupyter Notebooks for first year physics. Cécile Hébert
MOOC Creation of a MOOC for the course “Information, Computation, and Communication”. Olivier Lévêque, Martin Rajman
Spring 2019
Notebook Understanding Electromagnetism through Interactive Learning and Computational Thinking Christophe Galland, Cécile Hébert
Notebook Coherent treatment of core concepts in fluid mechanics and heat transfer via a multimodal representation using Jupyter notebooks François Gallaire, Sophia Haussener, Karen Mulleners, Giulia Tagliabue, Tobias Schneider
Notebook Computational thinking tools for solid state physics courses Oleg Yazyev, Henrik Ronnow
Tool Open-ended project design companion Marc Laperrouza, Marius Aeberli
MOOC Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems Matthias Finger
MOOC Advanced CECAM Class: Path Integral Methods for Quantum Thermodynamics and Dynamics Ignacio Pagonbarraga, Michele Ceriotti
Tool FROG – collaborative learning in practice Pierre Dillenbourg
Fall 2019
Notebook Notebooks for Finite Elements of Solids and Structures Guillaume Anciaux, Jean-François Molinari
Notebook Computational Thinking Alexandre Alahi
Tool Self-Assessment for Mathematics François Genoud, Guido Burmeister
Tool Speakup – MCQ questions Denis Gillet
Spring 2020
MOOC MOOC for Analysis I Joachim Krieger, SMA
MOOC and Notebook Classe inversée – Physique Générale I – Mécanique pour ingénieurs Cécile Hébert
Notebook IPLAB – Image Processing Laboratories on Noto Daniel Sage, Pol del Aguila Pla
Tool EXOSET Jean-Marie Fürbringer
Fall 2020
Notebook Jupyter web applications for quantum simulations Giovanni Pizzi, Dou Du
Notebook FeedbackNow – Automatic grading and formative feedback for image processing laboratories Daniel Sage, Pol del Aguila Pla
Notebook Introduction to Machine Learning for Engineers Alexandre Alahi
Notebook Interactive Virtual Demonstrations for Signals and Systems Michaël Unser
Notebook Digital tools for structural mechanics and visualization of experimentsand failure surfaces Dimitrios Lignos
MOOC Statisticalphysics IV Tobias Kippenberg
MOOC Parallelism and Concurrency in Scala 3 Martin Odersky
MOOC New Space Economy Volker Gass, Jean-Paul Kneib
Spring 2021
MOOC Warmup for EPFL Simone Deparis, CePro
MOOC Sustainability assessment of urban systems Claudia Binder, Susan Mühlemeier
Tool Interactive simulations for introductory astrophysics Frédéric Courbin
MOOC Digitalization in Humanitarian Action Klaus Schönenberger
Fall 2021
Notebooks Jupyter Notebooks for Analyse numérique Marco Picasso
Tool Virtual spectroscopy laboratory Mounir Mensi, Berend Smit, Kevin Maik Jablonka, Luc Patiny
MOOC Advanced Timber Plate Structural Design Aryan Rezaei Rad, Petras Vestartas, Yves Weinand
Spring 2022
Notebooks Polyglot notebooks and online lecture notes for core statistics courses Mats Stensrud, Matthieu Wilhelm, Yoav Zemel
Tool A virtual lab for galactic dynamics Yves Revaz
Tool Proving and disproving correctness of programming assignments Viktor Kuncak, Dragana Molovancevic
Tool Digital tools for scalable and blended design thinking activities Denis Gillet
Fall 2022
Tool Online Teaching Tools for Making & Prototyping Josie Hughes
Tool Interactive simulations for first-year physics (mechanics) Sylvain Bréchet
Notebooks Digital Cleanroom Notebooks Jürgen Brugger
Spring 2023
Notebooks Digital resources for context-based teaching of Matrix Analysis for Engineers Pierre Vandergheynst
Video Video podcast on digital ethics Johan Rochel
Grader Infrastructure for Automatic Graders in Moodle Barbara Jobstmann & Jamila Sam