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Frequently Asked Questions about CorrConnect

1) CorrDefense: As CorrConnect is launched in its final version, how will the news and event calendar sections look and operate?

GSGI: We are in the process of changing the way the news is viewed. In the redesign of the Web site the news section will appear in the middle of the home page in the middle section with a featured article being first. The news will also be viewable on the left-hand side when you are visiting other pages. The Event Calendar will offer an online calendar within the page that reminds you what the upcoming events are. You can browse through the calendar to view all the corrosion events from the past, present, and those that are coming up.

2) CorrDefense: Can you elaborate on the news crawler functionality?

GSGI: We are currently in the process of updating how we generate Corrosion News. We will hire a dedicated human editor to crawl the Web for relevant corrosion and DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office news. We will also include a summary of each article to highlight key points as well as blog about current corrosion news. At present we are improving the way the news feed is being viewed and will place the news feed with an archive on the home page. The home page can be viewed when you click on the CorrConnect logo.

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CorrConnect Furthers DoD Training Goals

Corrosion Office Tests Functionality of Cloud-Based Beta Site

Since 2005 the DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office has partnered with corrosion experts from DoD and industry to advance a seminal goal—to educate and train tomorrow’s defense acquisition workforce in controlling and preventing corrosion. DoD relies on a powerful online tool known as CorrDefense to carry out its multi-faceted training mission. Housed at CorrDefense.org, the Web site houses key corrosion databases, member and working group forums, policy documents, podcasts and videos aimed at program managers and engineers, and CorrDefense e-magazine.

Whereas CorrDefense remains DoD’s established repository for corrosion-related resources, it is largely preferred by government personnel. In order to comply with a congressional mandate to coordinate its corrosion training with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and interact effectively with industry, agencies, associations, and educational institutions, the Corrosion Office has begun testing a new Web site called CorrConnect. Developed by Game Services Group, Inc. (GSGI) of Sunnyvale, California, for the Corrosion Office, CorrConnect is envisioned as a portal allowing the DoD corrosion community to reach out to industry, offering easy student access to courses and tutorials in basic and advanced corrosion, cathodic protection, coatings and coating inspection, and other sub-specialties of corrosion science.

According to a lesson inside CorrConnect's "Courses" section, galvanic corrosion, as its name implies, is corrosion due to the galvanic action between two or more dissimilar metals or electrically conductive nonmetals. This is one of the more common forms of corrosion in complex components because of the wide use of dissimilar metals in the design and manufacture of equipment and structure.

“We have a mandate to reach out to industry and academic institutions, and the CorrConnect portal gives us a way to do this,” said Daniel J. Dunmire, director of the DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office.

CorrConnect, housed at www.corrconnect.org, is undergoing software testing as developers maximize its accessibility, content offerings, and functionality. “While it is true that government, industry, and academia have pushed for many years to perfect the art of learning in cyberspace, CorrConnect offers us the latest cloud-based technology so that all students seeking corrosion training have an equal advantage,” said Dunmire. “For training purposes, we are seeking to modernize our online training portal, and CorrConnect will give us this opportunity.”

“As we increase the number of DoD-sponsored corrosion courses that are accredited by the Defense Acquisition University for government use, we are aiming to improve the accessibility of these courses online,” said Dunmire. “CorrConnect has the ability to provide quick access and ease of navigation our online users within DoD and industry, and it allows us to make instant changes to course content, if necessary.”

“We believe that CorrConnect is one of the first cloud-based projects executed for the Department of Defense that uses commercially available, off-the-shelf technology,” noted Isabel Manalac, vice president of GSGI. CorrConnect is also bolstered by a corrosion simulation application called CorrSim, which is available on the Web and Facebook, she explained. “CorrSim demonstrates the scalability that cloud-computing gives us in terms of being able to support thousands of users.”

CorrConnect is organized according to various general tabs or button links that refer to services or products created for the public, DoD acquisition workforce, and users developing products for the Corrosion Office. These organizational tabs include News, Courses, Videos, CPO (Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office), Akron (referring to DoD-sponsored corrosion projects handled by the University of Akron), Simulations & Tools, and Community.

The Corrosion Comprehension Portraying Polymers module, starring LeVar Burton.
One of the subtitled video modules inside CorrConnect's "Videos" section is called Corrosion Comprehension Portraying Polymers, starring LeVar Burton. Each chapter can be unlocked as the student takes the concluding quiz.

Corrosion Courses and Tutorials

Several courses will be available to industry users on CorrConnect by August 1, 2011. They include the DAU-accredited Corrosion Learning Module (CLM) 038 Corrosion Prevention and Control Overview; Cathodic Protection (CP) 01 Inspect and Protect; Cathodic Protection (CP) 02 Maintain and Protect; and Coatings 1. Military engineers and program managers will eventually be able to access a series of modules on CorrConnect that is comparable to college-level engineering courses in materials science and corrosion prevention. The Corrosion Office will be securing DAU accreditation for each of these courses to meet the needs of defense acquisition learners.

Each course found on CorrConnect will offer a mix of text, videos, and games in order to maximize the potential for interaction. Certain courses will offer a final exam to help students gauge their comprehension of material. CorrConnect will eventually house the Analysis of Alternatives for Hexavalent Chromium VI and other Analysis of Alternatives tools designed for acquisition program managers and engineers.

CorrConnect’s video library features a variety of tutorials about corrosion, some of which are currently housed at CorrDefense.org. The new library at CorrConnect.org will offer users a fast, seamless, and error-free experience viewing or downloading the following videos and tutorials: Corrosion Comprehension: Combating the Pervasive Menace; Corrosion Comprehension: Portraying Polymers; Corrosion Comprehension: Specifically Ceramics; and Intro to Specifications, Standards, and Qualification Process. “The videos are organized into chapter modules, each of which includes quizzes for comprehension evaluation.”

“Each video tutorial has a different user interface, which allows us to distinguish each one from the others,” Dunmire explained. “For example, Corrosion Comprehension: Portraying Polymers will comply with Defense Acquisition University requirements.”

News and Information-Sharing

In addition to serving as DoD’s leading source of virtual corrosion training, CorrConnect is being configured as an up-to-the-minute news source and medium for information-sharing. “To provide our users with daily corrosion news updates, we are changing the way the news is viewed on CorrConnect,” said Dunmire. “In an upcoming redesign of the Web site the news section will appear on the home page, and featured articles will be shown prominently in the middle. At the same time, the news will also be viewable on the left-hand side when users are searching other pages.”

The Simulations & Tools section currently features a corrosion simulation game called CorrSim created for the Facebook platform. CorrSim is now undergoing beta-testing and can be played via the Web site. “GSGI will be adding new simulations and tools in the future,” said Dunmire.

A scene from the Tutorial of CorrSim.
Scenes from the CorrSim tutorial can be played on CorrConnect and are also available as a Facebook application.

Experts within the DoD community will be able to stay current on corrosion-related policy, technology, and research by accessing reports, articles, and videos under the CPO Office tab. “The CPO page is a good way to keep track of the latest activities of the CPO office,” Dunmire said. The Community section will allow CorrConnect members to post comments and suggestions about each product, while also allowing for member interaction and chatting.

“Whereas the Community section promotes news-sharing and dissemination, it also supplements the needs of our course administrators,” Dunmire noted. “Administrators are free to modify content according to student feedback. In addition, each course has its own topic in the forum and is linked to the specific course page.”

The Akron section of CorrConnect contains materials that GSGI is currently developing for the DoD Corrosion Office in partnership with the University of Akron, which will receive DoD funding in fiscal year 2011 to continue its development of the National Center for Education and Research in Corrosion and Materials Performance. The National Center is committed to supporting UA’s corrosion engineering undergraduate program, as well as corrosion research and training programs and activities dedicated to cultivating the next generation of experts within DoD and industry in corrosion and related fields, Dunmire explained.

Finally, CorrConnect’s calendar section provides members with a monthly reminder of the corrosion events and seminars that will take place during that month.

Since 2005 the DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office has benefited from expert support committees representing all military services, NASA, and the Coast Guard. These committees, known as WIPTs (working integrated product teams), have partnered with industry to realize DoD’s mission to expand corrosion prevention and control training to scientists, researchers, engineers, and technicians who preserve and maintain military weapon systems and facilities.

“The Training WIPT is at the forefront of our effort to design, launch, and test CorrConnect this year,” Dunmire said.

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