June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.30.1 - 12.30.10
A Database and User Interface Design for a Remote Accessible Engineering Laboratory
Xiaoxi Martin, Brant Price, James Zhang, Duane Dunlap, Robert Adams
Kimmel School of Construction Management, Engineering and Technology Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723
In an effort to further improve learning effectiveness and flexibility for engineering and technology students, Kimmel School graduate students are implementing a remotely accessible engineering laboratory based on previous research results , . Designing a remote-accessed engineering laboratory can eliminate the unnecessary need for transportation of laboratory equipment, reduce the cost of software licensing, and provide flexible scheduling for student laboratory exercises.
The overall project involves four major components: remotely controllable lab equipment, information transfer over the networks, student knowledge assessment tools, and a relational database and user interface design. Our paper focuses on the design and educational values of a relational database and user interface.
Through the use of teleconferencing, a relational database and user interface can be used to link two or more sites together for instruction . For operations such as distance learning, a relational database and user interface is critical for effective communication. Communications infrastructures, such as the internet, could be utilized to fit the project’s application. In the future, remote learning technologies will be highly utilized and much more complex . The internet and wireless networks are advancing technologies for the electronics information industry . The web offers a cost effective, accessible and reliable communications medium . Consequently, the technology could have more advanced functionality, satisfying the requirements of a distance learning project. The use of the internet has allowed remote education to excel to a new level of quality . By adding laboratory experimentation to remote education, the experience can be greatly improved . Remote laboratory experimentation allows flexible laboratory time. If a student is separated from an instructor by either space or time, the student can participate in a course on-line .
Figure 1 shows a system block diagram of the project. Database development is essential to the success of this project. Two databases were designed in this project using MySQL Front, an open-source product. The first database stores data for the pre-lab exercises and tutorials that help fulfill the students’ learning objectives. This database also consists of several fields that will contain the student scores from the pre-lab exercises for assessment purposes. The second database contains the student information, which includes student name, student ID, lab number, and the time elapsed for conducting a laboratory experiment. This information will be used to provide statistical data to assess the students’ learning effectiveness over time. Proceedings of the 2007 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright®2007, American Society for Engineering Education
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