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A Framework For Developing A Cohesive Set Of Remote Laboratories For Distributed Distance Learning Settings

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Experiments in Remote-access Laboratories

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.29.1 - 14.29.17



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Paper Authors


Andrew Hyder Georgia Institute of Technology

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Andrew Hyder Is working on his Mechanical Engineering masters in design at Georgia Tech. He is interested in working with engineering education and how to better distance learning practices for universities and companies. While getting his bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering at Western Michigan University, he became involved in ASEE, Tau Beta Pi, ASME and various other organizations which he is still involved in today.

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Brian Post Georgia Institute of Technology

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Brian Post holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and is currently a 2nd year mechanical engineering graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the field of robotics and controls. As a member of the Intelligent Machine Dynamics Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Wayne J. Book, his current research focuses on the improvement of control algorithms for flexible robotic manipulators. Brian's interest in engineering education has translated into a STEP Fellowship where he teaches College Prep. Physics, Conceptual Physics, and Engineering Drawing and Design weekly at Marietta High School in Marietta, GA, where he also mentors the Marietta High School Engineering Club.

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Dirk Schaefer Georgia Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Framework for Developing a Cohesive Set of Remote Laboratories for Distributed Distance Learning Settings

Abstract The use of distance learning technology in distributed educational environments has allowed engineering courses to be delivered to locations and populations that have historically not been afforded opportunities for involvement. However, efforts to incorporate distance-learning principles into physical laboratory exercises have not yet led to a general mechanism or procedure for performing physical labs remotely. The opportunity to be able to fully cover physical laboratory exercises in distance learning setting would not only significantly enhance the student learning experience, it would also enable less privileged educational institutions to offer programs to a much broader target group of potential students who under no circumstances are able to travel and attend on-site sessions. In this paper, the authors present an overview of the field of remote or tele-operated physical laboratories how they can be implemented through today’s technologies. Templates for developing a cohesive set of remote laboratories are identified along with Nemours IT considerations. In addition to the requirements related to technology, educational impacts are addressed. An example of a Control Systems experiment is then presented as an example of a functioning remote laboratory.

1. Introduction The engineering students of yesterday have permanently changed the way we presently live and work with technology. It is essential that we take full advantage of their contributions in order to prepare the minds of the future. Advancements in telecommunication practices have made learning from remote locations viable, thereby granting access to information to people who would not otherwise have the privilege [1]. Distance learning has been implemented for decades and proven to be a viable alternative to traditional learning practices [2]. It works well for classes where predefined information is transferred from instructor to student, for example, history or basic math. A major bottleneck occurs when a student must obtain his or her own data through an experiment or laboratory work. It is important for a student to get hands-on learning to prepare them for a future in industry [3]. There is currently no system in place that allows a remote user to have the same experience as a student who is physically able to participate in an experiment. This hands on interaction is how participants develop essential problem solving skills. Many individual remote laboratory experiments have been created, but there has been little development on substituting an entire semester of labs [4]. A cohesive set of remote laboratory experiments needs to be created. This will provide justification for the implementation and validation of remote laboratories as an alternative to traditional practices. Successful setups give evidence to the practicality of remote laboratories and could help build consensus that they are a firm way to conform to Globalization 3.0, an era in which individuals collaborate and compete on a global level [5]. In this paper the authors discuss “templates” and associated implementation procedures that could assist in the creation of a semesters worth of remote laboratory experiments as usually offered in typical engineering laboratory courses. These templates should be viewed as a starting point, providing enough

Hyder, A., & Post, B., & Schaefer, D. (2009, June), A Framework For Developing A Cohesive Set Of Remote Laboratories For Distributed Distance Learning Settings Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5360

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015