June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
26.96.1 - 26.96.7
A Remote Access Laboratory for Fluids Education in Mechanical Engineering The purpose of this research was to develop a teaching module specifically for distanceeducation that would strengthen student understanding of flow through a venturi. An experimentwith web based control of and data acquisition from a model venturi nozzle was developed andimplemented into junior level engineering classes. The intended use was for distance educationby both instructors and students at satellite campuses. Instructors of lecture courses can use theexperiment to bring demonstrations of real devices and active learning assignments intoclassrooms remote from laboratory facilities. The method employed in the research depended onthe integration of the remote venturi nozzle experiment into two classes and assessment oflearning outcomes via Pre and Post Testing and student survey. The web-based venturi nozzleexperiment was implemented first in a junior level fluid mechanics course, as an active learningexercise concerning Bernoulli’s equation. In this class the instructor ran the web-basedexperiment. A pre assessment quiz was given to students after a lecture on Bernoulli’s equationbut before running the online experiment. A post assessment quiz followed the active learningsession with the remote lab. The experiment was then used in a junior level laboratory course, inwhich a small group of students ran the web-based experiment themselves. A survey was usedto assess the outcome of the experiment by the pilot group. Two major conclusions can be drawnfrom the implementation of the web-based lab. First, the pre and post test indicated that studentsshowed significant improvement in conceptual understanding after exposure to the web-basedlab in the junior fluid mechanics course. Second, the student survey indicated that only minoroperational changes were needed for students to successfully operate the web-based lab. The labis now being operated remotely by students at a satellite campus as part of their juniorinstrumentation course. Assessment of learning outcomes achieved by remote users compared tohands-on users is performed through analysis of laboratory reports.
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