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A Remote Laboratory For Collaborative Experiments

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education II

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

14.98.1 - 14.98.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5207

Download Count

23

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Paper Authors

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Jan Machotka University of South Australia

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Zorica Nedic University of South Australia

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Zorica Nedic received her BE degree in electrical engineering, specialising in electronics, in 1984 from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. She obtained her ME in electrical engineering in 1997 from the University of South Australia (UniSA), Adelaide, Australia. She worked for six years as a research and design engineer at the Institute Mihajilo Pupin in Belgrade, Serbia before migrating to Australia in 1991. Currently she holds a senior lecturer position in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at UniSA. Her research interests include engineering education, remote laboratories and modelling biological vision.

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Andrew Nafalski University of South Australia

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Ozdemir Gol University of South Australia

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

A Remote Laboratory for Collaborative Experiments

Abstract

Laboratory experiments are a fundamental and integral part of science and engineering education. In addition to reinforcing the theoretical concepts learnt, they also allow students to gain and develop vital skills associated with collaboration and communication. We have developed and implemented a remote laboratory at the University of South Australia (UniSA). One particular criterion in our case has been for the remote laboratory to facilitate student collaboration. It is currently used by both domestic and transnational students who collaborate in conducting joint experiments.

To evaluate the remote laboratory and its effectiveness in achieving the learning outcomes, domestic students in the Signals and System course were divided into 3 groups to conduct an identical experiment. The first group was asked to conduct the experiment in the actual laboratory. The second group was directed to conduct it using the remote laboratory. Students in the third group were given the choice to conduct experiment either in the actual laboratory or via the Internet in the remote laboratory or both. All students were asked to answer a short survey about their collaboration before, during and after the experiment. The student performance, activities and responses are discussed in this paper.

Introduction

Laboratory experiments are a fundamental and integral part of science and engineering education. In addition to reinforcing the theoretical concepts learnt, they allow students to gain and develop vital skills associated with collaboration and communication. However, despite this, real laboratory experiments have been increasingly complemented or replaced by simulation (on- or off-line) and remote laboratories (RL). The primary reasons for this development must be seen in the reduced numbers of technical staff to provide laboratory supervision, the high cost of multiple sets of laboratory equipment, occupational health and safety regulations as well as time constraints. Comparative studies have been conducted on advantages and disadvantages of the three different types of laboratories, i.e. real, virtual and remote1, 2. It has been investigated and documented that remote laboratories, if designed and implemented properly, secure similar, if not better, learning outcomes of the students – as compared with real laboratories 3.

Remote laboratories allow experiments to be conducted on real laboratory equipment remotely via the Internet without time or location limitations. We have developed and implemented such a remote laboratory at the UniSA. This laboratory has been subject to continuing refinements and improvements via a number of sources, in particular through student user feedback. One particular criterion in our case has been for the remote laboratory to facilitate student collaboration. It is currently used by both domestic and transnational students, who collaborate in conducting joint experiments. Remote laboratories, which started their development about two decades ago, are currently seen as the humble beginning of the future global systems. They can be considered as a good structured and teaching environment for developing skills required for the efficient collaboration and communication on the local and global scale. In 2007 there were

Machotka, J., & Nedic, Z., & Nafalski, A., & Gol, O. (2009, June), A Remote Laboratory For Collaborative Experiments Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5207

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