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A Robust And Scalable Distance Laboratory Platform

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Virtual and Distance Experimentation

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.97.1 - 9.97.9



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Paper Authors

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Tom Eppes

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Pete Schuyler

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

Session 2426

A Robust and Scalable Distance Laboratory Platform Dr. Tom Eppes, Professor Peter Schuyler Ward School of Technology, University of Hartford


To bring greater attention to the areas of science, engineering and technology, the University of Hartford has merged its colleges of engineering and technology to form the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA). It has also launched the construction of a new building to house the integrated science, engineering and technology programs (ISET). We are actively pursuing initiatives that create a greater level of synergy between the programs and strengthen the college and deliver better-qualified graduates to the workforce.

In response, the authors designed and have begun implementation of an automated laboratory test environment (ALTE). Users of ALTE can develop and remotely execute a variety of laboratory experiments over the Internet. Execution of the experiment hardware is controlled by a lab station personal computer (PC) linked directly to the device under test (DUT). Users first login to a management server that provides authentication and ensures that time has been reserved. It then re-directs their browser to the appropriate lab station for the experiment they are about to run. The management server also stores experiment procedures needed by students to perform the lab.


To improve and innovate the way we reach our constituencies in higher education, many institutions have turned to distance education. Distance Education has manifested itself in a variety of ways within the forum of higher education. As technology has improved, a wide variety of delivery methodologies and pedagogues have emerged to deliver course material to students outside of the classroom. In the field of engineering and technology, we have faced significant hurdles in delivering laboratory content via a distance format. Providing a “hands on” laboratory experience for a student who is not on campus has been an ongoing challenge.

At the University of Hartford, Engineering and Technology programs have enjoyed a trend of sustained growth. Both graduate and undergraduate programs have experienced increasing enrollments, and as a result, this has severely limited “open-lab” availability. “Open- lab” has traditionally been a time when students can access the laboratories to finish lab assignments, makeup missed work, and get addition experience with the laboratory instrumentation. Our philosophy in creating ALTE was not to replace existing onsite laboratory experiences, but rather to supplement onsite laboratories with of a system to provide 24x7 access to the same laboratory experiments via the Internet. It is the aim of our system to allow users to

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Eppes, T., & Schuyler, P. (2004, June), A Robust And Scalable Distance Laboratory Platform Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14111

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