San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.447.1 - 25.447.15
Development and Implementation of i-Laboratory for Instrumentation, Sensors, Measurements and Controls CoursesInformation and communication technologies have had a significant impact on engineeringeducation, by notably improving the online, distance, and collaborative learning, and by enablingthe use of the virtual experiments and simulations. Virtual laboratories represent a keyeducational value to engineering curricula in a variety of cases, whether as a complement to ahands-on experience or a substitute when a traditional lab is not feasible.One of the distinguishing features of engineering technology education is the integration oflaboratory work and hands-on experience, bringing the students closer to real situationsencountered in the industry. Measurements, sensors, and instrumentation are among theimportant concepts that students learn in the course of engineering programs. Laboratoryassignments illustrating these techniques provide students with both learning opportunities andpractical experimental experience, encouraging both sustained student interest and retention.Virtual and remote-controlled experiments are originated from the attractive opportunity ofexploiting the Internet advantages to control instrumentation and hence conduct measurementprocesses from any location and at any time. Their attractiveness is enhanced also by thefinancial aspects involved in the development of laboratory activities (i.e. space, staff, etc.).This project provides for much more efficient sharing of expensive measurement equipment. Weare planning to develop a set of virtual and remote-controlled measurement experiments, such as:transducer electronic data sheet creation and testing, mechanical material characteristics,acceleration and speed measurements, temperature sensor characterization, etc. Students willconduct the experiments from any computer on their own schedule. In contrast to a traditionallab that requires multiple workstations to be placed in a physical space and attended by trainedstaff, newly developed “i-Lab” will provide the use of a workstation simultaneously to severalstudents. This enables students to gain laboratory experiences at a relatively low cost per user.Other important features of our remote and virtual lab are: availability, security, flexibility, andportability. Our planned i-Lab may be used on a wide variety of other courses with minimaladministrative cost to perform real measurements, sensor tests and calibrations. Two strategiesare used in our design and implementation: the use of proprietary languages like LabVIEW andMATLAB-Simulink and the use of standard programming languages. The success of this projectin an education research-oriented experimental facility will advance the state of art ofmeasurements, instrumentation, sensors and controls education by contributing to newexperimental concepts, algorithms, and simulations, by creating a motivating environment for theengineering practice, and by serving as models for similar educational developments. The “i-Lab” set-ups developed during this project are planned to be used in both ET undergraduate andgraduate courses. Moreover, the findings and lessons learned in this project can be used asmodels for the similar developments in other courses. The usefulness of this project is and willbe evaluated by direct observation and formative assessment, while the feedback from othereducators is highly appreciated.
Belu, R. G., & Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N. (2012, June), Development and Implementation of i-Laboratory for Instrumentation, Sensors, Measurements, and Controls Courses Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21205
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: © 2012 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