June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.426.1 - 13.426.12
Development of an Operational Amplifier Virtual Laboratory based on iLab Architecture and NI ELVIS
Abstract We have developed and deployed ‘OpAmp Lab’, a pedagogic operational amplifier virtual laboratory based on the MIT iLab architecture. The architecture is a three-tier architecture that abstracts the various parts of a remote laboratory system into different functional domains. This architecture makes the new virtual Lab experiments scalable and reduces the development and deployment time of new experiments through component reuse.
OpAmp Lab uses the National Instrument ELVIS hardware platform for experimental set-up. Basic Op-amp circuits are realized through reconfigurable Dozen Impedance Op-amp configuration mounted on a multimode switch array. The front end or Client is implemented as a Winform Client, written in C# and uses connectible nodes as a metaphor for back-end hardware configuration. Strong emphasis is placed on the realism of the user interface, as we argue, the user interface is the most important determinant of the quality of a user’s educational experience.
We discuss the various components of OpAmp Lab and the lessons learnt in the development of the system as well as the development of pedagogical experiments developed for it. OpAmp Lab has been in use at Obafemi Awolowo University, NIGERIA for the last two years. Faculty and students response has been strongly positive. We provide data showing that the Lab offers a viable means of augmenting the laboratory component of electrical engineering curricula in developing countries.
Keywords: OpAmp Lab, Virtual Laboratory, iLab
Virtual Laboratories (VLs) are spatially or temporally dispersed systems that allow students to carry out activities aimed at achieving the same goals as traditional laboratory experimentation. When utilized for Science and Engineering education, VLs allow students to have round-the- clock access to remote laboratory equipment to realize the experimentation component of their curricula. The advantages of VL used in this way have been noted in the past but arguably the most important of these to institutions in the Third World is the fact that VLs are scalable1, allowing a single set of equipments to be used by multiple institutions and laboratories to be scaled easily to handle an increasing number of users. This scalability is of critical importance in Nigeria, where severe underfunding of education means that even the most basic equipment could sometimes be beyond the budgets of educational institutions. VLs then offer a viable way for an institution to expose its students to far more laboratory experiment by sharing resources and equipments of other local or foreign institutions.
The role that VLs can play in addressing the weak experimentation component of education in developing countries has only recently become a research problem of interest. Consequently,
Ayodele, K. P., & Jonah, O., & Ilori, O., & ajayi, E., & Osasona, O. O. (2008, June), Development Of An Operational Amplifier Virtual Laboratory Based On Ilab Architecture And Ni Elvis Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3674
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