Asee peer logo

Distance Learning Of Engineering Courses With Web Based Real Experimental Experience

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Virtual & Distance Experiments

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.443.1 - 8.443.11

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Zhixue Wang

author page

Guangpi Lai

author page

Feiyue Wang

author page

A. Terry Bahill

author page

Jeff Goldberg

Download Paper |

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

Session 2426

Distance Learning of Engineering Courses with Web-based Real Experimental Experience

Fei-Yue Wang 1, 2, Guangpi Lai 1, 2, Frank Wu 1, 2, Jeff Goldberg 1, A. Terry Bahill 1, and Haijun Gao 2 1 Systems and Industrial Engineering Department, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA 2 Lab for Complex Systems and Intelligence Science, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China


Distance learning has been greatly enhanced through the use of the Internet. In Arizona, a joint effort has been made by the three state universities to offer a Master of Engineering Degree primarily through Internet and video distance learning. However, engineering courses often use hands-on laboratory projects with actual physical systems as an integral part of the curriculum and learning process. It is difficult to include these labs in web-based instruction unless one uses simulations or virtual experiments. This paper presents the development of web-based lab projects with actual hardware for courses in linear systems and systems control. Students download control programs to the equipment. Sensor data and a streaming video of the ongoing equipment are transmitted back to the student. The approach allows a higher utilization of lab equipment, saves student travel time, and provides an effective tool for learning as students can debug programs based on visual and sensor information. This development has been jointly conducted in the University of Arizona's Web-based Audio Video Educational Systems (WAVES) Laboratory and the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Complex Systems and Intelligence Science Laboratory. The web site for the materials is: and the work has been supported by an NSF CRCD grant and an Outstanding Scientist Program grant from the State Planning and Development Commission of China. We focus on system architecture, programming environment, user interface, application and experience in course instruction.

1. Introduction

To address students' concerns in undergraduate education, the College of Engineering and Mines at the University of Arizona conducted a student/faculty survey in which students were asked to rank the importance of 12 issues in undergraduate education. The survey report has indicated that our students consider 1) “hands on” experiences with the application of engineering principles, 2) faculty who communicate course material effectively, and 3) the ability to relate studies to career preparation and future employment, as the three most important issues at the College. The clearly showed that students were not satisfied with the current situation at the College in terms of hand-on experiences and career preparation since

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Wang, Z., & Lai, G., & Wang, F., & Bahill, A. T., & Goldberg, J. (2003, June), Distance Learning Of Engineering Courses With Web Based Real Experimental Experience Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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: © 2003 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