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E Learning Environmental Design Of A Distributed Online Laboratory For Optical Circuits Courses

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Unique Laboratory Experiments & Programs Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.496.1 - 10.496.6



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Paper Authors

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Randal Direen

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Frank Barnes

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Edward McKenna

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Driss Benhaddou

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Deniz Gurkan

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Alan Mickelson

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

E-learning Environmental Design of a Distributed Online Laboratory for Optical Circuits Courses

Edward McKenna*, Randal Direen*, Frank Barnes*, Deniz Gurkan, Alan Mickelson*, and Driss Benhaddou

University of Houston/*University of Colorado

I. Introduction E-learning offers students access to tools and course materials over the internet. By distributing tools and materials in this fashion, students isolated from the university environment can still work toward University degrees in most fields offered. Courses that include a laboratory component have traditionally required students to be on-site. This is primarily due to the need for laboratory resources to be in a centralized location for both practical and safety reasons. This fact has hampered the freedom of non traditional (off campus) students to achieve their educational goals. The web adaptations of software packages such as LabView allow control of experiments over the internet. Remote laboratories then become possible.

Online education has been gaining momentum for many years, in great degree due to the industrial need for training [1]. Broadband access, which provides high bandwidth access to the Internet, is beginning to have an effect on the content of such materials [2], [3]. There seems to be consensus that video streaming is preferable to simply static placement of material on a website. The efficacy of live streaming (large scale teleconferencing) versus asynchronously accessible streamed video on learning seems to be an open question. Although evidence presented in [2] is anecdotal, there are arguments for posting streaming pre–recorded video whose playback can be controlled by the viewing learner. There is added content in live streamed video with real time feedback when compared with a stored video presentation, even when the stored version has a playback control. But it is not hard to imagine that highly motivated students may respond more positively to controllably streamed materials available at their convenience than to a teleconference which must take place at a fixed time.

The National Instruments website [4] mentions one remote laboratory effort among three Labview related classroom efforts that National Instruments deems noteworthy. The laboratory was an optics related one demonstrated at Stanford for the first time in 1998 [5]. There seem to be no peer reviewed publications related to this demonstration, and, although there was a company involved in commercializing the materials, the website of the company contains no further information on the distance learning materials beyond that in the National Instruments brochure and the internal Stanford document. A group of researchers from Norway and the United States published results of a joint effort to implement electrical Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Direen, R., & Barnes, F., & McKenna, E., & Benhaddou, D., & Gurkan, D., & Mickelson, A. (2005, June), E Learning Environmental Design Of A Distributed Online Laboratory For Optical Circuits Courses Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15476

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