Charlotte, North Carolina
June 20, 1999
June 20, 1999
June 23, 1999
4.389.1 - 4.389.10
Motivations for a Distributed Virtual Laboratory for Continuous Manufacturing Education and Training
Gary Rafe, Kim LaScola Needy, Bopaya Bidanda University of Pittburgh
Abstract This paper presents motivations for and potential beneﬁts of a distributed virtual laboratory for manufacturing education. The distributed virtual laboratory we describe here integrates a contemporary computer-based training delivery system with emerging open information systems, simulation, and visualization methods to form a distributed, architecture-independent, interactive experiential learning environment. We discuss our virtual laboratory concept in the context of recent developments in Internet-based distance learning by engineering educators, and describe a case-study in which the virtual laboratory is used to present a short-course for a Pittsburgh-area industrial engineering ﬁrm. We conclude by discussing an information system framework for our implementation of the virtual laboratory.
Introduction The virtual manufacturing laboratory proposed here integrates a contemporary computer-based training delivery environment with emerging information systems, simulation, and visualization methods to form a distributed, architecture-independent, interactive experiential learning environment. We expect that implementations of a distributed virtual manufacturing laboratory may be used by various agencies to provide continuous training and education in value-adding, manufacturing-related domains. In the next sections, we review background issues that motivate this research.
Background In its report on information technology for manufacturing, the National Research Council’s Committee to Study Information Technology and Manufacturing called for a wide ranging research agenda that included investigations into tools and techniques to help enterprises and individuals understand and manage the rapid changes they are expected to face.1 The committee identiﬁed the need for better means of educational delivery to facilitate the renewal and currency of employee knowledge in manufacturing enterprises. They suggested that intelligent tutoring systems, long-distance learning systems, and multimedia experiential learning tools might be appropriate mechanisms for delivering “just-in-time learning” to the manufacturing domain. The committee concluded that multimedia and virtual reality technologies offer promise for “providing a ﬂexible, socially acceptable, and nonthreatening interface for educational and skill-building programs.” A wide range of communication technologies have been used by education and training providers since the early 1960s to deliver continuing education and degree programs to engineering professionals at or near their workplaces. The technological constraints of traditional delivery methods limited these offerings to seminar and lecture-based courses. The lack of signiﬁcant “hands-on” laboratory experiences in the vast majority of distance learning- based engineering programs has been cited as a potential factor in negative reaction of students
Bidanda, B., & Needy, K. L., & RAFE, G. (1999, June), Motivations For A Distributed Virtual Laboratory For Continuous Manufacturing Education And Training Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. https://peer.asee.org/8139
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