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Simulation Based Virtual And Hybrid Laboratories For Telecommunications Education

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education II

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1061.1 - 14.1061.29



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Paper Authors

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Yakov Cherner ATeL, LLC

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Ahmed Khan DeVry University Orcid 16x16


Amin Karim DeVry University

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AMIN KARIM is the Director of Academic Outreach at DeVry University. He is the former director of the school of technology at DeVry. Before joining DeVry in 1991, he has worked in industry, as a college faculty and an administrator in engineering technology.

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Gary Mullett Springfield Technical Community College

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

Simulation-based Virtual and Hybrid Laboratories for Telecommunications Education


A combination of traditional hands-on labs representing real-world scenarios and virtual activities helps students better understand technical concepts and fundamental principles, underlying design and operation of telecommunications systems and devices, while acquiring practical skills. Realistic simulations visualize processes occurring in the devices and enable students to observe the physical processes at different levels, analyze constraints between physical parameters, compare actual and virtual data, and much more.

The presented virtual labs contain expandable sets of virtual experiments (VE), learning resources and assessment activities. Each VE focuses on a particular task and is comprised of such components as highly interactive main and auxiliary Java and Flash-based simulations, specific learning objectives, experiment description, step-by-step instructions for students, worksheets, embedded assessments, technical manuals, built-in lessons to facilitate “just-in-time (JIT)” learning, and other resources. An easy-to-use authoring tool that enables instructors with no programming or scripting experience to produce effective and pedagogically sound interactive virtual activities is also available.

Hybrid virtual and hands-on activities enable students to learn with deep understanding and discover the connections between scientific theory and its practical applications in technology. This enhances the transferability of acquired knowledge and skills beyond the classroom to solve the real world engineering problems.

I. Introduction

An Engineer, according to the definition approved by the IEEE-USA Board of Directors [1], is a person qualified to practice engineering by reason of special knowledge and use of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences, and the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, acquired by engineering education and engineering experience. To succeed in the current and future workplace, a good engineer has to possess, in addition to communication and leadership abilities, a sound combination of several professional skill sets which include: (1) solid knowledge of relevant fundamental science concepts and laws, (2) deep appreciation of engineering and technical nuts and bolts of device structures and operational principles, as well as (3) good observation skills and hands-on experience. All these skills and knowledge-base have to be interlinked and blended to reinforce each other. This makes hybrid laboratories, which facilitate hands-on experimentation, computer simulations and modeling, mandatory components of a contemporary engineering education environment.

Hands-on experiments and labs are traditionally used for reinforcing theoretical concepts discussed in engineering courses and for acquiring essential laboratory and industry-specific skills. They engage students in tactile and physical activities, like those a practicing engineer or technician faces in the workplace, and help students develop basic first-hand understanding, as well as a shared language and conceptual vocabulary adequate to explain phenomena observed.

Cherner, Y., & Khan, A., & Karim, A., & Mullett, G. (2009, June), Simulation Based Virtual And Hybrid Laboratories For Telecommunications Education Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5721

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