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Software And Hardware For Web Based Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Web Education II: Hardware/Examples

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1103.1 - 9.1103.10

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Paper Authors

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Carl Steidley

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Rafic Bachnak

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

Session 3120

Software and Hardware for Web-based Education

Carl Steidley and Rafic Bachnak Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi


Institutions of higher education are actively seeking new methods to complement their science and engineering distance education programs with online experimentation. This paper describes the design and development of a virtual laboratory environment that allows students to perform laboratory experiments from remote locations through a web browser. A front panel in LabVIEW displays the results and allows storage of acquired data for later processing. A digital camera that provides real-time pictures of the monitored equipment is part of the system configuration.


Laboratory experiments in science and engineering courses play a significant role in supporting the learning process. With the increased demand for distance education, however, institutions are looking for methods that offer their students the opportunity to perform experiments through virtual laboratories [1, 4]. As a result, a number of web- based systems that rely on a variety of software development programs have been developed. Most software programs, however, make developing, maintaining, and upgrading laboratory experiments very expensive and a time consuming process.

A distance laboratory system has to provide efficient user operations, machine and platform independence, secure operations, graphical user interface capabilities, high processing bandwidth, and low cost maintenance. These factors and others have been affecting the implementation of distance education [5-7]. The ability to monitor and control processes from remote locations makes proper and timely analysis possible. Advances in networking technologies and development of measurement hardware and software has turned PCs into platforms capable of continuous remote monitoring using the Internet. A software program that facilitates the developments of such applications is LabVIEW [8-10]. LabVIEW allows embedding a user on a web page with access to the system. Access can be granted using security features available through the software. Features such as password protection can prevent private information from being viewed by the general public. This paper describes the design and implementation of a virtual laboratory that enables engineering technology students at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi (A&M-CC) to perform laboratory experiments online using a web browser. The system uses LabVIEW to provide data acquisition, storage, and processing capabilities and real-time viewing of the laboratory environment using a digital camera.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Steidley, C., & Bachnak, R. (2004, June), Software And Hardware For Web Based Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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