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Technologies For The Development Of Virtual And Remote Laboratories: A Case Study

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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

Distance and Web-Based Learning in ET: Remote and Virtual Laboratories

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1168.1 - 14.1168.11



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Paper Authors

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Xuemin Chen Texas Southern University

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Lei Jiang Donghua University

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Darayan Shahryar Texas Southern University

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Lawrence Kehinde Texas Southern University

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David Olowokere Texas Southern University

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

Technologies for Development of Virtual and Remote Laboratories – A Case Study


With the rapid development of computer and Internet technologies, the virtual and remote laboratories have become an important part of the educational process. To develop interactive virtual and remote laboratories (VR-Lab) for Engineering and Technology education, several tools are available. The most popular are LabVIEW, Java applet and Flash. In this paper, case studies are presented for the development of VR-Lab with LabVIEW, Java applet and Flash. The client software requirements comparison is drawn from virtual and remote laboratories development practices.


From the earliest days of engineering education, hands-on laboratories have been an essential part of undergraduate engineering programs1. Concepts taught through lectures are often complemented with hands-on experimentations. Hands-on experiments help students to understand the backbone of science and engineering by observing dynamic phenomena, testing hypotheses, learning from their mistakes, and reaching their own conclusions.

With the rapid development of computer and Internet technologies, computer and Internet based learning has become an important part of education. The Sloan Survey of Online Learning, “Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States, 2008”, shows that over 3.9 million students were taking at least one online course during the 2007 Fall term; a 12 percent increase over the number reported the previous year2.

Providing theoretical educational materials online is a relatively simple task, where several multimedia tools and editors such as Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), and Extensible Markup Language (XML) are available which can be used to create courseware3, 4. Developing educational visualization and simulation environments online are harder, but they are worth the effort because they support self-driven learning5. With the ever-increasing pace of technology renewal, it becomes simpler to place ‘‘real’’ laboratory learning environments online. New technologies allow students to conduct the laboratory simulation, the automated data acquisition and the remote control of instruments, all online. Currently, there are two approaches to conducting laboratories online, namely the Virtual and Remote laboratories.

Virtual laboratory is based on software such as National Instruments’ Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench (LabVIEW), Java applet, Flash or other software to simulate the lab environment. A frequency modulation virtual laboratory6 was developed using Java and LabVIEW. Additionally, a virtual microscopy was developed with Flash at University of Delaware7.

Chen, X., & Jiang, L., & Shahryar, D., & Kehinde, L., & Olowokere, D. (2009, June), Technologies For The Development Of Virtual And Remote Laboratories: A Case Study Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5307

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