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Web Based Interactive Virtual Laboratories For Electrical Engineering And Manufacturing Education

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Laboratory Development in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1358.1 - 15.1358.30

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Paper Authors

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Yakov Cherner ATeL, LLC


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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Ahmed Khan DeVry University Orcid 16x16

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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

Web-based Interactive Virtual Laboratories for Electrical Engineering and Manufacturing Education Abstract

The paper presents a discussion on the characteristics and assessment of the incorporation of multilayered, highly interactive, simulation-based, integrated, and adjustable virtual laboratories for engineering and technology education in the areas of telecommunications and manufacturing. These labs are designed to enhance the understanding of technical concepts and underlying fundamental principles, as well as to help students master certain performance-based skills online. These virtual labs can be combined with related hands-on exercises to form hybrid laboratories to be delivered via either online or on-site teaching methodologies. Virtual labs contain expandable sets of virtual experiments (VE), as well as relevant learning resources and assessment activities. Each VE focuses on a particular task and comprises such components as highly interactive main and auxiliary Java or Flash simulations, specific learning objectives, an experiment description, step-by step instructions for students, a worksheet, built-in lessons and technical manuals to facilitate “just-in-time” learning, embedded assessments, and other resources. An easy-to-use tool that enables instructors with no-programming experience to produce appealing and pedagogically sound interactive virtual activities is available as well. An example of a multilayered virtual lab on optical sensors is shown in Figure 1. Presented materials have been developed with partial support from the NSF.

I. Introduction

Computer simulation plays an important role in engineering programs by providing a learning platform that provides an efficient and effective way of teaching complex and dynamic engineering systems. A simulation-based teaching environment enables students to acquire experience and evaluate their previous results.1

Phenomenal growth in a wide spectrum of new and emerging technologies has led to increased demand for engineering and engineering technology graduates who understand the fundamental principles behind contemporary state-of-the art technologies, but also exhibit analytical, problem solving, and expert thinking skills. To address these growing industry demands, new technological tools and teaching methodologies need to be incorporated into engineering and engineering technology curricula. However, incorporation and implementation of state-of-the-art technological tools and equipment require considerable time and financial resources. Keeping curricula and labs current with the rapid change of technology poses another challenge for faculty. Engineering and engineering technology professors can address some of these challenges by using simulation and virtual experiments.2 In addition to cost savings, simulation offers a number of other advantages, including the following:

Allowing the user to modify system parameters and observe the outcomes without any harmful side effects. Eliminating component or equipment faults that affect outcomes.

Cherner, Y., & Karim, A., & Khan, A., & Mullett, G. (2010, June), Web Based Interactive Virtual Laboratories For Electrical Engineering And Manufacturing Education Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky.

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