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Blended Design and Project Based Learning: a future for engineering education
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Tuesday, December 8 • 1:45pm - 2:00pm
| 5D | Educational Utilities of Virtual Laboratories for Engineering Education

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The widespread availability of the Internet has led to a dramatic increase in the development of on-line learning resources for university-level education. On-line learning materials are used both to provide additional learning support for on-campus students and to allow a broader range of activities and participation models for distance education students.

For university-level engineering courses, laboratories are seen as an integral component of student learning. There has been significant recent interest in the provision of virtual engineering laboratories, either via remote Internet access to physical laboratories or through simulated laboratories, and considerable debate about the advantages and disadvantages of virtual laboratories versus physical laboratories.

The evaluation literature is very subjective in this area of virtual laboratories – individual authors tend to argue their own point of view which depends on whether they are looking to promote or refute the use of virtual laboratories. In their review, Ma and Nickerson (2006) state “The debate over different technologies is confounded by the use of different educational objectives as criteria for judging the laboratories: Hands-on advocates emphasize design skills, while remote lab advocates focus on conceptual understanding.”

The best attempt to formulate a consolidated set of learning objectives for laboratories was based on a workshop organized on behalf of ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, in the USA) in 2002 (Feisel and Rosa, 2005). The workshop proposed 13 objectives in the areas of Instrumentation, Models, Experiment, Data Analysis, Design, Learning from failure, Creativity, Psychomotor Skills, Safety, Communication, Teamwork, Ethics, and Sensory Awareness.


Tuesday December 8, 2015 1:45pm - 2:00pm
Bells Room RACV Torquay map C5

Attendees (3)