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On Objectives of Instructional Laboratories, Individual Assessment, and Use of Collaborative Remote Laboratories

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12 Author(s)
Gustavsson, I. ; ING-AET, Blekinge Inst. of Technol., Ronneby, Sweden ; Nilsson, K. ; Zackrisson, J. ; Garcia-Zubia, J.
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Three key issues should be addressed to enable universities to deliver engineers who have a solid documented laboratory experience enabling them to design goods and services complying with the requirements of a sustainable society. First, introduce learning objectives of engineering instructional laboratories in courses including laboratory components. Second, implement individual student assessment. Third, introduce free access to online experimental resources as a supplement to the equipment in traditional laboratories. Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Sweden and the University of South Australia (UniSA) have created online laboratory workbenches for electrical experiments that mimic traditional ones by combining virtual and physical reality. Online workbenches not only supplement traditional ones, but they can also be used for low-cost individual assessment. BTH has started a project disseminating the BTH workbench concept, The Virtual Instrument Systems in Reality (VISIR) Open Laboratory Platform, and invites other universities to set up replicas and participate in further development and standardization. Further, online workbenches offer additional learning possibilities. UniSA has started a project where students located in different countries can perform experiments together as a way to enhance the participants' intercultural competence. This paper discusses online laboratory workbenches and their role in an engineering education appropriate for a sustainable society.

Published in:

Learning Technologies, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Oct.-Dec. 2009

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