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With recent technological advances, electronic learning (e-learning) has been enabled to operate via the World Wide Web (WWW). Being an important education method, online virtual experiment systems have also been developed greatly over the last few years. These have been used to aid education in certain areas, e.g. control engineering and the understanding of physical phenomena. For the sake of aiding the education of undergraduates in an experimental engineering curriculum, we have developed the infrastructure of a virtual reality (VR) form of Web-based Virtual Laboratory (WBVL). Using this infrastructure, we have successfully implemented several virtual chemical and mechanical engineering experiments. With its four important features (3D, interactive, Web based and virtual), WBVL can make its users feel as if they are performing a real-world experiment. VRML is used to build the virtual 3D scene, and Script nodes, EAI (External Authoring Interface) and SDK (Software Development Kit) are used to extend VRML's interactive and computational abilities. Using a client/server model, WBVL has a well-defined system architecture. The set-up of WBVL is composed of a user's guide, laboratory experiments, online help and experiment reporting. The "combined model" is the most-used virtual experiment operation model of WBVL.
Info-tech and Info-net, 2001. Proceedings. ICII 2001 - Beijing. 2001 International Conferences on (Volume:6 )
Date of Conference: 2001