Laboratory classes are an integral part of undergraduate engineering education, providing a valuable alternative to lectures and tutorials. Recently there has been a trend towards providing these laboratory classes through remote access-where the students are separated from the hardware and interact through a technology-mediated interface. This trend is driven by a demand to provide increased flexibility and opportunities in the delivery of laboratory classes to students, but it has the unintended consequence of affecting the learning outcomes for students in the laboratory class. Remote laboratories are characterised by two key factors-a separation, both physical and psychological, between the students and the laboratory hardware; and a technologymediated interface that is used to close this distance. Both of these factors have been shown in the literature to affect the way in which students learn, changing the contexts in which they construct their knowledge. The impact of these factors is such that remote laboratory classes are not simply a logistical alternative to in-person laboratories-rather, they are a pedagogically different learning experience, and they must be acknowledged as such.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||International Journal of Engineering Education|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|