Providing laboratory classes to engineering cohorts can be an expensive process, particularly when industrial hardware is required. A shift to virtual laboratory classes is an attractive alternative that can reduce the cost of laboratory classes, but it is important to consider the impact such a change has upon the students. This paper describes the use of a hybrid real and virtual laboratory class at Curtin University of Technology. This class takes advantage of the modular, roll-in roll-out trolley system used in the Faculty of Engineering's Programmable Logic Controller laboratory, allowing a computer-based simulation of the hardware involved to be integrated with little difficulty. This allows for the students to access virtual laboratory hardware at any time, transferring the initial familiarisation phases of the laboratory projects away from a hands-on, synchronous experience to a simulated asynchronous one. Surveys of the students' experiences show that they are supportive of the new laboratory facility, and that they predominantly regard their hybrid virtual-and-physical laboratory experience as being real.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education 2006, EE 2006|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
|Event||International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education 2006, EE 2006 - Liverpool, United Kingdom|
Duration: 24 Jul 2006 → 26 Jul 2006
|Conference||International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education 2006, EE 2006|
|Period||24/07/06 → 26/07/06|