Low-cost virtual laboratory workbench for electronic engineering

Ifeyinwa Achumba, Djamel Azzi, James Stocker

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    The laboratory component of undergraduate engineering education poses challenges in resource constrained engineering faculties. The cost, time, space and physical presence requirements of the traditional (real) laboratory approach are contributory factors to these challenges. Resource constraints may, because of these factors, militate against the acquisition of meaningful laboratory experiences by students. This may especially be the case in developing countries. Virtual laboratories can be used to complement the traditional laboratory in order to enhance students’ laboratory experience. In extreme cases of scarcity of laboratory resources, the virtual lab can possibly be used as an alternative means to provide laboratory experiences. Although some work on the implementation of virtual laboratories has taken place, more efforts are required because of the numerous diverse experiential needs and requirements of the engineering curriculum. This paper presents a low-cost web-based virtual laboratory workbench for use as part of undergraduate electronic engineering courses. Some of the distinguishing features of the virtual workbench are that students can use it to undertake curriculum-based laboratory activities in a realistic manner; it integrates a Bayesian Network-based assessment structure for the assessment of students’ performance; and it affords the instructor flexibility in designing laboratory exercises.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDesign, implementation, and evaluation of virtual learning environments
    EditorsMichael Thomas
    PublisherIGI Global
    Number of pages345
    ISBN (Print)9781466617704
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


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