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.
|Title of host publication||Design, implementation, and evaluation of virtual learning environments|
|Number of pages||345|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2012|