Are Remote Labs Worth the Cost? Insights From a Study of Student Perceptions of Remote Labs

Kemi Jona, Ricarose Roque, Julia Skolnik, David Uttal, David Rapp


Remote online laboratories enable students to conduct scientific investigations using real experimental equipment. However, scaling up remote labs may require significant costs in purchasing and maintaining expensive equipment compared to scaling simulated labs. While these costs are a consequence of using physical equipment, we argue that there are unique educational advantages to remote labs. This paper presents the results of a preliminary study of student perceptions of a remote lab in comparison to an identical lab experience with simulated data. The findings reveal several intriguing themes that highlight the pedagogical value of remote laboratories. In addition, we provide recommendations for the design and pedagogy of online laboratory experiences based on our findings.


Education, Design, Remote Online Laboratories, Simulations

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International Journal of Online Engineering (iJOE).ISSN: 1861-2121
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