Features, Trends and Characteristics of Remote Access Laboratory Management Systems

Ananda Maiti, Andrew D Maxwell, Alexander A Kist

Abstract


Remote Access Laboratories are being used around the globe to enable engineering students to practice practical skills and enhance their knowledge through hands-on experimentation. These facilities also increase access by allowing users to undertake experiments anywhere anytime thus offering more flexibility and mobility. Several RAL systems have successfully met these goals. However, the role of experiment designers has rarely being explored or expanded since the conception of RAL systems. Experiments are designed and put on internet by a small group of experts in their respective fields. While these systems have been successful for universities where experts and suitable environment are available, they have rarely been used in the schools; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. As the pedagogical design is now seen as a critical development in the instigation of new experiments, any RAL for STEM education initiative must address pedagogical considerations from the onset. In this paper, the common attributes of the leading RAL systems are discussed and the basic denominators are identified to establish common feature that are widely implemented in RAL systems. Limitations for their use in STEM education are analysed. The paper concludes that RAL architectures need to incorporate new aspects such as the peer-to-peer access paradigm in order to become viable STEM-based education tools.

Keywords


remote laboratories; e-learning; computer networks; web technologies; instrumentation

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International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE) – eISSN: 2626-8493
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