Technology-enhanced laboratory experiments in learning and teaching

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Using Technology Tools to Innovate Assessment, Reporting, and Teaching Practices in Engineering Education, 2014, pp. 289 - 302
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© 2014, IGI Global. Laboratory practice plays a crucial role in engineering and technology education. The advancement of computational and computer technologies have ushered in a new horizon in learning and teaching of laboratory practices worldwide. Apart from traditional hands-on laboratory practice, two other laboratories, namely the virtual/simulated laboratory and the remote control laboratory practices, are playing an increasingly dominant role. The virtual and remote laboratory practices offer unique opportunities for students to visualise complex concepts and remove the time and location barrier. This chapter provides a comparative analysis of all three laboratory practices. Additionally, a 3-step laboratory practice and a hybrid laboratory practice developed at RMIT University are described. It is evident that the advancement of computational technology enhances the student learning experience in laboratory practices. However, real world hands-on laboratory practices cannot be fully replaced by the virtual/simulated and/or remote control laboratory practices. They are complementary.
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