Virtual Engineering Laboratories: Design and experiments

Pieter J. Mosterman, Marcel A.M. Dorlandt, J. Olin Campbell, Craig Burow, Reni Bouw, Arthur J. Brodersen and John R. Bourne
Center for Intelligent Systems


This paper describes the creation and testing of computer- simulated laboratories for use in undergraduate engineering education. The design and implementation of a `virtual laboratory' that closely mimics the capabilities of a physical laboratory are explained. Experiments that compare time and learning gains of students using physical and virtual laboratories are discussed. Experimental results indicate that students who use the virtual laboratory prior to conducting the same experiments in a physical laboratory are able to complete the physical laboratory in a much shorter time, require less assistance, and also report that they are very satisfied with their laboratory experience.

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