Skip to main content

Virtual laboratories in mainstream education

Even as staunch experimentalists disbelieve it, the use of information and communication technologies to do a laboratory experiment independent of a student's location is fast becoming a reality. In short, virtual reality technologies are revolutionizing the educational system.

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is launching a series of workshops on their newly developed Virtual Labs. These labs were developed under the research grant from the National Mission on Education through ICT, Ministry of HRD. Amrita is a partner in the National Mission project on Virtual laboratories coordinated by IIT Delhi in partnership with 10 other institutes including IITs (Kanpur, Kharaghpur, Bombay, Madras, Roorkee, Guwahati), IIIT Hyderabad, NIT Suratkal, COE Pune and Dayalbagh University.

The objective of this national mission project is multi-faceted — to provide high quality personalized and interactive knowledge modules over the internet, intranet and through satellite communication to all the learners in higher education institutions in an anytime, anywhere mode. It is provided free of cost.

According to Dr P. Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor, Amrita University, faculty at these institutions would use these virtual laboratories in tandem with theory courses. Virtual Labs are powerful technological interventions that will allow all educational institutions and students equal access to real life laboratory experimentation.

Virtual labs are a fusion of creative engineering and objective conceptualization techniques to yield an interactive experience. Building a virtual lab involves systematically sequencing experimental steps using physics-based modeling and/or best procedural practices coupled with effective visualization in order to simulate reality. But the experience does not end there.

Varying parameters, observing the natural interactions in the same way as one would in a real lab, these virtual laboratories model actual behavior in close proximity. Professor Ranjan Bose, Department of Electrical Engineering, Virtual Labs Project Coordinator at IIT Delhi, says “What's new about the virtual labs is that it recreates not only the realistic output as in lab experiments, but they give the students an actual feel of the experiments too. It sits at the intersection of university laboratory practices, e-learning, and interactive environments. Any student can have access to an experiment via the internet, and that is what makes it unique.

Virtual Labs are the solution to the lack of access to expensive yet critical instruments for the purposes of scientific studies which is a significant challenge to geographically remote and economically constrained institutes.

This project endeavors to enthuse students to conduct experiments by arousing their curiosity, and provide an opportunity to learn both basic and advanced concepts through remote experimentation.

Laboratory equipments can be accessed online through a user-friendly graphical interface to execute experiments similar to those conducted in labs. The data collated from the experimentation can be recorded online, reviewed and graded by teachers located anywhere, anytime.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top 5 Women Who Impacted Technology in 2010

Katie Stanton, International Strategist for Twitter Katie Stanton has impressively long names of companies in her resume. They include the White House, Google Inc, and her latest addition is Twitter. Her remit is working on Twitter’s international strategy and her experience in social media will be a key asset to the company. Katie has a history of working in technology, and her knowledge of departmental laws will help Twitter work alongside government agencies, as she’ll be spearheading the free information approach, especially after the Wikileaks incident. Stanton has been a key player in the techsphere for some time, and this extends to her private life. Following the Haiti disaster she worked with a group of engineers to create a free texting service to help those in need and she is constantly in demand as an expert in both social media and government policy.
Caterina Fake, Co-Founder of Flickr and Hunch Despite having a surname which sounds like a pseudonym for a spy (it’…

AT&T MiFi 2372 review

In the week or so that I have been testing the AT&T MiFi 2372 by Novatel Wireless, it has already saved no less than three lives. First, it saved my cable guy’s life. You see, Time Warner Cable provides the worst home Internet service I have ever experienced. I can’t even think of a close second. If providing terrible home Internet service was a sport, Time Warner Cable would be on its tenth consecutive undefeated season. Forget the fact that my upload speed is capped at 60Kbps and I’m lucky if I can get half that — it has been months since I’ve gone through a full day without at least one service interruption. Months. Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable has an exclusive contract with my building so I have no choice but to endure its abysmal service. Last week, as a Time Warner Cable technician entered my home for the sixth time in two months, I realized that this certainly would have spelled serious trouble had it not been for my trusty new back up device. Before the Mi…

facebook vs google+