Hosting and Sharing Your Own Remote Experiments with RALfie – an Open Ended Experiment Design Experience

Alexander Kist, Ananda Maiti, Andrew Maxwell, Lindy Orwin, Wu Ting, Peter Albion, Ryan Burtenshaw


Remote Access Laboratories (RAL) are online platforms for performing experiments from remote locations usually following a centralised service oriented paradigm. This short article presents RALfie - Remote Access Laboratories for Fun, Innovation and Education using a peer-to-peer RAL architecture where some participants or makers can create, host and share experiments for other users. The system is built upon a VPN service that establishes end-to-end connections between learner and makers’ experiential rigs. A graphical programming platform - SNAP is the basis of programming and designing the interface with the experimental rig. The experiments are then shard using an activity-based learning strategy that presents the experiments as a set of hierarchical groups of activities or activities. This distributed design of RAL allows more hands-on experience to build experimental setup and provides opportunities to collaborate with fellow peers. The environment is suitable foe STEM Education. This approach requires the makers among the users to create and host the experiments, which demand certain responsibilities and offers new learning opportunities.


remote laboratories;STEM education; makers

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