Models of Collaborative Remote Laboratories and Integration with Learning Environments

Luis Felipe Zapata Rivera, Maria M. Larrondo Petrie


Development of remote laboratories in academic settings has been held back because of the lack of standardization of technology, processes, operation and their integration with formal educational environments. Remote laboratories are used in educational settings for a variety of reasons, for instance, when the equipment is not available in the physical laboratory; when the physical laboratory space available is not sufficient to, either, set up the experiments or permit access to all on-site students in the course; or when the teacher needs to provide online laboratory experiences to students taking courses via distance education. Centers have been forming platforms that grant remote access to a collection of physical experiments that provide alternatives to educational institutions to reduce budgets of not only equipment purchases but also other expenses, such as, people, space, maintenance, and electricity consumption. This paper offers a taxonomy and examples of types of laboratories and hybrid combinations, and proposes Unified Modeling Language (UML) models for remote laboratories incorporating access models for collaborative user roles in the educational context that support synchronous and asynchronous formats in learning environments. The need for development of adaptive interfaces for remote laboratories based on difficulty level and demonstrated user knowledge is presented. Finally, the paper proposes a scheme of virtualization of the infrastructure and an adaptive scheme of assisted remote laboratories where part of the experience is carried out by the user (student) and part is assisted by the system (teacher avatar) that is able to act as a team mate for the students during the experimentation process.


Educational Technology, Engineering Education, Learning Systems, Online Education, Software Architecture, Student Experiments

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