Complementing Education via Virtual Labs: Implementation and Deployment of Remote Laboratories and Usage Analysis in South Indian Villages

Authors

  • Shyam Diwakar Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University) https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1546-0184
  • Dhanush Kumar Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)
  • Rakhi Radhamani Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)
  • Hemalatha Sasidharakurup Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)
  • Nijin Nizar Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)
  • Krishnashree Achuthan VALUE Virtual Labs, Amrita School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)
  • Prema Nedungadi Amrita Center for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education (CREATE), Amrita School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)
  • Raghu Raman Amrita School of Business, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)
  • Bipin Nair Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3991/ijoe.v12i03.5391

Keywords:

virtual lab, blended learning, direct feedback, neurophysiology, biophysics, bio-inspired robotics, ICT, remote labs, hands-on workshops

Abstract


ICT-enabled virtual and remote labs have become a platform augmenting user engagement in blended education scenarios enhancing University education in rural India. A novel trend is the use of remote laboratories as learning and teaching tools in classrooms and elsewhere. This paper reports case studies based on our deployment of 20 web-based virtual labs with more than 170+ online experiments in Biotechnology and Biomedical engineering discipline with content for undergraduate and postgraduate education. Via hands-on workshops and direct feedback using questionnaires, we studied the role of remote lab experiments as learning and teaching tools. Although less reliable than direct feedback, we also included online feedback to perceive blended and remote learning styles among various users. Student and teacher user groups suggested significant usage adaptability of experimental process and indicated usage of remote labs as supplementary tools for complementing laboratory education. Usage analysis implicated the role of online labs as interactive textbooks augmenting student interaction and positive correlates to learning.

Author Biographies

Shyam Diwakar, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

Dr. Shyam Diwakar is the principal investigator of the computational neuroscience laboratory and is an assistant professor at the School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University, Amritapuri, Kollam, Kerala). He is a co-investigator of VALUE (Virtual and Accessible Laboratories for Universalizing Education), a major virtual labs initiative supported by Sakshat mission of MHRD, Government of India and is also the main PI of two cognitive science projects on neuroscience and on bio-inspired neural processor design funded by DST. He holds a Ph.D. in computational sciences from University of Milan, Italy, a bachelors degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and a post graduate diploma in Bioinformatics from Bharathiar University, India. He worked on neuroscience as a postdoctoral researcher at the department of General Physiology, University of Pavia, Italy. He has authored two books, one on data mining and another on computational neuroscience. He has also served on the program committees of leading conferences in his field in Europe and India. Dr. Diwakar's research uses principles from electrical engineering and informatics to study cerebellum and its functioning. His research has shown how noise is represented in extracellular neuronal tissue besides developing multi-scale mathematical models of the cerebellum granular layer. The current work at his lab is on computational neurophysiology, neuromorphic hardware and bio-robotics besides pedagogical techniques for enhancing biotechnology laboratory education through ICT.

Dhanush Kumar, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

Research associate, CompNeuro Labs

Rakhi Radhamani, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

Research associate, CompNeuro Labs

Hemalatha Sasidharakurup, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

Research associate, CompNeuro Labs

Nijin Nizar, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

Research associate, CompNeuro Labs

Krishnashree Achuthan, VALUE Virtual Labs, Amrita School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

Dean, PG Programs Director, Virtual and Accessible Laboratories Universalizing Education (VALUE) Center, Amrita School of Engineering

Prema Nedungadi, Amrita Center for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education (CREATE), Amrita School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

Director, Amrita Center for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education (CREATE)

Raghu Raman, Amrita School of Business, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

Chairperson, Amrita School of Business Co-Director, Amrita Center for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education

Bipin Nair, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)

Dean, School of Biotechnology

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Published

2016-03-31

How to Cite

Diwakar, S., Kumar, D., Radhamani, R., Sasidharakurup, H., Nizar, N., Achuthan, K., Nedungadi, P., Raman, R., & Nair, B. (2016). Complementing Education via Virtual Labs: Implementation and Deployment of Remote Laboratories and Usage Analysis in South Indian Villages. International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE), 12(03), pp. 8–15. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijoe.v12i03.5391

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Papers