A study of the implementation of virtual instrumentation in university laboratory environments
Smyth, Philip (2007) A study of the implementation of virtual instrumentation in university laboratory environments. Master of Engineering thesis, Dublin City University.
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In this work six engineering and physical science laboratory experiments were developed to enhance the learning experience for students. This was achieved by instrumenting and creating virtual instruments for these experiments. The use of virtual instrumentation is directly compared with traditional laboratory teaching techniques and pedagogical principles from which both methods have developed from are discussed. Previous work utilising Computer Based Learning (CBL) in similar projects relating to this work have been used to evaluate some of the benefits of virtual instrumentation, especially those relating to increased student interest, memory retention, understanding and ultimately performance in laboratory reports. The virtual experiments discussed in this study are redesigned versions of traditional style experiments and hence a direct comparison of newer CBL techniques to traditional style laboratories was undertaken. There was no change in concepts being between the two versions of the experiments; the only difference was in the methodology of presentation. The effectiveness of these CBL techniques was assessed by looking at the performance of students using virtual instrumentation against that of other students from the same class undertaking the traditional mode of the experiments. All students were assessed by report submission, multiple choice questions relating to their experiment and questionnaires. The results of this study were also compared to other related studies within the field of CBL.
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