Enhancing Engineering Education by Virtual Laboratories: A Comparison Between Two Different Approaches

Keddi, D. and Frerich, S.

Volume: 1231 AISC Pages: 359-365
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-52575-0_30
Published: 2021

The aim of this contribution is to compare two different settings of two virtual laboratories. Both of them are situated in the context of chemical engineering. One of them is used as online preparation for international students, while the other is implemented in lectures and seminars as demonstrating unit of subjects related to porous materials. While the online preparation for international students has already been at use, the demonstration unit is still work in progress. The students benefit from this kind of digital preparation to a high degree. Theoretical knowledge is available on an individual level, and they can choose time and place when to attend the courses. Many students mastered their course, understood the underlying concepts, and also exceeded usual expectations with their final reports. Regarding their comments, the implemented visualizations were highly appreciated, and the students also rated the set-ups as affirmative. However, a reasonable amount of participants complained about the absence of a real person in charge throughout the experiment, as they have experienced it in hands-on laboratories on site. Although it was found that virtual laboratories are an appropriate way to explain scientific topics, it can be observed that the actual implementation is still facing some issues. This contribution gives an overview of experiences made and discusses the potential for future applications of virtual laboratories in engineering education. © 2021, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

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