Session on Virtual Labs at IIT Delhi
7th October 2015
Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) organized a brain storming session on virtual lab on 7th October 2015. Virtual Lab is an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Department under National Mission on Education through ICT. Prof. Dimple Saproo, from Electronics and Communication Department, Dronacharya College of Engineering, Gurgaon attended the workshop.
The program started with an inauguration session where all the Nodal coordinators introduced their respective Colleges. They projected the Vlab activities conducted by their College. Prof. Ranjan Bose, Electrical Dept at IIT, Delhi, conducted the first session by delivering a presentation on “Role and Responsibilities of Nodal center”. He said that the responsibilities of Vlabs lies in that :
1. Significant percentage of students adapted to blend in learning environment
2. Virtual labs improved student learning and increase usefulness
3. Virtual lab techniques are understandable and easy to use
4. Implementing virtual labs in improving teaching process
5. For reaching out to a large number of students, the NC should conduct training sessions for other faculty members and students to promote usage of VLAB by the students.
6. At least one workshop per semester should be conducted involving faculty members and students from at least 3 nearby institutions and report submitted to IIT Delhi.
He further pointed out that Virtual Labs not only involve the participating institutes developing the labs but also several colleges that are using the material and experiments from Virtual Labs as part of their curriculum. He presented the background, progress, issues, and status of the project:
Objectives of Virtual Labs - The objectives of the Virtual Labs project are to provide the country's engineering colleges with high-quality content, access through a common web interface, and connect physical laboratory equipment with remote users.
Structure of Virtual Labs : Each virtual lab consists of a user-friendly web front-end, with a back-end simulation engine running on a server or a system doing actual measurement of data on a real experiment.
Scope of Virtual Labs : Labs cover UG, PG, and research levels, covering a total of nine disciplines in engineering and science.
Prof. Bose listed the advantages of the Virtual Labs. He pointed out that Virtual Labs enable learners to learn at their own pace. Virtual labs are coupled with a complete learning management system. (e.g., web resources, pre- and post-experiment quizzes, question banks, experiments, etc) which will enrich the learning experience of the student. He stated that in some cases, Virtual Labs gives more flexibility to experiment than real labs.
The salient points discussed during the session were:
1. Virtual Lab to be introduced in SAARC Countries.
2. Virtual Labs should reach out to as large a number of students as possible. For that labs should be put on the ‘cloud’ so that students can use it even while on the move. The concept needs to be spread through a large number of Nodal Centers.
3. These labs should be put on a common platform and hosted on a national server.
4. The nodal center may suggest modifications/ improvements and identify gaps if any in the virtual lab curriculum and give feedback to IIT Delhi.
Overall the session was informative and the participants came to know about the various developments of Vlabs across India.