WORKSHOP ON VIRTUAL LABS AT IIT DELHI
19th February 2016
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) organized a workshop on Virtual Labs on 19th February 2016. Dr. Vishali Dixit of Applied Science Department and Mr. Deepak Kumar of EEE from Dronacharya College of Engineering, Gurgaonattended the workshop.
Virtual Lab is an Initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development under the National Mission on Educationthrough ICT. A virtual laboratory is a tool for distance learning and / or experimentation that allows people to share knowledge, data, voice, video, tools, and many other resources. It provides a suitable environment to extend, improve, integrate, refine, and assist the learning and / or experimentation process of many subjects, thus contributing to an increase of the effectiveness of scientific research and widening the use of scarce or costly equipment’s.
During the inauguration ceremony Prof Ranjan Bose briefed the concept of virtual Labs. He introduced the participants to the different phases of progress happening for Virtual Lab project. Thereafter mentors of different discipline gave the demo for the Virtual Lab of their respective discipline. Mr. Jithin, Field Engineer Virtual Labs project presented the aspects of virtual lab for Mechanical Engineering Lab, Mr. Tanmay Das, Outreach In - charge Virtual Labs Project presented his views on the usage of virtual lab for Electrical Engineering, Mr. Prateek, Field Engineer Virtual Labs project presented virtual lab demo for ECE branch. Besides all of these speakers, Mr. M.K Kaushik also shared his valuable views regarding the importance of virtual lab for engineering students.
The salient points discussed during the session were as follows:
- Introduction of high impact teaching practices in a laboratory environment which includes undergraduate research projects and inquiry / discovery experiments with new approaches to the assessment of the related student learning outcomes.
- Collaborative learning environments to promote the construction of new knowledge through shared ideas and in the lab which extends to the development of research questions, experimental design and the communication of subsequent outcomes.
- Conventional lab notebooks and hard copy reports do not evidence individual and the subsequent analysis and communication of their data in relation to their research questions.
- Introduction of a virtual lab notebook hosted within a Wiki environment to enable the mapping of individual contributions to a group report.
- Issues such as the incidence of plagiarism can be addressed both through the inherent transparency in accountability and the ability to submit an electronic copy of the product to Turnitin.
- Virtual Labs will be made more effective and realistic by providing additional inputs to the students like accompanying audio and video streaming of an actual lab experiment and equipment.
- For the ‘touch and feel’ part, the students can possibly visit an actual laboratory for a short duration.
Then the speakers discussed about the objectives of the virtual labs. These were as follows:
- To provide a complete Learning Management System around the Virtual Labs where the students can avail the various tools for learning, including additional web-resources, video - lectures, animated demonstrations and self-evaluation.
- To enthuse students to conduct experiments by arousing their curiosity. This would help them in learning basic and advanced concepts through remote experimentation
- To provide remote - access to Labs in various disciplines of Science and Engineering. These Virtual Labs would cater to students at the undergraduate level, post graduate level as well as to research scholars.
- To share costly equipment and resources, which are otherwise available to limited number of users due to constraints on time and geographical distances.
- Student acquires information communication technology skills.
- Saving time in the lab session because negotiation was done via comments in the wiki allowing versatility through other mechanisms for contribution to the group if an individual missed a lab session.
Overall the program was very interactive and knowledgeable to all the faculty members.