Distance learning of engineering courses with web-based real experimental experience

Fei Yue Wang, Guangpi Lai, Frank Wu, Jeff Goldberg, A. Terry Bahill, Gao Haijun Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Distance learning has been greatly enhanced through the use of the Internet. In Arizona, a joint effort has been made by the three state universities to offer a Master of Engineering Degree primarily through Internet and video distance learning. However, engineering courses often use hands-on laboratory projects with actual physical systems as an integral part of the curriculum and learning process. It is difficult to include these labs in web-based instruction unless one uses simulations or virtual experiments. This paper presents the development of web-based lab projects with actual hardware for courses in linear systems and systems control. Students download control programs to the equipment. Sensor data and a streaming video of the ongoing equipment are transmitted back to the student. The approach allows a higher utilization of lab equipment, saves student travel time, and provides an effective tool for learning as students can debug programs based on visual and sensor information. This development has been jointly conducted in the University of Arizona's Web-based Audio Video Educational Systems (WAVES) Laboratory and the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Complex Systems and Intelligence Science Laboratory. The web site for the materials is: http://pallas.sie. arizona.edu/newwaves/ and the work has been supported by an NSF CRCD grant and an Outstanding Scientist Program grant from the State Planning and Development Commission of China. We focus on system architecture, programming environment, user interface, application and experience in course instruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8063-8073
Number of pages11
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event2003 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Staying in Tune with Engineering Education - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2003Jun 25 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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