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Online Practical Work in Science and Engineering

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 12:00 to 15:30
NU101, 1st Floor, Pentz Building

Staff from Science and MCT are collaborating with East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai in the development and evaluation of online experiments. Our collaborators are visiting the University in July and together we would like to invite you to a workshop where we shall showcase our respective achievements and discuss the direction of future development in this field.

The focus of the workshop will be on the variety of ways distance learning undergraduate students can be engaged in active practical work. At the OU we have been developing several approaches. These include 'display screen experiments', where an extensive database of images of real laboratory equipment is used to emulate an experiment in real time under the control of the student, and experimental simulations with 3D graphics linked to mathematical models of systems behaviours. 

Staff at East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai also make extensive use of simulations, both for their distance learners and their conventional undergraduates. In addition they are currently developing a significant number of remotely controlled experiments, where real equipment in the laboratory is directly controlled by the student from their remote location.

Each approach has its challenges and benefits and each can contribute in a variety of different ways to the development of our science and engineering undergraduates. We intend to make brief presentations of the state of the art at each of our two institutions and then to discuss how we can best exploit such facilities in our respective teaching programmes.

Lunch will also be provided. Please confirm your attendance to Gail Vardy via, stating any special dietary requirements by 7th July.


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