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Going the way of the slide rule : can remote laboratories fungibly replace the in-person experience?

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by E Lindsay, P Wankat
The slide rule is an important part of the heritage of the engineering discipline, but it was ultimately replaced as the new technology of calculators overtook it. Since this scenario is potentially repeating itself now with the introduction of remote laboratory classes in engineering, it is useful to compare the current situation of hands-on versus remote laboratories with the case history of slide rule replacement by calculators. Hands-on laboratories form a core part of the education of the current generation of engineers; this paper explores whether it is possible for remote laboratories to replace them. Remote laboratories are laboratories where students conduct experiments on real, physical equipment, but the students are not physically co-located with the equipment. The key factor is the fungibility of the learning outcomes that laboratories provide – whether the remote experience can achieve all or the most important of the things that the in-person experience can. The slide rule became obsolete because new technology could achieve the most important of its outcomes quicker, easier and cheaper. An analysis of remote laboratories shows that many learning outcomes are able to be achieved more easily and more cheaply in the remote mode, and additional learning outcomes are also possible, with only a small number of non-fungible outcomes preventing remote laboratories replacing the face-to-face experience.

History

Volume

28

Issue

1

Start Page

192

End Page

201

Number of Pages

10

ISSN

0949-149X

Location

Dublin, Ireland

Publisher

Tempus Publications

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Curtin University; Not affiliated to a Research Institute; Purdue University;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

International journal of engineering education.

Exports

CQUniversity

Exports