Using virtual laboratories in control engineering education
The twin pressures of the need for students to learn a wider variety of concepts, ideally in a self-learning mode, and the reduction in class contact time has led to the use of increased levels of information technology in control engineering education. This paper reports on, reflects on, and evaluates the author’s use of virtual laboratories (computer based laboratories available on the internet) in control engineering modules at DIT, Kevin Street. The use of the virtual laboratories helps in the ongoing evolution of the teaching approach from a traditional didactic lecture and laboratory course to a more learner-centred approach. The author’s experience is that student motivation, student self-learning and the enhancement of theoretical understanding and practical ability are significantly increased with the appropriate use of these laboratories, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.