Remote electronics lab within a MOOC: design and preliminary results


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Presentation of "Remote electronics lab within a MOOC: design and preliminary results" inside the'13 conference celebrated in September, 2013, in Coimbra, Portugal

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Remote electronics lab within a MOOC: design and preliminary results

  1. 1. REMOTE ELECTRONICS LAB WITHIN A MOOC: DESIGN AND PRELIMINARY RESULTS Manuel Castro (, September, 20 Gabriel Díaz, Félix García Loro, Manuel Castro, Mohamed Tawfik, Elio Sancristobal, Santiago Monteso Dto. Ingeniería Eléctrica Electrónica y Control UNED – Spanish University for Distance Education 2nd Experiment@ International Conference tro/
  2. 2. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Design of the new MOOC 3. Course structure and practices 4. Preliminary results 19/09/2013 2'13, Coimbra
  3. 3. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Design of the new MOOC 3. Course structure and practices 4. Preliminary results 19/09/2013 3'13, Coimbra
  4. 4. Introduction 19/09/'13, Coimbra 4 • Recent emergence of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses promoting different lifelong learning experiences and continuing education models and allowing free access to learning resources at any time and from everywhere • However, a significant challenge exists for the provision of real laboratory work online along with the theoretical contents inside MOOCs• Also, the practical and the theoretical contents must be design support an indeterminate number of users from around the world a with different time zones
  5. 5. Introduction 19/09/'13, Coimbra 5 • A first approach to this problem is clearly the use of simulators and virtual labs • But they are still a bit far from bringing to student the real performance and features of equipment under real-life operation conditions • We consider all these issues and present a novel approach that integrates remote-accessed real experiments into a MOOC on basic industrial electronics
  6. 6. Introduction 19/09/'13, Coimbra 6 • The experiments included in the MOOC are based on the remote laboratory platform Virtual Instrument Systems in Reality (VISIR), a remote lab for electric and electronic circuits experiments, developed at Bleckinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Sweden and in use in several universities all around the world • The main advantage of VISIR when compared with traditional electronic laboratories lies in its availability that has neither temporal nor geographical restrictions
  7. 7. Introduction 19/09/'13, Coimbra 7 • The basic electronic practices included in this MOOC are focused on: • Basics of digital oscilloscope • Measurements of resistances, voltages and currents • Half-wave Rectifier with and without filter • Regulator with zener diode • Inverter and non-inverter operational amplifier • Operational amplifier as a driver
  8. 8. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Design of the new MOOC 3. Course structure and practices 4. Preliminary results 19/09/2013 8'13, Coimbra
  9. 9. Design of the new MOOC 19/09/2013 9'13, Coimbra • The name of the MOOC is “Bases de circuitos y electrónica práctica” • The evaluation and activities spin around the remote laboratory and the objectives and evaluation are focused on the handling of the instruments and measurements • The MOOC is running since May to September 2013, as one of many in UNED COMA initiative (• The students have not time limitation for completing the different tasks • The acquisition of the competences for analyzing circuits is not an objective for this MOOC. Knowledge, at least theoretical, on analysing electrical and electronics circuits and the electrical characteristics of most common components are necessary requirements
  10. 10. 19/09/2013 10'13, Coimbra Design of the new MOOC Learning objectives: - Gaining practical competences in basic electric and electronic circuits, by using a lab with real components. Also gaining practical competences in the use of the usual equipment in such laboratories - Improving the knowledge for designing electric and electronic circuits - Increasing the use of simulation tools used in the process of electronic circuits design At the start: - Pre-course survey for obtaining some statistics basic data - A basic electric and electronic exam, not evaluable
  11. 11. Design of the new MOOC 19/09/2013 11'13, Coimbra • All the evaluation forms in each module are closely related with the experimental results and try to highlight the differences between theoretical, simulated and real results • Students are encouraged to use VISIR to build different circuits, not proposed by the teachers, using this opportunity and the different social tools inside (and outside) the MOOC to improve their knowledge
  12. 12. Design of the new MOOC 19/09/2013 12'13, Coimbra The MOOC has two different support levels: - A mentor, in Spanish a “facilitador” that is continuously tracking any possible issue with the reservation system. Also she helps the students trying to resolve any problem related with the documentation, the tools in the MOOC and general questions - When the problem is related with electronics, and although foundations knowledge is a prerequisite as commented, a teacher is accessible for helping the students - Is possible to use a curator (tutor) but this role is not inside the course now As in many other current MOOCs, this one is almost completely based on self-learning, video-based paradigm and peer to peer collaboration
  13. 13. Design of the new MOOC 19/09/2013 13'13, Coimbra
  14. 14. Design of the new MOOC 19/09/2013 14'13, Coimbra • The remote laboratory reservation system is integrated in the platform of the MOOC, UNED COMA Administration and support issues • Freedom degrees: number of slots per turn, time per turn, number of simultaneous turns and total number of allowed turns in the course. These parameters allow to regulate the remote laboratory availability to the demand of use • Students will get a course certificate by accomplishing two conditions: they must complete all the activities in all the modules within the MOOC and the global grade must exceed the cut-off grade point established
  15. 15. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Design of the new MOOC 3. Course structure and practices 4. Preliminary results 19/09/2013 15'13, Coimbra
  16. 16. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 16 Course structure and practices • The MOOC is structured in eight modules, with an estimated workload of 10 hours per module 1- Dedicated to electronics simulation. It reviews the needed knowledge of analysis and simulation software. MicroCap software is proposed, although many other tools are valid 2- Basics of use of VISIR: the components (resistances, diodes, etc.), the breadboard, the instruments (multimeter, function generator, oscilloscope, power supply, etc.). It also presents the students how to access the remote lab and how to reserve time for the experiment
  17. 17. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 17 Course structure and practices
  18. 18. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 18 Course structure and practices
  19. 19. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 19 Course structure and practices 3- The first real approach to build circuits with VISIR. The goals here are basic power and current measurements 4- Building two basic RLC circuits and check the correct measurements 5- Building diodes circuits, as for example a half-wave rectifier 6- Building of filtered rectifiers circuits 7- Explores the features of Zener diodes. Students must build typical zener circuits and check their characteristics 8- Different possibilities of operational amplifiers
  20. 20. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 20 Course structure and practices
  21. 21. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Design of the new MOOC 3. Course structure and practices 4. Preliminary results 19/09/2013 21'13, Coimbra
  22. 22. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 22 Preliminary results • 2.200 enrolled participants at start (now 2.999) • More than 43% are 35 years old or older, with an 5% of people younger than 20 years old • 89% of the participants are male • 75% declare Spain as country of origin, 6% Colombians • More than 37% are active workers • 13% are students of a grade related with electric and/or electronic engineering • 16% has a grade related with electric and/or electronic engineering • 18% has an engineering grade non related with these disciplines • 8% has a grade completely unrelated with science or engineering • 22% has a non-university grade (“formación professional”)
  23. 23. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 23 Preliminary results • More than 90% express that they enrolled for getting new abilities and competences • 47% say their expectative are more professional than academi • More than 81% have enrolled this MOOC especially because o the use of a real remote laboratory • More than 91% explicitly assert that real laboratory practices help a lot to establish the relationship between theoretical contents and real behavior • 80% think that real remote laboratories are suitable tools for obtaining practical competences • 45% have experience doing real practices in a real, on-campus laboratory, 31% have used electronic circuits simulators, 9% have worked with virtual labs and only 2% have experience wit another kind of remote labs
  24. 24. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 24 Preliminary results • Knowledge pre-test: More than 60% of participants do not have the minimum prerequisites. The MOOC suggests for this case a number of options, for example the possibility of enrolling other MOOC before continuing • Knowledge post-test: Not enough information... • Although the MOOC has not finished, 83 participants (4%) hav finished, aligned results with other MOOCs
  25. 25. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 25 Preliminary results • As in many MOOCs, social interaction, mediated by the social tools included in them, and the possibility of using any other social tool out of the MOOC, have been relevant also in our MOOC • The activity in the forums shows a grade of natural collaboration similar to other MOOCs, making the MOOC a natural scenario of problem based learning
  26. 26. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 26 Some modest conclussions • The new practical MOOC offered by UNED, and dedicated to real basic electronic practices by using the remote lab VISIR, has risen great interest, with near 3.000 students currently enrolled • It appears that a lot of students without the minimum prerequisites will leave the course, leaving only people with the minimum prescribed knowledge We recommended MIT MOOC Circuits & Electronics • As the pre-course survey demonstrates, the use of a real time online lab has been a good claim
  27. 27. 19/09/'13, Coimbra 27 Some modest conclussions • This MOOC shall show much more interesting results associated with the development of the much more practical modules with VISIR • These new modules will give us also many important details, related with the booking system, essential for a stable and reliable use of the remote lab, and also related with the performance of the lab with so many concurrent users • The next stage will be the careful design of something we can maybe call MOOL (Massive Open Online Laboratory) > Go-Lab Project & EPFL name (Denis Gillet)
  28. 28. Thanks a lot for your attention! Any question? 19/09/2013 28'13, Coimbra Remote electronics lab within a MOOC: design and preliminary results Manuel Castro ( tro/