Design and Development of Physics Remotely Controlled Teaching Laboratory (RCL): The Case of Light Attenuation Passing through Transparent Materials Experiment

G. Mitsou, D. Vavougios, J. Sianoudis, G. S. Ioannidis


Understanding the basic concepts of physics and the development of skills that will enable students to realize the natural processes, as well as becoming familiar with the measuring devices, requires experimental laboratories as a real learning environment. Over time, two main types of experimental laboratories have been incorporated into the strategy of teaching Physics: the hands-on and the simulation laboratory. In recent years, especially with the proliferation and development of web-based technologies, the remote-access laboratory has appeared as option, which requires less space, less time, and less financial resources, as experimental setups are automated and experiments are performed online. In this study, a method is presented, for operating a remote, first year undergraduate Physics teaching Laboratory, using web-interface techniques that enable students to fully control the whole experimentation process. This technology, which is based on a server–client approach, allows the implementation of physics experiments via Internet without requiring expensive equipment or software. In addition, a physics experiment in Optics is also described, already available as a sample application, according to which the optical attenuation of light is studied as it goes through optically transparent materials; it can also be carried out by the students via Internet in real time. Students, by the use of an interface, which is a dynamic webpage, can alter parameters and make quantitative measurements, which can then be analyzed. In conclusion, the qualitative characteristics of the educational results achieved and the experience of the operation of a remote experiment are given.


Remotely Controlled Laboratories, RCL, Physics teaching Labs, Online Education, ICT

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