Web Experimentation on Virtual and Remote Laboratories
Laboratory experimentation is essential in any educational field. Existing software allows two options for performing experiments: (1) Interacting with the graphic user interface (it is intuitive and close to reality, but it has certain constraints that cannot be easily solved), or (2) scripting algorithms (it allows more complex instructions, however, users have to handle a programming language). This paper presents the definition and implementation of a generic experimentation language for conducting automatic experiments on existing online laboratories. The main objective is to use an existing online lab, created independently, as a tool in which users can perform tailored experiments. To achieve it, authors present the Experiment Application. Not only unifies the two conceptions of performing experiments; it also allows the user to define algorithms for interactive laboratories in a simple way without the disadvantages of the traditional programming languages. It is composed by Blockly, to define and design the experiments, and Google Chart, to analyze and visualize the experiment results. This tool offers benefits to students, teachers and, even, lab designers. For the moment, it can be used with any existing lab or simulation created with the authoring tool Easy Java(script) Simulations. Since there are hundreds of labs created with this tool, the potential applicability of the tool is considerable. To illustrate its utility a very well-known system is used: the water tank system.
This work has been funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under the projects EUIN2015-62577, DPI-2013-44776-R and DPI2016-77677-P.
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