During the last decade we have witnessed rapid developments of computer networks and Internet technologies along with dramatic improvements in the processing power of personal computers. These developments make Interactive Distance Education a reality. By designing and deploying distributed and collaborative applications running on computers disseminated over the Internet, distance educators can reach remote learners, overcoming the time and distance constraints. Besides the necessary theoretical base provided by lectures and written materials, hands-on experience provided by physical laboratories is a vital part for engineering education. It helps engineering students become effective professionals. Such instruction not only provides the students with the knowledge of the physical equipment but also adds the important dimension of group work and collaboration. However, laboratories are expensive to setup, to maintain and provide long hours of daily staffing. Due to budget limitations, many universities and colleges can provide only limited access to such physical equipment. Therefore, it is imperative to enable remote access to a physical laboratory, either as part of an on-site or distance learning course.
About the Author
Institute for Advanced Studies in Communications, Federal University of Campina Grande
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