Virtual and Remote Laboratories in Moodle
It is commonly accepted that digital media (such as simulations, videos, interactive screen experiments or web labs) can positively impact student knowledge, skills and attitudes. Consequently, tools such as Moodle and web-based online labs have become widespread in distance education in the last decade. Moodle supports the administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training programs, classroom and online events. Web-based labs make possible to illustrate scientific phenomena that require costly or difficult-to-assemble equipment.
There are two complementary approaches for web-based online labs:
- Virtual Labs or Experiments provide computer based simulations which offer similar views and ways of work to traditional labs.
- Remote Labs or Experiments use real plants and physical devices which are teleoperated in real time.
A rich repository of EjsS simulations is freely available at: http://www.compadre.org/
EJSApp: bridging together Moodle and EjsS
To support the one-click deployment of virtual and remote labs into Moodle, we have developed the EJSApp plugin, which has the following features:
- Deployment of labs written in EjsS.
- Control user access to the deployed labs and distinguish between virtual labs (or simulations) and remote labs.
- Combined use of EjsS applications with Blockly (https://developers.google.com/blockly), a scracth-type visual programming language.
- Backup and restore. EJSApp provides maintenance facilities for labs, packaging them into Moodle course backups.
To get the feel of EJSApp, visit UNILabs, which is a moodle site that hosts a rich network of virtual and remote labs for students of the Spanish Open University (UNED) and other Spanish Universities, such as the Huelva, Complutense and Almeria Universities. All labs in UNILabs have been developed using the EJSApp and its extensions (EJSApp "private files" browser, Remlab Manager, EJSApp Booking System, EJSApp Collab Session and the Open Source Physics repository plugin).
The code repository of this plugin can be found at https://github.com/UNEDLabs/moodle-mod_ejsapp
- Luis de la Torre, Maria Guinaldo, Ruben Heradio, Sebastian Dormido. The Ball and Beam System: A Case Study of Virtual and Remote Lab Enhancement With Moodle. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, 11(4): 934-945, 2015.
- Luis de la Torre, Ruben Heradio, Carlos A. Jara, Jose Sanchez, Sebastian Dormido, Fernando Torres, Francisco A. Candelas. Providing Collaborative Support to Virtual and Remote Laboratories. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 6(4): 312-323, 2013.
- Luis de la Torre, Juan P. Sanchez, Ruben Heradio, Carmen Carreras, Manuel Yuste, Jose Sanchez, Sebastian Dormido. Creating web experimentation portals. International Conference on Interactive Computer aided Blended Learning, 2013, Florianópolis, Brasil.
- Ruben Heradio, Luis de la Torre, Jose Sanchez, Sebastian Dormido and Hector Vargas. An architecture for virtual and remote laboratories to support distance learning. In Research in Engineering Education Symposium, pages 579-587, Madrid, Spain, October 2011.
Overview of EJSApp
Tutorial to add a simulation/virtual lab activity with EJSApp
Tutorial to add a remote lab activity with EJSApp
Overview of Open Source Physics, a free repository with more than 400 freely available EJS simulations
Overview of UNEDLabs, a network of virtual and remote laboratories developed with EJSApp
If you like this plugin, please support its development: https://www.paypal.me/ejsapp