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|Title:||Electrical Engineering Teaching and Distance Learning using a Desktop Virtual Reality System|
Fernando Maciel Barbosa
|Abstract:||Higher education has evolved in the last decade with the use of information technology. This change was called distance education, a teaching method in which the student does not need to meet with the teacher on a certain day and time. The student may be either at home or at work and may have no interaction with the other parts, either the teacher or other students. It has allowed the institutions to resolve geographical gaps in order to reach the largest number of students. On the other hand, it paved the way for the "non-traditional" universities oriented for "adult work", in a narrow range of graduation programs, compatible with the current demands from industry. It is also important to mention that distance education is becoming increasingly appropriate for non-academic studies, such as corporate training environments. This paper addresses Circuit Theory systems, more specifically laboratory practices geared towards teaching and learning. The choice was made from observing the needs in the specific context of a measures and instrumentation laboratory, mainly related with access to the means and equipment to carry out laboratory practice. The purpose of the work is the use of virtual experimentation to carry out laboratory practice and also as an alternative tool to meet the needs of access to the means and equipment of the laboratory. In the present case, the basis of the project was the construction of a 3D lab environment (Measures and Instrumentation) where the equipment and the components can be seen and manipulated. The project involves simple electrical schematics, which later can be changed in values, presenting new results, and displays a set of menus and submenus to support experiments. The virtual laboratory can accommodate new devices and scenarios, being adapted to new subjects, such as electric machines and power system analysis of the Electrical Engineering program. This work was developed to demonstrate how a desktop VR prototype, "Virtual Electric Manual" - VEMA, can be applied to an engineering unit and used to enhance security and resourcefulness in using electrical equipment. Several interactive scenes were developed to illustrate the idea using a measurements and instrumentation laboratory as virtual environment. The added value of these various features in the educational context is that they contribute to the construction of new virtual environments, able to benefit the communication between teachers and students and among themselves, thus creating new opportunities for each student to participate more actively in his/her own learning construction process. Rather than being seen as mere information files, these e-learning platforms should be perceived as a means to promote interaction and experimentation through technological resources.|
|Appears in Collections:||CPES - Indexed Articles in Conferences|
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