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RWSL Training: planning process

Page history last edited by Gina Bennett 7 years, 7 months ago

RWSL Training: Planning Process


According to Outcome 5 of the NANSLO project plan, the following timeline is in place:


Overall outcome: Faculty are trained in the use of RWSL


Milestone 5a: Learning outcomes identified

People involved: Faculty trainers (Ron & Gina), technical managers (Albert, Dan)

Completed by: June 2011


Milestone 5b: Training plan developed

People involved: Faculty trainers, CCCS people to schedule training events, faculty teachers (Physics at least)

Completed by: curriculum plan & components completed by September 2011. Train-the-trainer sessions & faculty (Physics faculty at least) trained by December 2011




  • May - June 2011: faculty trainers develop plan of learning outcomes & topics for the training


Learning Outcomes


  • Background/history of RWSL
  • Overview of other remote lab environments
  • Components: software (LabView & VI) & hardware
  • What kinds of labs are possible
  • Limitations of RWSL

  • Set up workstation computer to work with LabView
  • Log in to the interface
  • Configure lab activities to work with LMS
  • Manipulate the LabView interface
  • Guide students through the above steps
  • Troubleshoot simple problems
  • Use scheduling applications
  • Communicate with RWSL technicians as necessary
  • Appreciate the value of RWSL as a teaching/learning tool
  • Desire to push the limits of what RWSL can do & propose additional labs
  • Develop a sense of mastery in using the tools
  • Enjoy teaching & learning this way





  1. What is the Remote Web-based Science Lab (RWSL)?
    1. A brief history
    2. Pedagogical foundation of remote science labs
    3. Basic components of the RWSL interface
  2. What RWSL can do
    1. Types of manipulation
    2. Virtual instruments
    3. Modular equipment configurations
    4. Customizing existing configurations
    5. What RWSL can’t do
  3. Using the RWSL interface
    1. Setting up your computer for RWSL
    2. Using RWSL from the student’s perspective
    3. Using RWSL from the instructor’s perspective
    4. A sample RWSL-delivered lab
    5. Troubleshooting simple problems
  4. Teaching with RWSL
    1. Scheduling
    2. Communication options
    3. Teamwork with RWSL
    4. Facilitating classroom interaction
    5. Assessing lab activities
  5. Next steps: remote lab design
    1. What lab activities lend themselves to RWSL delivery?
    2. What generic skills and learning outcomes can be effectively addressed with RWSL?
    3. Designing a lab activity for RWSL
  6. Summary and next steps
  7. Assessing your progress
  8. For more information



  • Mid-July 2011: technical managers invited to solicit feedback on the training outcomes & topics
  • December 2011: RWSL development has been slower than expected; consequently training course development has been similarly delayed.


  • January 2012: due to RWSL delays & the inability to develop a full training course at this time, we have adjusted our strategy; i.e.
    • we are developing training guides for individual equipment configurations, beginning with the configuration which will be implemented first (air track).
    • we are also developing a 'general/overview' guide for instructors/trainers, covering the topics originally drafted for the training course
    • training guides are currently being developed as Microsoft Word documents but will be added to the Moodle online course interface (and perhaps the wiki as well/instead?)


Draft documents:

 How-to faculty guides in Word 2003-2007 format
in OpenDocument format in wiki format
General Introduction and Overview
 Air track experiments Training-AirTrack-120316.doc Training-AirTrack-120316.odt   Air Track - wiki
Spectrometer experiments
Training-Spectrometer 120315.doc   Training-Spectrometer 120315.odt    
Microscope experiments
Training-Microscope 120315.doc   Training-Microscope 120315.odt    
e/m  Apparatus experiments
Training-e over m-120315.doc   Training-e over m-120315.odt    


  • Winter/Spring 2012: We conducted a short needs assessment with faculty who have been using the RWSL in an attempt to determine what the learning needs are for faculty new to RWSL. Our brief research indicates that the RWSL interface mirrors the campus-based equipment controls very closely; consequently, a comprehensive course in how to use RWSL would probably not be used. 

After consultation with project partners (primarily Paul Stacey) we determined that our faculty training efforts would be better spent by producing a summative document detailing how to use RWSL for teaching, as well as a more 'philosophical' discussion of why a science faculty member may want to use RWSL.


  • June 2012: work on the summative document "Instructor's guide to Teaching with the Remote Web-based Science Laboratory" and the 'philosophical' document "Remote Labs: A place in your teaching?"


  • July 2012: vacation time


  • August 2012:

Draft documents posted:

Faculty guides  in Word 2003-2007 format  in OpenDocument format  
Instructor's guide to Teaching with the Remote Web-based Science Laboratory Teaching with RWSL.doc   Teaching with RWSL.odt  
Remote Labs: A place in your teaching?     





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