ETUG Spring Workshop Presentations

“Tell it on the Mountain”

Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG) Spring 2013 Workshop
June 6 & 7, 2013, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada.

Two presentations by T. Sato and co-authors. Here are some links to materials referenced.


Demonstration: Remote Operation of Console Controlled Labs for Undergraduate Science (Poster Session)


Takashi Sato, Ron Evans & Jillian Lang


Remote Web-based Science Lab (RWSL) is a made-in-BC innovation originally aimed at reintroducing distance learning for laboratory science courses for Years 1 and 2. Although it is common for laboratory equipment to be controlled through a computer consoles even in introductory science labs, the RWSL labs offer this experience where the controlling interface and the student can be geographically separated from the equipment. RWSL is one of the key supports that provide for the implementation of online science courses where the students are not required to report to the on-campus laboratory. Our experiences and challenges in implementing RWSL mediated distance courses are described in a companion presentation (Evans & Sato 2013) at this conference.

RWSL has also been demonstrated in another mode (in 2010 and again in 2012), in which the students are on-campus (Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Richmond) and under the direction of the instructor, but the equipment they operate are remotely located (North Island College – Comox Valley). Building on this success and in a similar but distinct manner as the BC Integrated Laboratory Network (BC-ILN) consortium has already implemented, we plan to establish specialized equipment to be operated as a shared service for multiple institutions. Another exciting new direction is to place equipment at specialized locations such as high altitudes or high latitudes, not routinely accessible by an undergraduate student within a weekly course schedule. In these ways, RWSL can go far beyond simply adapting traditional student experiments for distance delivery.

A live demonstration of a console controlled first year physics lab experiment (the measurement of the electron’s charge to mass ratio) will be presented at our poster. A pair of laptops will be connected live to a RWSL server located at North Island College, Comox Valley, and be available to session participants to take control of the equipment and perform the experiment.

The poster will describe the RWSL project history, the particular experiment being demonstrated and a summary of feedback from the potential user community. Session participants are encouraged to engage in discussions about future directions of RWSL.


Bringing Open Lab Science Courses to Life (or not)


Ron Evans & Takashi Sato


This discussion will begin with a light hearted case study of the introduction of web-based lab science courses and the Remote Web-based Science Laboratory (RWSL) in particular here in BC. It will review the successes that occurred due to the open nature of our work and the use of Creative Commons licensing and some of the not-so-successes in this saga due to a failure to engage science faculty. We will discuss our latest effort to increase faculty awareness and (hopefully) engagement through a survey that will ask faculty to try out RWSL and then submit a survey. The session will conclude with an open discussion of things we need to be cognizant of when introducing new educational technologies in general. Is there a best way to introduce them and if so what is it? What is required for successful implementation? (This discussion will be coupled with the RWSL Poster session later in the day.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.