N° SI 143008; period: January 2001 to January
The main objective of the ComLab project was
to integrate different ICT tools in science and technology teaching.
Two aspects were emphasised:
a) "Real laboratory" exercises, based on a computer data acquisition and control system, recognising that
importance of practical experimentation and laboratory work has not
decreased in the era of ICT.
b) "Virtual laboratory" activities,
based on computer simulations of various science phenomena and complicated,
expensive and/or inaccessible devices.
Both aspects were integrated through example courses
based on interactive html documents. In the courses, computer supported
practical experimentation was upgraded with computer simulations and
other multimedia components (video clips, animations, graphics, etc).
The courses are available on the ComLab website and they can
be also installed off-line.
The ComLab-1 final products therefore comprise
novel state-of-the-art courses, hardware and software. All material
is designed in such manner to enable simple translation to other EU
The project's main target groups are trainee teachers
of science and technology as well as people interested in autonomous
learning of science and technology based on ICT.
The ComLab-2 project aims to continue
and widen the recent ComLab-1 project. The objective
of integrating "real" and "virtual" computerised
laboratories in science and technology teaching remains. Since the effectiveness
of the ComLab design for integrating science disciplines was
ascertained during the first project, ComLab-2 extends this
aspect of the integration of physics, biology and chemistry
to associated technology disciplines such as electrical engineering,
mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, agriculture, food industry, etc.
The primary target groups are in-service
and trainee teachers/lecturers
of science and technology topics for the pupils/students of
12 years and over as well as to trainees involved in adult education. Besides secondary education, the project also extends activities to post-secondary vocational colleges and higher
schools. Moreover, ComLab-2 aims to bring
science and technology topics to autonomous learners of different ages.
Courses developed within the project will be applicable as
possible models for all sectors where practical experience in
true laboratories are combined with the virtual world.
The main outcomes of the project will be further courses involving computer supported science and technology laboratory exercises.
Some of the courses developed within the first ComLab project will be broadened and enhanced. In addition, ComLab-2 a number of new courses directed at achieving efficient support of science disciplines to associated technology fields will be developed. The courses will emphasise the practical approach often described by expressions such as "by example", "hands-on", "through experiments", "low cost", "do it yourself", "by exploration", etc.
An integral part of the course development will be the design and production of new software as well as laboratory equipment. In addition to these technical issues, the course material will be informed by modern ideas on the didactics and methodology of computer supported learning in science and technology education.
the description of the products developed within the Comlab-1 project as well as outlines of the ComLab-2 products.
Science education, technology education, engineering education, computer-based laboratory, data acquisition,
models of computer controlled devices, multimedia, computer
simulations, educational laboratory equipment.