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ComLab products

Last update: 10. January 2006

The products of the ComLab project aim to efficiently integrate different ICT tools in science and technology laboratory exercises. The products are focused on the development of courses involving a range of science and technology topics. Since the courses rely on laboratory equipment and software, the project also produces low-cost solutions for laboratory apparatus as well as freeware software. The courses can be also implemented with commercially available equipment and software.

The products can be divided into the following three groups:

Course material supporting laboratory classes in science and technology teaching

Laboratory equipment supporting real laboratory environments

Software supporting real and virtual laboratory environments

   

Course material

The ComLab courses include topics in different science and technology disciplines where it is considered that an integrative approach in using ICT tools in laboratory environment is beneficial. The courses are focused on active methods, hands-on activities and practical experience aimed at improving specific skills of the learners as well as providing them withsome general skills transferable to various other fields of knowledge. Hands-on activities are combined with computer simulations and multimedia material.

The courses aim to provide a foundation for in-service and pre-service teacher training programs as well as providing key information for autonomous learners through the project's website.

The courses are divided into the three main groups all of which contain several subgroups:

Introduction to computer based data acquisition and control

Overview of computer based experiments and computer controlled models

Computerised laboratory for various science and technology topics

To use the links indicated by the three icons shown below, software needs to be installed on the local PC - see the Download section of the ComLab web-site.

This icon runs the eProLab software, opening files containing sample experimental data obtained with an eProLab data acquisition system.

This icon runs the eProLab software, opening files with appropriate settings for a particular experiment but contains no sample data. Data sampling is supported only for eProLab data acquisition systems.

This icon runs the eProSim software that opens files with appropriate settings for a particular simulation.


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Laboratory equipment

In a real computerised laboratory, hands-on exercises are based on a data acquisition system, sensors, actuators and various accessories. The Comlab project has deveoped and continues to develop novel "state of the art" equipment emphasising low-cost solutions. ComLab courses can also employ commercially available products or can combine these products with ComLab laboratory equipment.

Most ComLab laboratory products are or will be available for purchase. For some essential products, complete production documentation (know-how) will be available on the web-site to enable autonomous learners make their own DAQ systems, sensors and actuators.

New laboratory equipment under development can be divided into two main groups:

Data acquisition systems

Sensors, actuators, kits

   

List of Products


Software

Software is an integral part of the courses and is used to support data acquisition and control, data analysis, simulations of natural phenomena and the operation of devices and systems. The software is used for real as well as virtual aspects of computerised laboratory work. Software developed within the ComLab project can be downloaded from the Download section free of charge. In addition to the software developed within the ComLab project, some courses also employ software available on the web on a "freeware/shareware" basis. ComLab software will be continally upgraded during the project lifetimeand thereafter.

Currently, the following software packages are available:

eProLab, a suite of software utilities supporting the data acquisition system

eProSim, a set of simulations for science and technology education

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eProLib, programming libraries for data acquisition systems

   

List of Products