Associate Professor at Hellenic Open University
Title of Paper
Human-Computer Learning and Interaction in a Virtual Laboratory
Subdisciplinary Area: Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interaction for Education
Keywords: Simulation, Virtual Laboratory, Automated Scoring
Abstract: Modern science laboratories feature complex and sensitive equipment which demand systematic training for optimizing their use. When such training is only available in situ, there is a real risk for accidents and damage to equipment and, besides the cost and health aspects, other lab activities may also be delayed.
Given the high operational and maintenance cost of such equipment, our research program "Onlabs" aims at developing a realistic virtual lab, where users can acquaint themselves with equipment before they actually visit the laboratory for the "real" experience.
The broader goal of Onlabs is to develop technology for investigating, piloting and evaluating novel education methodologies as regards activities and processes which take place in realistic physical contexts (such as a biology lab, a medical equipment lab, an engineering workshop, a surgery, a food preparation facility, etc). Therein, using 3D simulation, out users interact with simulated equipment and hone their skills using such equipment and carrying out complex activities.
As a test case we develop such educational material (software and learning activities) for the Biology laboratory of the School of Science and Technology of the Hellenic Open University. This presentation reviews our progress up-to-date and offers a glimpse to current and future activities, which involve advanced human-computer interaction technology and a certain dose of artificial intelligence.