V-Lab: A virtual laboratory for teaching introductory concepts and methods of physical fitness and function
AbstractThe delivery of higher education courses is changing significantly with the rapid growth of new technologies which offer possibilities for learners that have previously not been available. In particular, the potential benefits of interactive multimedia (IMM) in educational environments have been well documented (see for example, Latchem et al, 1993; Laurillard, 1993; Halal and Liebowitz, 1994; Bates, 1995; Brookes, 1997; Reeves and Reeves, 1997). Web based interactive multimedia can provide many opportunities to enhance student learning and solve particular educational problems. Applications of this technology can increase the consistency, reliability and quality of what is delivered to students, and can provide immediate points of access to large bodies of relevant information through hypertext and selected links to related web sites. Furthermore, the technology allows students to work at their own pace and at a time of their choosing, thereby optimising conditions for learning and increasing the flexibility of the learning experience.
In this paper, we describe the development and evaluation of a "virtual laboratory" (V-Lab) for introductory practical studies of human structure and function in the movement sciences. Our purpose is to identify what we found to be some of the key elements of the development process for our first V-Lab and to introduce some of the technology used. Student and staff responses to its initial implementation are presented, based on a systematic evaluation using quantitative and qualitative methods.
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