About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5910-5919
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

AUGMENTED REMOTE LABS FOR THE ONLINE ACCESS TO PROGRAMMABLE HARDWARE IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING EDUCATION

D. Sitzmann1, D. Möller1, F. Mügge2

1Clausthal University of Technology (TUC) (GERMANY)
2University of Hamburg (GERMANY)
Higher education in computer engineering requires various types of teaching classes, i.e. lectures, seminars, projects, exercises and laboratory work. Most of them are already implemented in common e-learning management systems (LMS), except laboratories (labs). Although it is not possible to duplicate complete labs with all their facets within an e-learning application, however, in practice two different approaches have been established: “virtual labs” (VL) where the lab itself and their experimental possibilities are completely embedded within a computer based simulation framework and “remote labs” (RL) which are based on existing lab equipment which can be controlled and „used“ by access via the learner’s computer. A combination of both can be introduced as „augmented remote lab“ (ARL). For example, this could be a RL which shows a live webcam video of a real experiment via a web application which in turn is complemented by simulated contents. Thus, this abstract presents the development of such a new ARL in computer engineering education for the subject „embedded systems“.

In education it is necessary that students are able to deal with programming of hardware features. Therefore, the following test set-up in an electronic lab for face-to-face education has been chosen: Students should program the logic controller circuit of a traffic light system in a hardware module (GAL16V8). Thus, the circuit has to be modeled using the hardware description language VHDL and, subsequently, the source code has to be transferred for testing into the hardware component via a “lab-computer” that connects students and hardware. After the hardware module is programmed by the designed code of the student, it can be embedded into a test bed (a traffic light model) to check the correctness of one’s own result, shown by LED based light signals. This experiment require that students show up in the lab and manually execute the required (above described) steps. Therefore, this experimental set-up has been transferred into an ARL to enable exercises via the internet, i.e. from home. Hence, a web application in JAVA (JSP, HTML5, JS/AJAX) and a hardware interface have been developed. The web application operates on the LC which is connected to the internet. It serves on the one hand as an interface via an Apache/Tomcat web server from which students can control the trial and, on the other hand, as connection to the hardware interface (connected via a serial interface) which acts as remote/online programming of the modules (severally describable Atiny2313 chips on a board) and tests of the result. Students observe the test procedure via a live webcam video from the lab which, in this way, also documents the test result and therefore whether or not the hardware circuit has been programmed valid and the traffic light operates correctly. Also, a simulation software shall be integrated which extends the camera image by additional elements, i.e. cars or pedestrians movement which depends on the correct programming of the traffic light system.

This abstract showed the implementation of an ARL which combines the advantages of simulations with realistic lab setups. It was found that this can be a good enrichment for practical training within computer engineering education.
@InProceedings{SITZMANN2014AUG,
author = {Sitzmann, D. and M{\"{o}}ller, D. and M{\"{u}}gge, F.},
title = {AUGMENTED REMOTE LABS FOR THE ONLINE ACCESS TO PROGRAMMABLE HARDWARE IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING EDUCATION},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5910-5919}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Sitzmann AU - D. Möller AU - F. Mügge
TI - AUGMENTED REMOTE LABS FOR THE ONLINE ACCESS TO PROGRAMMABLE HARDWARE IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 5910
EP - 5919
ER -
D. Sitzmann, D. Möller, F. Mügge (2014) AUGMENTED REMOTE LABS FOR THE ONLINE ACCESS TO PROGRAMMABLE HARDWARE IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING EDUCATION, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 5910-5919.
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