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Online Journal of Bioinformatics

Volume 19 (2):124-134, 2018.

Using Virtual Laboratories and Online Instruction to Enhance Physics Education


Ricky J. Sethi


University of California, Riverside Devry University, Pomona/West Hills, USA




Ricky J. Sethi, Using Virtual Laboratories and Online Instruction to Enhance Physics Education, Onl J Bioinform., 19 (2):124-134, 2018. Teaching introductory and survey physics courses has never been an easy task, especially given the great breadth of material to be covered. Although it is universally accepted that a laboratory or demonstration is the best way to convey the more complex concepts, equipment constraints and complicated laboratory setups often constrain the variety and quality of laboratories available to physics educators at all levels of physics education. This paper introduces physics educators to the use and adoption of Java- and Shockwave-based applets in order to create virtual, online physics laboratories for their students. Details of course preparation, including applet acquisition, customization, and laboratory development, will be discussed. These techniques have been used to successfully form a Laboratory course which augments the more conventional lectures in a Concepts of Physics course at Devry University in Pomona, California. The laboratories have been instructor-led but are sufficiently self-contained to become part of a virtual classroom offering.


Key words: Virtual-lab, Physics, Teaching.