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This is the Labshare project site. This is a legacy page for the project initiative. The project has concluded as of July 2011 and the site will no longer be updated.

 

What is Labshare?

Labshare, National Support for Laboratory Resource Sharing, is an Australian Government-funded project that aims to create a national network of shared remotely accessible laboratories. This will mean a greater number of high-quality, laboratory-based educational experiments will be available to unversity and high school students from anywhere in Australia and around the world.

 

 

What are remote labs?

A remote laboratory consists of a number of rigs (experimental apparatus), each of which is instrumented with sensors, actuators and a web camera. These rigs can be remotely monitored and controlled over the internet, allowing students to conduct a range of experiments in their own time. This 'remote access' enables students to interact with real physical equipment and to conduct authentic, non-simulated experiments from anywhere and at any time.

 

 

Why share labs?

Science and engineering laboratories are very costly for universities to maintain due to expenditure for facilities, expensive technical equipment and staff support. Realistically, no single institution can afford all optimum resources across a range of courses. It is often the case that equipment is not used to its full potential and this can result in low utilisation levels. By promoting the sharing of these resources, educational institutions can alleviate the financial stress on laboratory expenditure and enhance the laboratory experience for students.

 

 

What are the benefits of remote labs?

Remote labs are not meant to replace the need for hand-on laboratory sessions. However, remote labs do provide complementary benefits when used in addition to hand-on labs, or where hands-on labs are unavailable. Whilst hand-on access to laboratories remains crucial for students, studies and past experience indicate that remote labs are advantagous in the following aspects:

  • Offers students access to experiments that would otherwise be unavailable to them,
  • Gives students greater flexibility of when and where to conduct experiments,
  • Allows students to complete or repeat experiments in their own time,
  • Provides experiences that hands-on labs cannot, such as access to equipment that is too expensive, dangerous or logistically problematic,
  • Enables students to gain an enhanced perception of specific aspects of an experiment by focusing the student's attention on relevant concepts, and
  • Improves the quality of labs through the ability to pool development resources when labs are shared across multiple institutions.

 

 

About Labshare

The Labshare project is led by the University of Technology, Sydney and is a joint initiative of the Australian Technology Network: Curtin University of Technology, Queensland University of Technology, RMIT University, University of South Australia, and the University of Technology, Sydney.

The project is backed by the Australian Government's Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, through the Diversity and Structural Adjustment (DSA) fund. The project has funding of $3.8 million over 3 years, including $2.1m from the DSA fund.

 

 

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

 

 
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