Journal of Current Research on Social Sciences (JoCReSS) - ISSN: 2547-9644

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Forming a Virtual Material Lab

Theoretical knowledge taught to students in Faculties of Engineering and Technical Education in chapter lectures needs to be reinforced by applying them in the laboratory or supporting them by simulations. In the formation of a laboratory; restrictions such as appropriate physical environment, time, expensive equipment supply and security are encountered. These restrictions bring out the need to search for appropriate alternatives. It is possible to design experiments independent to space, time and high costs as virtual lab simulations, being an alternative to conventional laboratories. Although the use of virtual laboratories in education does not replace the traditional laboratories, they can be considered as supportive to education. Material laboratory is needed to study science of materials effectively. But most of the universities do not have laboratories or enough materials to be used. Students have difficulties in such cases. Even if there is not any lack of equipment in laboratories, students have a hard time learning the application. Students will have a previous knowledge before going to laboratory by using multimedia techniques (showing pictures, playing videos, sounds etc…). Passing the subjects of science of materials to students by showing pictures and animations will make the education easier, more understandable and permanent, and therefore it will contribute to students’ success. The purpose of this study is to improve the quality of Materials Science course using the multimedia features in the face-to-face education. In recent years, multimedia is becoming a whole new way of educational environment. Its role in education is giving more importance to active participation learning rather than passive rote learning. In classes where multimedia methods are used, with the combination of audio-visual aids and animated video games, communication is functioning as entertainment. Therefore, applications being informative as well as fun, offers students an enjoyable learning environment. Within the scope of the study, an education material was created using animations, pictures, graphics and course content. By the help of this material, we can teach the basic subjects and the experiments of the materials science lesson and make them more memorable. And we can support students to get previous research of the subject before going to class at the faculties where they haven’t got labs. At the first stage of the study, local and foreign literature was scanned, the information were gathered together and the notes of materials science lesson that students can use have been collected. Later, animations were prepared using the programs “Macromedia Flash, Swish and Java” to use in teaching, according to subjects of the lesson. The animations which have been taken from the local or foreign websites were also used for this purpose. A comprehensive educational material including the material science subjects was prepared using the notes, animations, pictures, graphics and documents such as animated .gif. These were brought together using Dreamweaver and Frontpage programs with the HTML code. The shapes and graphics of materials science subjects are difficult and complex to draw on the board. Using the virtual laboratory, no time is wasted by drawing the figures and graphics on the board and topics are presented to students more quickly, more understandably and in a fun learning environment. With this study, students will intensify the virtual laboratory simulations of the experiment and will be more able to adapt in real laboratory environment that has time limitations, and will be able to remake the experiments that they did not understand so it will help them make the experiments more memorable. Even after the completion of training period, this study will serve as an instrument for the students in their personal learning environments. Presentation of the experiments and different material properties enables the students to learn by seeing and understanding. This developed material supports the improvement of education quality both in face to face education and distance education.

Anahtar Kelimeler
Virtual lab, materials science, animation, computer assisted instruction


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