The major components of SimBeLT e-learning tools are simulations, virtual experiments, virtual labs, and multilaered virtual labs. These interactive resources facilitate both the conventional sequential learning paradigm and "just-in-time" learning.
A simulation is task and learner neutral, i.e. It models a process, an object/system construction and operation, or a learning situation. Within simulation functionality, there are no restrictions on the user’s actions.
In contrast with a simulation, a virtual experiment is focused on a particular task. In addition to the simulation, the virtual experiment includes specific learning objectives, scenario/assignment, worksheet, assessment, and, most importantly, step-by-step instructions for students. Virtual experiments may also include optional auxiliary simulations, prerequisites, excerpts from interactive lessons and technical manuals, quizzes, and online reference resources. The student is expected to follow a thorough set of step-by-step instructions to accomplish a particular educational assignment. Data acquired from virtual experiments are sufficient to plot graphs and diagrams or analyze relationships between process parameters.
A virtual laboratory comprises an expandable collection of virtual experiments on a particular topic.
Multilayered virtual laboratories integrate several simulations , virtual experiments and associated online resources that help students explore system design and interrelation between its parts and investigate their interacting with each other. The main purpose of such labs is to bridge technical and scientific knowledge by enabling learners to study fundamental principles in the context of their applications.
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