For the Delft University of Technology we developed several virtual science labs. These labs enable students, regardless of their location in the world, to conduct the same training same as fellow students who visit the physical laboratory iof in the Netherlands.
The first virtual labs were built for the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences and focus on drinking water treatment. By participating in these digital courses, academic as well as practical competences are learnt, in particular regarding sand and nanofiltration techniques. The test results are also available for teachers.
Major advantage is that these virtual labs enable the university to provide courses to a much larger group of students. Instead of 300 students per year, the number of participants is now unlimited. And without travel time. In addition, users, instead of demo setups, perform the training with exact digital replicas of water treatment plants that are used in daily practice by private and public utility companies.
The virtual science labs are used in Delft University’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), offered on www.edx.org: an online learning environment that already has millions of users worldwide.