New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Game-Based Interface for Virtual Interactive Laboratory of Mechanics

Mikhail Karyakin, Southern Federal University (Russian Federation)

Sergey Makarov, Southern Federal University (Russian Federation)


In the field of mechanics carrying out of experiments plays a key role in the learning process. However, necessary laboratory equipment is not always available and students do not have free access to it since numerous experiments are too expensive and not so beneficial. To this end, a plenty of educational institutes over the world has recently started to develop interactive systems that facilitate the process of preparation for real experiments or replace them. In this regard a question arises about the interface and operation style of such educational software.

We have chosen so called interactive “serious game” as a style of our software functioning. As an educational tool serious games have been applied not long ago, but intensely – they are already integrated into teaching process in a number of schools, colleges, universities and even research institutes. Gaming component in such educational processes has allowed enhancing and supporting learning, making the process of study fascinating.

The aim of present report is to describe the process of the development of the interactive educational complex InMechLab – the interactive game-based mechanical laboratory for students specialized in Mechanics. Students start to communicate with this virtual model of laboratory before carrying out real experiments to enhance the quality of preparation to them. A user can feel him immersed in a real lab with available information on the main theoretical concepts and experimental methods. This software is designed to help students and lecturers, as it includes not only detailed theoretical statements on the subject of experiment, but also tests and visual experiments, in which users can check their knowledge before conducting the actual experiment.

Our experience tells that a participation in the real experiment and even successful completion of it does not mean successful acquirement of the knowledge minimum which is assumed to be obligatory. So, another purpose of InMechLab is to induce the students to apply all knowledge required and, in that way, to ensure their acquirement. Additionally, work with unavailable equipment can be replaced by virtual demonstrations, so the lack of knowledge can be avoided.


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