A semi-open learning environment for virtual laboratories Chapter in Scopus uri icon


  • Open learning environments often involve simulation where learners can experiment with different aspects and parameters of a given phenomenon to observe the effects of these changes. These are desirable in virtual laboratories. However, an important limitation of open learning environments is the effectiveness for learning, because it strongly depends on the learner ability to explore adequately. We have developed a semi-open learning environment for a virtual robotics laboratory based on simulation, to learn through free exploration, but with specific performance criteria that guide the learning process. We proposed a generic architecture for this environment, in which the key element is an intelligent tutoring system coupled to a virtual laboratory. The tutor module combines the performance and exploration behaviour of a student in several experiments, to decide the best way to guide his/her. We present an evaluation with an initial group of 20 students. The results show how this semi-open leraning environment can help to accelerate and improve the learning process. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005.

Publication date

  • December 1, 2005