Frequently Asked Questions on Virtual Labs


 
Q1. What are Virtual Labs?

    Virtual Labs are intended to augment the learning of science and engineering subjects through performing experiments. The experiments are designed either as simulations or as remote triggered. A remote triggered lab allows a user to connect to real equipment using a web browser. There are currently around 150 and labs and 1500 experiments at various stages of development and deployment. They are currently hosted at vlabs.ac.in. Virtual Labs is an initiative of Ministry of Human Resources, India.

Q2. What are the objectives of the Virtual Labs?

    The broad objectives of the ‘Virtual Lab’ as stated in website are:

    1. To provide remote access to Labs in various disciplines
    2. To arouse curiosity in students and help them learn concepts through remote experimentation
    3. To provide a complete ‘Learning Management System’ (LMS) around the Virtual labs –
      a. access to web-resources, videos, animated demonstrations and
      b. self evaluation
    4. To provide access to resources available to only a limited number of users due to constraints of time and physical locations.

Q3. What are the various types of Virtual Labs?

    There are two types of Virtual Labs:
    Simulation Based Virtual Labs: In these Virtual Labs, the experiments are modeled using mathematical equations. The simulations are carried out remotely at a high end server, and the results are communicated to the student over the internet. This class of Virtual Labs, at best, mimics the real-world scenarios/experiments. Simulation based Virtual Labs are scalable and can cater to a large number of simultaneous users.
    Remote Triggered Virtual Labs: In these Virtual Labs, the actual experiments are triggered remotely. The output of the experiment (being conducted remotely) is communicated back to the student over the internet. This class of Virtual Labs, gives the student the output of real-time experiments. Remote Triggered Virtual Labs are difficult to scale and can cater to a limited number of users. Typically, time-slots are booked before conducting such experiments.

Q4. Who are the intended users of the Virtual Labs?

    The intended beneficiaries of the projects are:

    1. All students and Faculty Members of Science and Engineering Colleges who do not have access to good lab-facilities and/or instruments.
    2. High-school students, whose inquisitiveness will be triggered, possibly motivating them to take up higher-studies.
    3. Researchers in different institutes who can collaborate /share equipment and resources.
    4. Different engineering colleges, who can benefit from the content and related teaching resources. The project has completely fulfilled the requirements of the targeted beneficiaries (and even gone beyond). An eco-system has evolved around Virtual Labs, where the community has become involved in evolving and benefitting from the project.

Q5. How can I access the Virtual Labs?

    All Virtual Labs can be accessed through a common website: www.vlabs.ac.in. At the user end, a PC and broadband connectivity enables the user to access Virtual Labs.

Q6. Is it free to use?

    Yes, it is free of cost to the user.

Q7. How I can find lab of my interest?
Q8. What are the software requirements for Virtual Labs?

    Download Links for all the software required to use the labs are provided on each lab’s homepage (wherever required). Please click on pre-requisites link to know the information about how to download, install and use the software.

Q9. What are the system configuration needed to run Workshops ?

    System configuration required for running Virtual Labs:

    1. Browser: Firefox, Chrome
    2. Plugins: Flash, Java 1.6 version, and IcedTea
    3. JavaScript should be enabled on the browser
    4. No pop-up blockers
    5. Internet connection (2-4 mbps)
    6. Need an Electronics Faculty while running some of the adders, multiplexers experiments.

    For more details, please follow the link

Q10. Our college internet network has firewalls. Should any specific care be taken?

    If Internet network operates behind a firewall, the communication ports to facilitate VLab network traffic should be open. Specifically ports 3306, 5900, 5902, and 8700 will need to be opened.

Q11. Can I use Virtual Labs at all times?

    Virtual Labs are divided into two categories, namely remote triggered labs and the simulation based labs. You can use the remote triggered labs, as per the time mentioned on the website. The simulation based labs are available 24x7 including weekends.

Q12. Does the Virtual Lab provide the LMS that the objectives mention?

    Virtual Lab project provides a complete Leaning Management System. For most users, Virtual Lab provides all the relevant material at one place including the Objectives of the Experiment, Procedure, Lab manual, Pre- and Post-experiment quizzes, additional Lab resources, in addition to the Virtual Lab experiment. Most labs also have an associated question bank.

Q13. How do I register for using the Virtual Labs?

    As mentioned earlier, Virtual Labs are divided into two categories: simulation based labs and remote triggered labs. Registration requirements are different for the two categories.
    Simulation based Labs: Many of the simulation based labs (marked with '*' require one-time registration link. You can register by clicking the register button on the top right corner of any Virtual Labs Page. However some labs that do not require registration can be directly accessed by following the lab links.
    Remote Triggered Labs: To access a remote triggered lab, a user has to book a slot. For booking a slot, you have to register yourself first and then book a slot from the slot chart. All the available /booked slots can be viewed on this chart. Once a request for slot-booking is made, all the information regarding the user id, password and the slot booked will be sent to the user’s email address provided by the user at the time of registration. Once registered, a user can login using the same credentials every time. This registration has to be done by the user separately for each of the remote triggered virtual labs.

Q14. I already have a Physical Lab in my college/institute. What benefit will Virtual Lab provide?

    Virtual Lab is a complete Learning Management System. All the relevant information including the theory, lab-manual, additional web-resources, video-lectures, animated demonstrations and self-evaluation are available at a common place. Virtual Labs can be used in a complementary fashion to augment the efficacy of theory-based lectures. Small projects can also be carried out using some of the Virtual Labs. Virtual Labs can be effectively used to give lab-demonstrations to large classes.

Q15. How does one derive the maximum benefit from Virtual Labs?

    In order to derive maximum learning experience, the users are advised to first read all the instructions for conducting the labs. There are 'step-by-step' instructions available in each lab to assist the users.

Q16. When I do an experiment how do I know if the experiment I did is done correctly?

    Virtual Labs will provide to the students the result of an experiment by one of the following methods (or possibly a combination):

    1. Modelling the physical phenomenon by a set of equations and carrying out simulations to yield the result of the particular experiment.
    2. Providing a corresponding measurement data for the Virtual Lab experiment based previously carried out measurements on an actual system.
    3. Remotely triggering an experiment in an actual lab and providing the student the result of the experiment through the computer interface.

Q17. How can a college conduct a Virtual Lab Workshop?

    For details, please follow the link

Q18. Whom can I contact if I get stuck while using Virtual Labs?

    You can email your concerns/queries to the Virtual Labs team at users@vlabs.ac.in. Also,you can call directly on the hotline number 011-64674687 for help.

Q19. How can I contribute to the FAQ?
Q20. How can I contribute to Virtural Labs?

Frequently Asked Questions on Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition


 
Q1. What is a Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition ?

    Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition is the Portable-Edition of Virtual Labs. It offers the offline version of Virtual labs, experiments and theoretical content. This edition addresses the lack of internet access or poor internet connectivity across different institutes/colleges. It results in a very cost-effective Learning Management System.

Q2. Why would my college need Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition?

    Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition currently has about 75 labs (750+ experiments) across multiple disciplines. It aims at providing remote access to labs for Science and Engineering students. Simulation based experimentation would now be possible without the internet facility. This initiative would make the labs developed by top technical institutes accessible to every college.

Q3. Who can use Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition?

    All interested faculty and students of the college/institutes can use Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition.

Q4. Would my college need any internet connectivity to use the Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition ?

    No,however it is encouraged that the College Cloud server be connected to the internet on a regular basis to facilitate log collection.

Q5. What are the system requirements for using the Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition ?

    For a offline Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition to be used at your institute/college, your college/institute should be a Central/State University approved by AICTE/UGC. It would also have to meet the following system requirements:

    System Configuration (recommended)

    • Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770 , CPU with 3.40GHz (Model : intel-db75en)
    • RAM : 16 GB
    • SMPS : 600 W
    • CPUs: 8
    • MotherBoard wattage: 77 W
    • 500 GB SATA
    • WiFi Router : WiFi router which could serve 30-80 users
    • Computer Lab with at least 30-80 Systems/Desktops
    • Network Input ( Network Switch , from where all the labs would obtain DHCP IP) to Computer Lab machines/Desktops.
    • This would make College Cloud accessible over the LAN network providing better results
    • System Administrator with basic knowledge of CentOS operating systems and networking.

Q6. What is the SLA (service level agreement ) for using Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition ?

    1. For the above given System Configuration, you could work with 3-5 labs at a time catering 20-30 users.
    2. Virtual Labs College Cloud server would not be connected to the internet while labs are being accessed over the College Cloud.
    3. College Cloud server should be connected to the internet on a regular basis to facilitate log collection.
    4. Videos of the labs would not be accessible from the Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition.

Q7. How can I request for a Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition Workshop to be conducted at my college?

    You can request for a Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition workshop to be conducted at your college by following the below steps :

    1. Please make sure that the requirements (Offline Virtual Labs College Cloud version) are met.
    2. Fill the Expression of Interest form.
    3. You will be contacted by the Virtual Labs Outreach Team.
    4. On confirmation from the Virtual Labs team on the workshop date (as filled in the Expression of Interest) , you will need to download the checklist form for offline Virtual Labs College Cloud version. You would need mail the duly fill/scanned form to workshops@vlabs.ac.in .
    5. On receipt of the above form, Virtual Labs Outreach Team would conduct the workshop on the scheduled date at your premises.

Q8. How can I request for a Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition for my college?

    You can request for a Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition for your college by following the below steps :

    1. Please make sure that the requirements (Offline Virtual Labs College Cloud version) are met.
    2. Fill the Expression of Interest form.
    3. On receipt of the above form, you will be contacted by the Virtual Labs Outreach Team.

Q9. How do I deploy Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition ?

    Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition could be deployed by following the steps described in the installation manual.

Q10. Where can I get support on Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition ?

    You can get help on Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition and other Virtual Labs related issues by posting on the mailing list for engineers contributing to Virtual Labs. Subscribe/Unsubscribe to the < a href="https://groups.google.com/a/vlabs.ac.in/forum/?hl=en#%21forum/engineers">engineers mailing list. You can also post your queries to the < a href="https://plus.google.com/communities/104131148292250423165">teacher's community .

Q11. Do I have to pay for the Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition ?

    No, the lab content is free of charge. However, the college would have to incur the cost of the systems and their maintenance.

Q12. What are the terms and conditions for using Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition in your college ?

    There is no financial liability on any party for using Virtual Labs. It is free to use.

    • The Institute/College cannot charge students for the use of Virtual Labs.
    • The institute/college must nominate a single point of contact for all logistical and technical coordination between the institute and Virtual Labs.

Frequently Asked Questions on Expression of Interest For Workshops


 
Q1. What is a Virtual Labs Workshop ?

    Virtual Labs Team organizes workshops with hands-on practice sessions on Virtual Labs (both Offline College Cloud version and Online version) for interested Science & Engineering Institutions. The sessionsare conducted for faculty members and students of interested institutes upon expression of their interest for Virtual Labs workshop.

Q2. Who can request for a Virtual Labs Workshop ?

    Workshops can be requested by faculty members or college/institute management of the interested Science & Engineering Institutions.

Q3. Who can participate in the workshop ?

    All interested faculty and students of the college/institutes can participate in the workshop.

Q4. Are there different versions of the Virtual Labs Workshop ?

    There are two versions of the Virtual Labs workshop : Online Version and Offline Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition.
    Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition is the Offline and Portable Edition for Virtual Labs. It offers an offline version of Virtual Labs, experiments and theoretical content. This edition addresses the lack of internet access or poor internet connectivity across different institutes/colleges. It results in a very cost-effective Learning Management System. This edition could be used effectively when specific experiments are being done by students of a class, for specific course requirements. These labs are not dependent on the quality and availability of the Internet and hence would be a stable edition for longer sessions.
    On the other hand the online version is available at all times but is dependent on a good Internet link. Any of the 1700+ odd experiments could be performed at all times providing a good opportunity for continuous usage. Thus, it is suggested that the college cloud edition and the online versions should be used together in a college. On completion of the demonstrations and hands-on sessions, the faculty members and the students are encouraged to submit the feedback form to the Virtual Labs team. These forms are compiled and analyzed for further improvements in the Virtual Labs.

Q5. What are the system requirements for the Online version of the Virtual Labs Workshop ?

    For a Online version of the Virtual Labs workshop to be conducted, your college/institute would have to meet the following system requirements:

    System configuration (Recommended)

    • Browser: Firefox, Chrome
    • Plugins: Flash, Java 1.6 version, and IcedTea
    • JavaScript should be enabled on the browser
    • No pop-up blockers
    • Internet connection (1 Mbps) and a multimedia projector

Q6. What are the other requirements for the Online version of the Virtual Labs Workshop ?

    For a Online version of the Virtual Labs workshop to be conducted , your college/institute would have to meet the following requirements:

    • The college/institute should be a Central/State University or institute/college approved by AICTE/UGC.
    • The college/institute must have an auditorium with a seating capacity of at least 100 and a designated/common lab space having 35 PCs or more.
    • In the event that the Internet operates behind a firewall, the specific communication ports 3306, 5900, 5902, and 8700 would need to be opened to facilitate Virtual Labs network traffic.
    • Java must be downloadable through the Internet and Gmail must be accessible.
    • Vlabs web page should be accessible from the browser.
    • Registration should be successful from registration page.
    • Lab-level and experiment-level feedback links ( within a lab) should be working within the institute network.

Q7. What are the system requirements for the Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition Workshop ?

    For a offline Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition Workshop to be conducted, your college/institute would have to meet the following system requirements:

    System Configuration (recommended)

    • Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770 , CPU with 3.40GHz (Model : intel-db75en)
    • RAM : 16 GB
    • SMPS : 600 W
    • CPUs: 8
    • MotherBoard wattage: 77 W
    • 500 GB SATA
    • WiFi Router : WiFi router which could serve 30-80 users
    • Computer Lab with at least 30-80 Systems/Desktops
    • Network Input ( Network Switch , from where all the labs would obtain DHCP IP) to Computer Lab machines/Desktops.
    • This would make College Cloud accessible over the LAN network providing better results.
    • System Administrator with basic knowledge of CentOS operating systems and networking.

Q8. How can I request for a Workshop to be conducted at my college?

    You can request for a workshop to be conducted at your college by following the below steps :

    1. Please make sure that the requirements (offline College Cloud version/online version) are met.
    2. Fill the Expression of Interest form.
    3. You would be contacted by the Virtual Labs Outreach Team.
    4. On confirmation from the Virtual Labs team on the workshop date (as filled in the Expression of Interest) , you would need to download a checklist form for online version and/or a checklist form for offline College Cloud version. You would then need to mail the duly fill/scanned form to workshops@vlabs.ac.in .
    5. On receipt of the above form, Virtual Labs Outreach Team would conduct the workshop on the scheduled date at your premises.

Q9. What are the other requirements for the Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition Workshop ?

    For a offline Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition Workshop to be conducted, your college/institute would have to meet the following system requirements:

    • The college/institute should be a Central/State University or institute/college approved by AICTE/UGC.
    • The college/institute must have an auditorium with a seating capacity of at least 100 and a designated/common lab space having 35 PCs or more.

Q10. Can I request for both Online and Offline Virtual Labs College Cloud Edition Workshop version to be conducted at my college ?

    Yes, both versions of workshop can conducted at your college. However, you would need to ensure that the requirements for both versions are met.

Q11. What would be covered in the workshop ?

    An overview ,demo and hands-on of two Virtual Labs will be covered during the workshop.

Q12. Does my college have to pay for the workshops ?

    College/Institute will have to pay for the travel,lodging and boarding for two Virtual Labs representatives.

Q13. Where can I get support on Virtual Labs Workshops ?
Q14. What are the terms and conditions for using Virtual Labs in your college ?

    There is no financial liability on any party for using Virtual Labs. It is free to use.

    • The Institute/College cannot charge students for the use of Virtual Labs.
    • The institute/college must nominate a single point of contact for all logistical and technical coordination between the institute and Virtual Labs.

Q15. Where have the Virtual Labs workshops been conducted ?

    Please follow the link to view the list of colleges where Virtual Labs Workshops have been conducted.