This paper considers the provision of laboratory-practicals for distance-education students in engineering degree programmes. The authors discuss the role of laboratory-practical work in the curriculum and reflect on five methods that can be used to ensure off-campus students have an equivalent practical experience as the traditional on-campus cohort. On-campus sessions, videotapes (or ‘on-line’ movie-clips), computer simulations, home experiment kits and laboratories controlled over the internet are covered. Some examples are given to show how these can be incorporated into the curriculum. A case study then discusses the problem of (and an exemplar solution to) delivering the laboratory-practical components of two microcontroller units offered at Deakin University – a leading provider of distance-education in Australia. In doing so, it leads the reader through the solution process and cites some constraints that drive the choice of model - for example, cost considerations and the need for relevant didactic materials.
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