Virtual Learning Environments for Manufacturing Education and Training

Hamed F. Manesh, Dirk Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While some universities may be able to expose their students to the latest manufacturing systems and technologies, others may not be that fortunate due to the lack of financial resources. Because of this, alternative avenues for providing their students with equivalent education and training need to be developed. A potential response to this call is the adoption of advanced computer technology to facilitate the provision of flexible manufacturing-related education and training programs. To date, many studies have shown that the use of computers for teaching and training purposes is feasible and rapidly be-coming an integral part of the general learning process. It has also been confirmed that recent advances in information and communications technologies have positively influenced and changed the economics of engineering education. These advances can be exploited as a powerful vehicle for educators to develop IT-enabled learning environments for manufacturing that utilize simulation, automated data acquisition, remote control of instruments, rapid data analysis, and video presentations. Computer applications related to simulating manufacturing processes have shaped a field which is currently known as Virtual Manufacturing (VM). In this paper, the authors present an introductory overview of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) for manufacturing related education and training. After an initial discussion of educational advantages of such VLEs, technological realization aspects, typical IT infrastructures and equipment configurations are explained. This is followed by an illustrative example of a specific VLE
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
JournalComputers in Education Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • Manufacturing


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