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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractDistance education is a growing trend in today’s society. One component, however, that has not been able to be translated well to online learning is the physical experience of a laboratory experiment. Our particular project was to motorize a preexisting optical engineering laboratory experiment so that it could be performed remotely over the Internet anywhere in the world. We engineered this with the goal of providing as much of an in-‐lab experience as possible hopefully demonstrating the viability of this concept as an educational tool. Ultimately, the project does demonstrate that it is possible to translate physical laboratories to online experiences where the critical concepts of the lab are still effectively learned through the manipulation of a limited selection of the hardware components. However, as a supplement to distance students’ restricted curriculum, this system can be an invaluable learning tool. In the future, this system could be scaled to incorporate more laboratory experiments with the ultimate goal of creating a fully online curriculum.