Day of Teaching 2008: Authoring tool project for developing a web-based virtual physics laboratory wins state prize

Faculty of Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science of Mainz University receives the Rhineland-Palatinate Excellence Award for Learning and Teaching


One of the winners of the 2008 Excellence Award for Learning and Teaching in Rhineland-Palatinate is the project "Authoring tool for developing a web-based virtual laboratory." This project will try to develop a comprehensive array of e-learning concepts, i.e. methods of presentation and management of teaching content in an electronic format, adapted to teaching in the field of physics. One of the project's main goals is to make sure that electronic media with its expanded didactic possibilities can be used by lecturers with as little effort as possible.

To a large extent, modern physics involves extreme conditions that are virtually impossible for students to visualize. There is simply no way for lecturers to perform demonstrations of the tiny world of submicroscopic particles where the laws of quantum mechanics apply or the great cosmos where theories of relativity measure values and speeds larger than anything that can be perceived by the naked eye.

To deal with these worlds of extreme conditions, this project will develop an authoring tool that can be used to generate interactive virtual presentations that make these subjects more accessible. In doing so, it is also very important to the project team that this authoring tool can be used to integrate all the media involved in a lesson –from the lecturer's chalkboard drawing to an e-learning platform – within the framework of one overarching teaching concept.