The health, humanitarian, social & economic crises set off by the COVID-19 pandemic have been unprecedented, with wide-ranging impacts on societies. The educational systems came to a sudden stop, forcing learning intitutions, including traditional universities, to move their lessons online.
Complementary activities, such as practical experiments, were left aside. Practical activities are crucial for science and engineering subjects, because they allow students to acquire skills such as working in group, set up an experiment or use real equipment. These activities can be reproduced online using virtual labs and simulations able to mimic the laboratory setting but, for how realistic these simulations are, they cannot include every real situation. The solution could be to combine the advantages of online systems with real labs giving to students the chance to carry out real experiments by accessing remotely the lab, performing the practical experience working individually and in group receiving feedbacks by the remote infrastructure.
Hence, the project goal is to promote the digital transformation of HE to cope with the needs and challenges created by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in EU by allowing an easy access to the laboratories to practice experiments/practical activities on renewable energies topics at EU universities.
Why were Renewable Energies chosen as our area of interest?
Renewable energy solutions provide clean, reliable, easy to mobilise and cost-effective energy for essential services, including healthcare, water and food supply. This makes them crucial in the fast response to COVID-19. Besides, renewable energy must play a key role in economic recovery, ensuring sustainability and energy security, creating jobs and supporting resilience to protect people’s health and welfare.
RE-OPEN project aims to set up, test and validate a standardized ICT solution and educational model to perform laboratory activities remotely, merging online and traditional learning, and allowing students to experience practical activities/experiments integrated to the theoretical lessons on renewable energy subjects at EU universities.
- ICT-based learning solution and pedagogical model of remote laboratories (IO1) designed based on the mapping of university both remote and physical laboratories at EU partners universities.
- Remote laboratory ICT system /infrastructure for the connection at distance of the physical laboratories (IO2) with the support of the Augmented Reality (AR) as additional guide during laboratory experiments (such as additional information on the instruments, on the practical experience to perform the experiment ).
- Remote experimentation modules/projects (IO3) on renewable energy delivered on the LMS (IO4) as user interface linked to ICT-based solutions for by each university partner.
- Remote Laboratories set up in the EU partners universities tested and evaluated by at least n°10 students each university (IO5).