Open Digital Lab 4you

The BMBF-funded joint project "Open Digital Lab 4you" (DigiLab4U for short) aims to digitally link real laboratories and virtual learning locations to form a hybrid learning and working environment that enables cross-location, networked learning and research. The focus lies on the areas of production and logistics and the challenge at the universities to enable the acquisition of the required competences in a practical and industry-oriented way. The project is supported by a consortium consisting of the Hochschule für Technik (HFT) Stuttgart, the Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik (BIBA), the Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) of the University of Koblenz-Landau, the RWTH Aachen and the University of Parma.
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The subproject of the IWM deals with the development, testing and evaluation of a methodical-didactical concept as well as the provision of current mixed-reality technologies for the design of this hybrid learning and working environment. The IWM focuses on scenarios to support collaborative learning in teams as well as individual learning. The focus is on cross-location collaboration between multiple users, interaction with real objects via the Internet, and ways to promote self-directed learning in such complex environments. In particular, the potential of Mixed Reality to support such scenarios will be explored.

The availability and performance of smartphones, tablets and AR/VR glasses has increased massively in recent years. As a result, the use of mixed reality for e-learning has become practicable. Mixed Reality offers potential for collaborative learning, in which shared knowledge arises from the distributed knowledge of the participants through the exchange of knowledge. In addition, learners are effectively supported by embedding additional information in the real world.

The structure and interfaces of existing "learning management systems" are to be examined for compatibility with mixed reality. This concerns in particular their metaphorics, which must be interpreted graphically in a suitable way. Ideally, the concept of a digital learning environment can be rethought in virtual reality.

In addition to this, the integration of digital, standardised performance and competence certificates - the so-called OpenBadges - is strived for. These should be used for self-directed learning, for example to increase the motivation of learners. In addition, open badges offer opportunities to model alternative learning paths for the learner and thus facilitate self-directed learning. In particular, this can be achieved through the expanded scope of the new media - in the form of more attractive visual stimuli and realistic interaction possibilities.

This project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the number 16DHB2115.