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Inductive Teaching and Learning in Engineering Pedagogy on the Example of Remote Labs

Inductive Teaching and Learning in Engineering Pedagogy on the Example of Remote Labs PAPER Inductive Teaching and Learning in Engineering Pedagogy on the Example of Remote Labs http://dx.doi.org/10.3991/ijep.v4i4.3828 1 1 2 Raivo Sell , Tiia Rüütmann and Sven Seiler Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Bochum, Germany Abstract—Inductive principles in Engineering Pedagogy and used in real study process and not only for piloting. In have been presented in the present paper on the example of the present article the concept of inductive principles in remote labs. Inductive teaching is one way to help students Engineering Pedagogy on the example of remote labs will learn to use the fundamental concepts for problem solving – be presented. The first part introduces concept of new focusing on cases that students could work on to help engineering pedagogy and presents most recent trends and develop an understanding of the phenomenon. For effective advancements. Second part of the paper presents an over- inductive teaching and problem solving tasks a supportive view of remote lab system developed in the frame of Life- technical concept is needed. Here remotely controlled and long Learning projects and is currently in active use by virtual labs, which have got into focus during last years, can several vocational schools and universities. The system help a lot and offer flexibility and freedom for students. In supports the inductive teaching. this paper we are presenting an Engineering Pedagogy program and holistic technical solution based on remote II. CONCEPT OF ENGINEERING PEDAGOGY labs for supporting the engineering studies. National systems are expressions in a very special way of a country’s cultural identity. When comparing the Index Terms—inductive model, engineering pedagogy, ro- structures of the programs of study at university level, botics, remote lab, virtual lab according to International Society for Engineering Peda- gogy (IGIP), the diversity could be reduced to two differ- I. INTRODUCTION ent university systems [1]. The so-called “Common Euro- pean university approach” or Bologna Declaration has The dominant teaching model in engineering is deduc- created an international standard for integrating the Engi- tive, where a teacher takes full control of the transmission neering Pedagogy programs into European university of knowledge – this model regards a teacher as an expert system. Studies in Engineering Pedagogy may be inde- and students as a group of novices. The process of learn- pendent studies after engineering studies either on Bache- ing, thinking, and doing sends a powerful message that lor or Master level, organized in two different ways: trans- students receive as information about how engineers disciplinary continuing education yielding a certificate work. Numerous textbook problems, students have to (min 20 ECTS credits) or a Master’s degree in Engineer- solve, do not sufficiently challenge them to move to a ing Pedagogy (min 60 ECTS credits). Studies in Engineer- deeper level understanding and skill of analysis that helps ing Pedagogy may also be integrated into a long-cycle towards critical thinking. Learning to use concepts to engineering program or a Master’s degree program. The analyze real-world problems is an important goal in teach- so-called “American system” is based on the foundation ing engineering, but students have very little opportunity of two different consecutive programs or cycles of study – to develop these skills today. Bachelor’s degree (3-4 years) and Master’s degree (1-2 Inductive teaching is one way to help students learn to years). Studies in Engineering Pedagogy may be integrat- use the fundamental concepts for problem solving – focus- ed into either of the study cycles or follow them in mini- ing on cases that students could work on to help develop mal amount of 20 ECTS credits. In both systems it is an understanding of the phenomenon before a principle is assumed that a technical teacher has acquired a high level introduced. To be effective in this method hands-on expe- of technical knowledge while studying engineering and rience is essential. However, today’s teaching and learning meets the requirements as defined by European Federation process needs much more flexibility and use of different of National Engineering Associations (FEANI) for regis- mediums. Classical lecture-exercise-exam method cannot tration as European Engineer - EUR ING. fulfill anymore today's needs. Information and new Estonian Centre for Engineering Pedagogy at Tallinn knowledge is quite often acquired by students from Inter- University of Technology has designed a new program for net. This is their normal environment and to be successful continuing education of technical teachers in Engineering of teaching engineering we need to offer also engineering Pedagogy, which has been registered in Estonian Ministry subjects over the Internet, but not only as uploaded mate- of Education and Research. The program in the amount of rial, but interactive and real hands-on practical tasks. This 30 ECTS credits meets the requirements of IGIP [2] and is not trivial task and needs most advanced technology as has been accredited by IGIP until 2017. The program well as new teaching concept in highest level. For engi- consists of following compulsory studies: core modules neering studies, online and remote labs are starting to (Engineering Pedagogy Science; Laboratory Didactics), develop in recent years. Even most of them are in experi- theory modules (Psychology and Sociology; Ethics and mental stage, more and more real systems can be found 12 http://www.i-jep.org PAPER Intercultural Competencies), practice modules (Rhetoric, ing objectives. Models are specific approaches to instruc- Communication and Scientific Writing; Working with tion that have four characteristics: they are designed to Projects: Curriculum Design; Media, E-Learning and help students acquire deep understanding of specific forms Computer-Aided Technologies) and elective technology of content and to develop their critical-thinking abilities; subjects (for gymnasium/K-12 technical teachers, includ- they include a series of specific steps that are intended to ing Robotics; Mathematics; IT and Descriptive Geometry help students reach the objectives; they are grounded in - each in the amount of 6 ECTS credits). The amount of learning theory, and are supported by motivation theory. elective technology subjects is minimum 12 ECTS credits. Developments and overview in remote labs are well The described program has become the basis of the design summarized by Gomes and Garcia-Zubia [3]. There is also of a new Master’s degree curriculum for technical teacher list of different labs available online but still most of them education in Estonia. Additionally there will be subjects in are in experimental stage and not methodically included engineering specialty and teaching practice (min 15 ECTS into real study process. Quite often remote labs in robotics credits). The studies will be completed after passing the are realized by the use of National Instruments proprietary Master’s degree examination in the amount of 15 ECTS LabView software and hardware solution. For example credits. To fulfill new requirement of Engineering Peda- virtual and remote robotic laboratory uses EJS, MATLAB, gogy program and current needs of universities a technical and LabVIEW in Spain [9], or Portuguese version of solution must exist. The important part of the whole tech- lab2go [10]. Another common approach is to use micro- nical solution is access to remote labs. Remote labs can be controller system which can be controller over the Internet either distance labs where real hardware can be controller and which passes input-output signals to external devices. over the Internet or virtual labs where the real hardware is This approach is used in labs presented later in this paper. simulated by the computer. In both cases lab management system and supportive study material must exist to be able IV. TEACHING ROBOTICS AND EMBEDDED SYSTEMS - to use online labs in real study process. According to Mül- METHODOLOGY ler and Erbe [3], remote labs are ideal tools also for teach- Teaching the robotics and embedded systems in today’s ing collaborative learning skills and thus later these stu- social environments of young people needs to apply new dents are more successful in collaborative engineering methodology in both, didactical and technical side. Inter- which is highly valued skill in today’s professional engi- net is playing the crucial role for young people behavior neering. and also as a learning environment and it cannot be dis- Team-based learning is one of the best examples of col- carded. On the contrary, teaching methods, including laborate learning in engineering, being used in remote didactic approach and technical concept have to be adopt- labs. This instructional strategy helps to create higher ed according to new requirements. According to our expe- level understanding and may be combined with the use of rience the new teaching methodology concept has been the flipped classroom. In this case students reach the mod- developed and named as Robotic Teaching and Learning erate level of understanding already in the preparation Concept (RTLC). This concept is described in detail in the phase and afterwards they can start the application phase, doctoral thesis [11], journal papers [12, 13] and presented solving real problems, making predictions in small group in Fig. 1. application exercises. The didactical part of the concept consists of a strategy for implementing the blended learning concept into daily III. STATE OF ART education and a set of learning materials. The coherences In March 2013 in Berlin at EDUCON2013 conference between technical concept parts and their application in IGIP and IEEE Educational Society signed the agreement the pedagogical context based on two parts a) "Teach- for cooperation; accordingly teachers who have passed er/instructor" and "Student/Learner", where their point of technical teacher education based on IGIP Engineering intersection is the Network of Excellence (NoE) [14], Pedagogy curriculum will be awarded the qualification of which is the repository of teaching and learning material. International Engineering Educator ING-PAED IGIP. The Teachers tools consists of a teaching methodology, peda- sister organizations IGIP and IEEE-ES will start the foun- dation of common training centers for education of engi- neering educators. There are 34 training centers accredited by IGIP, e.g. in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Nether- lands, Brazil, Canada, etc [4] and 20 IGIP National Moni- toring Committees all over the world, including in Esto- nia. According to Felder [5], [6] instead of beginning with general principles and eventually getting applications, the instruction begins with specifics – a set of observations or experimental data to interpret, a case study to analyses, a complex real-world problem to solve or a set of activities in remote lab to implement. As the students attempt to analyze the data or scenario or solve a problem, they gen- erate a need for facts, rules, procedures, and guiding prin- ciples, at which point they are either presented with the needed information or helped to discover it for them- selves. According to Eggen & Kauchak [7], [8] strategies are general approaches to instruction that apply in a varie- ty of content areas and are used to meet a range of learn- Figure 1. The Robotic Teaching and Learning Concept iJEP ‒ Volume 4, Issue 4, 2014 13 PAPER gogical collaboration with other teachers in an interna- tional platform, supervisor speci!c content, available through NoE and teachers training (for instance ’train the trainer’ seminars), enhancing teachers knowledge of usa- ble and available tools and content. The learners’ side is supported by textbooks and lab guides and other eLearn- ing material, which is freely accessible online through NoE. In addition, the HomeLab kit, DistanceLab and VirtualLab builds are the tools for this, leading to a robot- ic contest or joint student projects utilizing the introduced material. The overall goal of the concept is to extend the knowledge of integrated systems and learners practical skills. V. REMOTE LABS IN EMBEDDED SYSTEMS AND ROBOTICS Remotely controlled and virtual labs have got into focus in last years and the number of established labs is increas- ing rapidly. Existing online labs have very different inter- faces and technical setup, starting from simple webcam enabled experiment room to complex direct manipulation and feedback evaluation systems. Some of them have been Figure 2. The structure of DistanceLab e-environment integrated into general study environment, some has just separate web interface to program the device. As the tanceLab portal by the users with sufficient rights. Robots number of labs is increasing, one organization may have are based on robot platform equipped with ultrasonic several different types of online labs available. In most distance sensor, wheel encoders and line following infra- cases there is no general lab management system yet red sensors. The difference between previous lab and available to manage and mediate online labs in unified mobile robot lab is the camera interface. In Robotic way. For solving described issues the e-environment HomeLab test bench, every device has its own personal called DistanceLab portal is developed and shortly pre- camera whereas mobile robot lab has only two general sented in this paper. DistanceLab portal is a web based overview cameras. system mediating and managing different type of labs. The system can handle very different type of labs and C. Manipultor Lab devices by offering the unified functionality. The structure The manipulator lab is currently consisting of three of the system is presented in Fig. 2. Arexx 6 DOF manipulators with small gripper. These labs Currently following remote labs are most often used: are integrated into a web desktop environment, enabling a) Robotic HomeLab kit test bench students to control and program the manipulator in three b) Mobile robot lab different ways. First option is to directly control the six c) Manipulator lab motors by a graphical user interface by moving sliders d) 3D printer Lab (see Fig. 3.), second one to program the arm in C in an online based editor. The third option to program the ma- All mentioned labs belong to the embedded system do- nipulator is a graphical programming language, where the main where microcontroller is the central unit controlling students can choose standard blocks (like loops or other the actuators and reading the inputs. These labs are used to control structures with different conditions) and drag and learn and teach the microcontroller programming in C drop them in a graphical structured representation of language with targeting to the real hardware systems source code, which will be compiled to runnable binary found in industry. code by a special compiler. A. Robotic HomeLab test bench VI. NOVELTY OF APPLYING REMOTE LAB IN Robotic HomeLab test bench is based on Robotic ENGINEERING PEDAGOGY HomeLab kit where the kit is assembled into small test bench system. The system consists of standard compo- Schools have typically neglected teaching for thinking, and transfer thinking operations from one subject to an- nents from HomeLab basic and add-on kits. In particular, other and to real life. Emphasis has been on information DC motor, stepper motor and servo motor as actuators and acquisition and low-level content. Students need to do infrared, ultrasonic distance sensors, temperature sensor more than learn information. Thinking skills and process- and photo resistor as sensors. Students can perform sever- es need to be learned, as does the ability to use these in a al exercises assigned by supervisor over the Internet by variety of contexts. Teaching should accomplish authen- using this remote lab. The feedback of programmed con- troller behavior can be acquired from online video- tic, active, collaborative, problem-based learning is the direction proposed, along with learning to think and ac- feedback system where all test benches have their own tively implement the acquired knowledge in labs, includ- personal camera. ing remote labs. B. Mobile Robot Lab The Inductive Model, often described as guided discov- Mobile robot lab is a set of similar mobile robots driv- ery, is a straightforward but powerful model designed to ing around the arena. Robots can be booked over the Dis- help students acquire deep and thorough understanding of 14 http://www.i-jep.org PAPER REFERENCES [1] IGIP Criteria for Accreditation of Engineering Pedagogy Studies, approved by IGIP Executive Committee on September 11th, 2006 www.igip.org (retrieved on April 29, 2013). [2] IGIP Recommendations for Studies in Engineering Pedagogy Science, approved by IGIP Executive Committee on September 11the 2006 www.igip.org (retrieved on April 29, 2013). [3] L. Gomes and J. Garcia-Zubia (eds.), Advanceson Remote La- boratories and E-learning Experiences, Deusto Publicaciones, [4] Official web-site of IGIP www.igip.org (retrieved on April 29, 2013). [5] R. M. Felder, “Inductive Teaching and Learning Methods: Defini- tions, Comparisons and Research Bases,” Journal of Engineering Figure 3. Fragment of Manipulator Lab user interface Education. 95 (2), 2006, pp. 123-138. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ j.2168-9830.2006.tb00884.x well-defined topics. Grounded in the view that learners [6] R. M. Felder, “Teaching Engineering in the 21st Century with a construct their own understanding, the model requires 12th-Century Model: How Bright is that?” Chemical Engineering Education, 40(2), 2006, pp. 110-113. teachers to be skilled in questioning and guiding students [7] P. D. Egge and D. P. Kauchak, Strategies and Models for Teach- thinking and making on-the-spot decisions. This is sophis- ers, Teaching Content and Thinking Skills, Pearson Education, ticated and demanding instruction. The model is effective 2006, 376 p. for promoting students involvement and motivation within [8] G. Borich, Effective Teaching Methods, Research-Based Practice, a safe and supportive learning environment in remote labs. 7th ed., Pearson Education, 2011, 477 p. Introduced teaching strategies and models are designed to [9] D. Chaos, J. Chacon, JA. Lopez-Orozco and S. Dormido, “Virtual capacitate deep understanding and critical thinking in and Remote Robotic Laboratory Using EJS, MATLAB and Lab- teaching engineering. Accordingly students will be able to VIEW,” Sensors Vol. 13, Issue: 2, 2013, pp. 2595-2612. explain, find evidence and examples, generalize, apply, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s130202595 analogies and represent a topic in a new way. [10] T. Restivo, “The Portuguese Contribution for lab2go - pt.lab2go,” in International Journal of Online Engineering, vol 9, pp. 7-9, We recommend to start with realistic complex prob- lems, let students establish what they know and what they [11] S. Seiler, supervisors R. Sell, R. Laaneots. Laboratory as a Service need to find out, and then guide them inductively in find- - A Holistic Framework for Remote and Virtual Labs. Ph.D thesis, ing it out by providing a combination of resources (which Tallinn University of Technology Press, 2012. may include interactive mini-lectures and integrated [12] S. Seiler, R. Sell, D. Ptasik and M. Bölter, “Holistic web-based hands-on, simulated experiments and remote labs) and Virtual Micro Controller Framework for research and education,” guidance on performing library and Internet research. in International Journal of Online Engineering, vol 8, nr 4, 2012, pp. 58-64. VII. CONCLUSIONS [13] R. Sell, S. Seiler, “Improvements of Multi-disciplinary Engineer- ing Study by Exploiting Design-centric Approach, Supported by Understanding is a worthwhile goal, it can reduce a Remote and Virtual Labs,” in International Journal of Engineering chaotic mental world to a more predictable and satisfying Education, vol. 28, issue 4, 2012, pp. 759-766. state. It also facilitates further learning and recall of [14] S. Seiler, R. Sell and D. Ptasik, “Embedded System and Robotic knowledge, particularly in novel situations. Understanding Education in a Blended Learning Environment Utilizing Remote and Virtual Labs in the Cloud, Accompanied by ‘Robotic Home- is often acknowledged to be an aim of learning. A teacher Lab Kit’,” International Journal of Emerging Technologies in is not the only one who can regulate learning. Learners Learning, Vol 7, Issue: 4, 2012, pp. 26-33. themselves can monitor and control their learning by de- veloping meta-cognitive skills in remote labs. AUTHORS Although few people disagree, that educating engineer- Raivo Sell and Tiia Rüütmann are with Tallinn Uni- ing students to become good learners and teachers means versity of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 19086 Tallinn, that they must also be good thinkers, the road towards the Estonia (raivo.sell@ttu.ee, tiia.ruutmann@ttu.ee). goal is not automatic. Helping students reach that goal Sven Seiler was with Bochum University of Applied takes time, knowledge, awareness and planning on the Sciences, and is now with it:matters UG, Am Erlenkamp part of the teacher. Teaching students how to think is a journey, not an event. 27 D-44801 Bochum Germany (seiler@it-matters.eu). Professional-level teaching is both an art and a science. The development of described labs is supported by EU Life Long Like an artist, a good technical teacher makes decision Learning program projects USORA and ViReal. The research is support- ed by ETF 8652. It is an extended and modified version of a paper pre- from both a technical and a creative perspective. Profes- sented at the International Conference exp.at'13, held 18-20 September sional technical teachers develop artistry by being aware 2013, in Coimbra, Portugal. Submitted 30 April 2014. Published as of what they are doing, and how it affects their learners. resubmitted by the authors 05 October 2014. They are constantly aware that the choices they make affect the intellectual, attitudinal and psychomotor skills of their students. Above all, they make decisions. iJEP ‒ Volume 4, Issue 4, 2014 15 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) Unpaywall

Inductive Teaching and Learning in Engineering Pedagogy on the Example of Remote Labs

International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP)Oct 5, 2014

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PAPER Inductive Teaching and Learning in Engineering Pedagogy on the Example of Remote Labs http://dx.doi.org/10.3991/ijep.v4i4.3828 1 1 2 Raivo Sell , Tiia Rüütmann and Sven Seiler Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Bochum, Germany Abstract—Inductive principles in Engineering Pedagogy and used in real study process and not only for piloting. In have been presented in the present paper on the example of the present article the concept of inductive principles in remote labs. Inductive teaching is one way to help students Engineering Pedagogy on the example of remote labs will learn to use the fundamental concepts for problem solving – be presented. The first part introduces concept of new focusing on cases that students could work on to help engineering pedagogy and presents most recent trends and develop an understanding of the phenomenon. For effective advancements. Second part of the paper presents an over- inductive teaching and problem solving tasks a supportive view of remote lab system developed in the frame of Life- technical concept is needed. Here remotely controlled and long Learning projects and is currently in active use by virtual labs, which have got into focus during last years, can several vocational schools and universities. The system help a lot and offer flexibility and freedom for students. In supports the inductive teaching. this paper we are presenting an Engineering Pedagogy program and holistic technical solution based on remote II. CONCEPT OF ENGINEERING PEDAGOGY labs for supporting the engineering studies. National systems are expressions in a very special way of a country’s cultural identity. When comparing the Index Terms—inductive model, engineering pedagogy, ro- structures of the programs of study at university level, botics, remote lab, virtual lab according to International Society for Engineering Peda- gogy (IGIP), the diversity could be reduced to two differ- I. INTRODUCTION ent university systems [1]. The so-called “Common Euro- pean university approach” or Bologna Declaration has The dominant teaching model in engineering is deduc- created an international standard for integrating the Engi- tive, where a teacher takes full control of the transmission neering Pedagogy programs into European university of knowledge – this model regards a teacher as an expert system. Studies in Engineering Pedagogy may be inde- and students as a group of novices. The process of learn- pendent studies after engineering studies either on Bache- ing, thinking, and doing sends a powerful message that lor or Master level, organized in two different ways: trans- students receive as information about how engineers disciplinary continuing education yielding a certificate work. Numerous textbook problems, students have to (min 20 ECTS credits) or a Master’s degree in Engineer- solve, do not sufficiently challenge them to move to a ing Pedagogy (min 60 ECTS credits). Studies in Engineer- deeper level understanding and skill of analysis that helps ing Pedagogy may also be integrated into a long-cycle towards critical thinking. Learning to use concepts to engineering program or a Master’s degree program. The analyze real-world problems is an important goal in teach- so-called “American system” is based on the foundation ing engineering, but students have very little opportunity of two different consecutive programs or cycles of study – to develop these skills today. Bachelor’s degree (3-4 years) and Master’s degree (1-2 Inductive teaching is one way to help students learn to years). Studies in Engineering Pedagogy may be integrat- use the fundamental concepts for problem solving – focus- ed into either of the study cycles or follow them in mini- ing on cases that students could work on to help develop mal amount of 20 ECTS credits. In both systems it is an understanding of the phenomenon before a principle is assumed that a technical teacher has acquired a high level introduced. To be effective in this method hands-on expe- of technical knowledge while studying engineering and rience is essential. However, today’s teaching and learning meets the requirements as defined by European Federation process needs much more flexibility and use of different of National Engineering Associations (FEANI) for regis- mediums. Classical lecture-exercise-exam method cannot tration as European Engineer - EUR ING. fulfill anymore today's needs. Information and new Estonian Centre for Engineering Pedagogy at Tallinn knowledge is quite often acquired by students from Inter- University of Technology has designed a new program for net. This is their normal environment and to be successful continuing education of technical teachers in Engineering of teaching engineering we need to offer also engineering Pedagogy, which has been registered in Estonian Ministry subjects over the Internet, but not only as uploaded mate- of Education and Research. The program in the amount of rial, but interactive and real hands-on practical tasks. This 30 ECTS credits meets the requirements of IGIP [2] and is not trivial task and needs most advanced technology as has been accredited by IGIP until 2017. The program well as new teaching concept in highest level. For engi- consists of following compulsory studies: core modules neering studies, online and remote labs are starting to (Engineering Pedagogy Science; Laboratory Didactics), develop in recent years. Even most of them are in experi- theory modules (Psychology and Sociology; Ethics and mental stage, more and more real systems can be found 12 http://www.i-jep.org PAPER Intercultural Competencies), practice modules (Rhetoric, ing objectives. Models are specific approaches to instruc- Communication and Scientific Writing; Working with tion that have four characteristics: they are designed to Projects: Curriculum Design; Media, E-Learning and help students acquire deep understanding of specific forms Computer-Aided Technologies) and elective technology of content and to develop their critical-thinking abilities; subjects (for gymnasium/K-12 technical teachers, includ- they include a series of specific steps that are intended to ing Robotics; Mathematics; IT and Descriptive Geometry help students reach the objectives; they are grounded in - each in the amount of 6 ECTS credits). The amount of learning theory, and are supported by motivation theory. elective technology subjects is minimum 12 ECTS credits. Developments and overview in remote labs are well The described program has become the basis of the design summarized by Gomes and Garcia-Zubia [3]. There is also of a new Master’s degree curriculum for technical teacher list of different labs available online but still most of them education in Estonia. Additionally there will be subjects in are in experimental stage and not methodically included engineering specialty and teaching practice (min 15 ECTS into real study process. Quite often remote labs in robotics credits). The studies will be completed after passing the are realized by the use of National Instruments proprietary Master’s degree examination in the amount of 15 ECTS LabView software and hardware solution. For example credits. To fulfill new requirement of Engineering Peda- virtual and remote robotic laboratory uses EJS, MATLAB, gogy program and current needs of universities a technical and LabVIEW in Spain [9], or Portuguese version of solution must exist. The important part of the whole tech- lab2go [10]. Another common approach is to use micro- nical solution is access to remote labs. Remote labs can be controller system which can be controller over the Internet either distance labs where real hardware can be controller and which passes input-output signals to external devices. over the Internet or virtual labs where the real hardware is This approach is used in labs presented later in this paper. simulated by the computer. In both cases lab management system and supportive study material must exist to be able IV. TEACHING ROBOTICS AND EMBEDDED SYSTEMS - to use online labs in real study process. According to Mül- METHODOLOGY ler and Erbe [3], remote labs are ideal tools also for teach- Teaching the robotics and embedded systems in today’s ing collaborative learning skills and thus later these stu- social environments of young people needs to apply new dents are more successful in collaborative engineering methodology in both, didactical and technical side. Inter- which is highly valued skill in today’s professional engi- net is playing the crucial role for young people behavior neering. and also as a learning environment and it cannot be dis- Team-based learning is one of the best examples of col- carded. On the contrary, teaching methods, including laborate learning in engineering, being used in remote didactic approach and technical concept have to be adopt- labs. This instructional strategy helps to create higher ed according to new requirements. According to our expe- level understanding and may be combined with the use of rience the new teaching methodology concept has been the flipped classroom. In this case students reach the mod- developed and named as Robotic Teaching and Learning erate level of understanding already in the preparation Concept (RTLC). This concept is described in detail in the phase and afterwards they can start the application phase, doctoral thesis [11], journal papers [12, 13] and presented solving real problems, making predictions in small group in Fig. 1. application exercises. The didactical part of the concept consists of a strategy for implementing the blended learning concept into daily III. STATE OF ART education and a set of learning materials. The coherences In March 2013 in Berlin at EDUCON2013 conference between technical concept parts and their application in IGIP and IEEE Educational Society signed the agreement the pedagogical context based on two parts a) "Teach- for cooperation; accordingly teachers who have passed er/instructor" and "Student/Learner", where their point of technical teacher education based on IGIP Engineering intersection is the Network of Excellence (NoE) [14], Pedagogy curriculum will be awarded the qualification of which is the repository of teaching and learning material. International Engineering Educator ING-PAED IGIP. The Teachers tools consists of a teaching methodology, peda- sister organizations IGIP and IEEE-ES will start the foun- dation of common training centers for education of engi- neering educators. There are 34 training centers accredited by IGIP, e.g. in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Nether- lands, Brazil, Canada, etc [4] and 20 IGIP National Moni- toring Committees all over the world, including in Esto- nia. According to Felder [5], [6] instead of beginning with general principles and eventually getting applications, the instruction begins with specifics – a set of observations or experimental data to interpret, a case study to analyses, a complex real-world problem to solve or a set of activities in remote lab to implement. As the students attempt to analyze the data or scenario or solve a problem, they gen- erate a need for facts, rules, procedures, and guiding prin- ciples, at which point they are either presented with the needed information or helped to discover it for them- selves. According to Eggen & Kauchak [7], [8] strategies are general approaches to instruction that apply in a varie- ty of content areas and are used to meet a range of learn- Figure 1. The Robotic Teaching and Learning Concept iJEP ‒ Volume 4, Issue 4, 2014 13 PAPER gogical collaboration with other teachers in an interna- tional platform, supervisor speci!c content, available through NoE and teachers training (for instance ’train the trainer’ seminars), enhancing teachers knowledge of usa- ble and available tools and content. The learners’ side is supported by textbooks and lab guides and other eLearn- ing material, which is freely accessible online through NoE. In addition, the HomeLab kit, DistanceLab and VirtualLab builds are the tools for this, leading to a robot- ic contest or joint student projects utilizing the introduced material. The overall goal of the concept is to extend the knowledge of integrated systems and learners practical skills. V. REMOTE LABS IN EMBEDDED SYSTEMS AND ROBOTICS Remotely controlled and virtual labs have got into focus in last years and the number of established labs is increas- ing rapidly. Existing online labs have very different inter- faces and technical setup, starting from simple webcam enabled experiment room to complex direct manipulation and feedback evaluation systems. Some of them have been Figure 2. The structure of DistanceLab e-environment integrated into general study environment, some has just separate web interface to program the device. As the tanceLab portal by the users with sufficient rights. Robots number of labs is increasing, one organization may have are based on robot platform equipped with ultrasonic several different types of online labs available. In most distance sensor, wheel encoders and line following infra- cases there is no general lab management system yet red sensors. The difference between previous lab and available to manage and mediate online labs in unified mobile robot lab is the camera interface. In Robotic way. For solving described issues the e-environment HomeLab test bench, every device has its own personal called DistanceLab portal is developed and shortly pre- camera whereas mobile robot lab has only two general sented in this paper. DistanceLab portal is a web based overview cameras. system mediating and managing different type of labs. The system can handle very different type of labs and C. Manipultor Lab devices by offering the unified functionality. The structure The manipulator lab is currently consisting of three of the system is presented in Fig. 2. Arexx 6 DOF manipulators with small gripper. These labs Currently following remote labs are most often used: are integrated into a web desktop environment, enabling a) Robotic HomeLab kit test bench students to control and program the manipulator in three b) Mobile robot lab different ways. First option is to directly control the six c) Manipulator lab motors by a graphical user interface by moving sliders d) 3D printer Lab (see Fig. 3.), second one to program the arm in C in an online based editor. The third option to program the ma- All mentioned labs belong to the embedded system do- nipulator is a graphical programming language, where the main where microcontroller is the central unit controlling students can choose standard blocks (like loops or other the actuators and reading the inputs. These labs are used to control structures with different conditions) and drag and learn and teach the microcontroller programming in C drop them in a graphical structured representation of language with targeting to the real hardware systems source code, which will be compiled to runnable binary found in industry. code by a special compiler. A. Robotic HomeLab test bench VI. NOVELTY OF APPLYING REMOTE LAB IN Robotic HomeLab test bench is based on Robotic ENGINEERING PEDAGOGY HomeLab kit where the kit is assembled into small test bench system. The system consists of standard compo- Schools have typically neglected teaching for thinking, and transfer thinking operations from one subject to an- nents from HomeLab basic and add-on kits. In particular, other and to real life. Emphasis has been on information DC motor, stepper motor and servo motor as actuators and acquisition and low-level content. Students need to do infrared, ultrasonic distance sensors, temperature sensor more than learn information. Thinking skills and process- and photo resistor as sensors. Students can perform sever- es need to be learned, as does the ability to use these in a al exercises assigned by supervisor over the Internet by variety of contexts. Teaching should accomplish authen- using this remote lab. The feedback of programmed con- troller behavior can be acquired from online video- tic, active, collaborative, problem-based learning is the direction proposed, along with learning to think and ac- feedback system where all test benches have their own tively implement the acquired knowledge in labs, includ- personal camera. ing remote labs. B. Mobile Robot Lab The Inductive Model, often described as guided discov- Mobile robot lab is a set of similar mobile robots driv- ery, is a straightforward but powerful model designed to ing around the arena. Robots can be booked over the Dis- help students acquire deep and thorough understanding of 14 http://www.i-jep.org PAPER REFERENCES [1] IGIP Criteria for Accreditation of Engineering Pedagogy Studies, approved by IGIP Executive Committee on September 11th, 2006 www.igip.org (retrieved on April 29, 2013). [2] IGIP Recommendations for Studies in Engineering Pedagogy Science, approved by IGIP Executive Committee on September 11the 2006 www.igip.org (retrieved on April 29, 2013). [3] L. Gomes and J. Garcia-Zubia (eds.), Advanceson Remote La- boratories and E-learning Experiences, Deusto Publicaciones, [4] Official web-site of IGIP www.igip.org (retrieved on April 29, 2013). [5] R. M. Felder, “Inductive Teaching and Learning Methods: Defini- tions, Comparisons and Research Bases,” Journal of Engineering Figure 3. Fragment of Manipulator Lab user interface Education. 95 (2), 2006, pp. 123-138. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ j.2168-9830.2006.tb00884.x well-defined topics. Grounded in the view that learners [6] R. M. Felder, “Teaching Engineering in the 21st Century with a construct their own understanding, the model requires 12th-Century Model: How Bright is that?” Chemical Engineering Education, 40(2), 2006, pp. 110-113. teachers to be skilled in questioning and guiding students [7] P. D. Egge and D. P. Kauchak, Strategies and Models for Teach- thinking and making on-the-spot decisions. This is sophis- ers, Teaching Content and Thinking Skills, Pearson Education, ticated and demanding instruction. The model is effective 2006, 376 p. for promoting students involvement and motivation within [8] G. Borich, Effective Teaching Methods, Research-Based Practice, a safe and supportive learning environment in remote labs. 7th ed., Pearson Education, 2011, 477 p. Introduced teaching strategies and models are designed to [9] D. Chaos, J. Chacon, JA. Lopez-Orozco and S. Dormido, “Virtual capacitate deep understanding and critical thinking in and Remote Robotic Laboratory Using EJS, MATLAB and Lab- teaching engineering. Accordingly students will be able to VIEW,” Sensors Vol. 13, Issue: 2, 2013, pp. 2595-2612. explain, find evidence and examples, generalize, apply, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s130202595 analogies and represent a topic in a new way. [10] T. Restivo, “The Portuguese Contribution for lab2go - pt.lab2go,” in International Journal of Online Engineering, vol 9, pp. 7-9, We recommend to start with realistic complex prob- lems, let students establish what they know and what they [11] S. Seiler, supervisors R. Sell, R. Laaneots. Laboratory as a Service need to find out, and then guide them inductively in find- - A Holistic Framework for Remote and Virtual Labs. Ph.D thesis, ing it out by providing a combination of resources (which Tallinn University of Technology Press, 2012. may include interactive mini-lectures and integrated [12] S. Seiler, R. Sell, D. Ptasik and M. Bölter, “Holistic web-based hands-on, simulated experiments and remote labs) and Virtual Micro Controller Framework for research and education,” guidance on performing library and Internet research. in International Journal of Online Engineering, vol 8, nr 4, 2012, pp. 58-64. VII. CONCLUSIONS [13] R. Sell, S. Seiler, “Improvements of Multi-disciplinary Engineer- ing Study by Exploiting Design-centric Approach, Supported by Understanding is a worthwhile goal, it can reduce a Remote and Virtual Labs,” in International Journal of Engineering chaotic mental world to a more predictable and satisfying Education, vol. 28, issue 4, 2012, pp. 759-766. state. It also facilitates further learning and recall of [14] S. Seiler, R. Sell and D. Ptasik, “Embedded System and Robotic knowledge, particularly in novel situations. Understanding Education in a Blended Learning Environment Utilizing Remote and Virtual Labs in the Cloud, Accompanied by ‘Robotic Home- is often acknowledged to be an aim of learning. A teacher Lab Kit’,” International Journal of Emerging Technologies in is not the only one who can regulate learning. Learners Learning, Vol 7, Issue: 4, 2012, pp. 26-33. themselves can monitor and control their learning by de- veloping meta-cognitive skills in remote labs. AUTHORS Although few people disagree, that educating engineer- Raivo Sell and Tiia Rüütmann are with Tallinn Uni- ing students to become good learners and teachers means versity of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 19086 Tallinn, that they must also be good thinkers, the road towards the Estonia (raivo.sell@ttu.ee, tiia.ruutmann@ttu.ee). goal is not automatic. Helping students reach that goal Sven Seiler was with Bochum University of Applied takes time, knowledge, awareness and planning on the Sciences, and is now with it:matters UG, Am Erlenkamp part of the teacher. Teaching students how to think is a journey, not an event. 27 D-44801 Bochum Germany (seiler@it-matters.eu). Professional-level teaching is both an art and a science. The development of described labs is supported by EU Life Long Like an artist, a good technical teacher makes decision Learning program projects USORA and ViReal. The research is support- ed by ETF 8652. It is an extended and modified version of a paper pre- from both a technical and a creative perspective. Profes- sented at the International Conference exp.at'13, held 18-20 September sional technical teachers develop artistry by being aware 2013, in Coimbra, Portugal. Submitted 30 April 2014. Published as of what they are doing, and how it affects their learners. resubmitted by the authors 05 October 2014. They are constantly aware that the choices they make affect the intellectual, attitudinal and psychomotor skills of their students. Above all, they make decisions. iJEP ‒ Volume 4, Issue 4, 2014 15

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