DEUSTO researchers Unai Hernández-Jayo and Javier García Zubia published an article in THE Conversation on the mind-set change Covid-19 triggered in the education field (going from a face-to-face model to a remote one) and the role of remote laboratories in this context.
A remote laboratory, the authors explain, can be defined as a set of hardware and software technologies allowing the user to remotely run, via Internet, an experiment as if he/she was in a hands-on laboratory.
Thanks to this possibility of global connection, the professor can "access" the laboratory during theoretical presentations to demonstrate empirically and in real time mathematical equations or models, reducing the distance between theory and practice. In addition, it offers students unlimited time to access the laboratory when the university facilities are closed.
In this regard, since the beginning of the confinement, Deusto Engineering students have accumulated more than 10,000 accesses to the network, in addition to the more than 30,000 made by nearly 2,500 students from other educational establishments, not only in Spain but also in Germany, the United States, Poland, Portugal, Jordan, India, Malaysia or Colombia, for example.
Since 2004, the University of Deusto, through its Weblab-Deusto group, has been developing remote laboratories that can be easily exploited and used as teaching tools. In their article, the two researchers present, share and offer these resources for free to the entire educational community through Labsland, a start-up created as a spin-off by the University of Deusto. Through its website, Labsland concentrates the largest number of today active and available remote laboratories.
The article concludes that the remote laboratories offer a window through which one can interact with real physical resources placed thousands of miles away, resulting in an innovative teaching tool to improve and democratise the access to science.
You can read the full article here.