MIRACLE—Model for Integration of Remote Laboratories in Courses that Use Laboratory and e-Learning Systems
• Enabling blends primarily focus on addressing issues of access and convenience. For example, blends intended to provide additional flexibility to the learners or blends that attempt to provide the same opportunities or learning experience but through a different modality.
• Enhancing blends allow incremental changes to the pedagogy but do not radically change the way teaching and learning happens. This can occur on both ends of the spectrum. For example, in a traditional F2F learning environment, additional resources and perhaps even some supplementary materials can be included online.
• Transforming blends are blends that allow a radical transformation of the pedagogy. For example, changing from a model where learners just receive information to a model where they actively construct knowledge through dynamic interactions. These types of blends enable intellectual activity that was not possible in practice without the technology.
• the way groups of learners learn best,
• the various ways a material can best be delivered, individualized, presented, and learned,
• the available resources that support learning, training, and social activities,
• the ways to maximize capabilities for access, interaction, and social relationships,
• the way to ease the whole process for the professors and universities, starting from the price to the complexity of use to the way to make the current educational system concurrent and keep up the pace with the transforming information society.
• There is a substantial lack of know-how in using and producing content among professors and teaching personnel [ 22], [ 23]. They are often not informed about the novel technologies and the possibilities they offer on the Web. Peter Cochrane said: "Imagine a school with children that can read or write, but with teachers who cannot, and you have a metaphor of the Information Age in which we live" [ 24].
• Teachers are not used to the new way of communicating as students are. They are used to traditional approaches, which characterize them as a part of a higher level society [ 16], [ 23]. In this way, they enjoy the respect required to keep the concentration and control over students' behavior in the classroom on a high level. Unfortunately, this approach puts the students in a subordinate position making them feel uncomfortable to ask questions. This is mainly connected to their fear of being ridiculed in front of others when asking potentially stupid questions or even the proper ones but at the wrong time. They fear to be remembered as a person who does not understand anything or does not study hard enough.
• Additional effort is required to create an e-learning content for students. Educators are not willing to spend additional time online answering questions students might have for them. To overcome this problem, they should be educated on an institutional level and become aware that students expect them to find the time [ 12].
• The effort which is required to implement e-learning is currently not paid by the government. While the implementation of e-learning is kept on voluntary basis, it is impossible to expect great results. Quality systems cannot be based on one's good will [ 12], [ 21].
• Lack of specialized teams in all educational institutions, which would help the personnel involved in teaching to keep up with the newest educational and technological accomplishments and practice [ 12].
• The need for laboratory work in 3E causes additional problems. Until a decade or two ago, laboratory work couldn't be executed from a distance, hence, slowing down the adoption of e-learning in 3E. The fact that the RL can help solve this problem is still not widely known and accepted among final users. Although a lot of papers on this topic have been published, they are mainly technically sound and very rarely include testing the didactic value of the suggested RL [ 1], [ 25]. This way the value of the RL and the way in which it should be integrated in the modern LMSs remains unknown to academic circles [ 6], [ 25], [ 13].
a. Discussion on an intriguing topic prior to the lab.
b. Theoretical lessons for certain experiments can be chunked and relevant questions can guide a student through materials "forcing" him or her to prepare for a lab. (Conditional branches and grading of the answers can be very useful.)
c. Multimedia can be used to raise the motivation of a student for a chosen topic. The most effective becomes when used as a trigger for discussion of some measurement problems.
d. Theoretical, numerical assignments can help learners to get prepared for the final, practical phase.
• D. Cmuk and I Bilic are with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.
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• T. Mutapcic is with Obrtnicka 11, 10431 Sveta Nedjelja, Croatia.
Manuscript received 31 Mar. 2009; revised 18 June 2009; accepted 21 Oct. 2009; published online 27 Oct. 2009.
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Digital Object Identifier no. 10.1109/TLT.2009.48.
Drago Cmuk received the graduate degree in 2003 and the PhD degree in the optimization and development of new services in remote laboratories. He is a researcher and an assistant at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia, and the Faculty of Engineering, Benevento, Italy. He started his international postgraduate studies and scientific work in the field of remote laboratories in 2004 at the mentioned universities. He is working as an assistant in a group of courses on electric measurements and quality management.
Tarik Mutapcic received the master's degree from the Department of Electric Machines, Drives, and Automation at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, 1994. Through an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program since 2003, his research field was entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. He collaborates with the Laboratory of Signal Processing and Measurement Information of the University of Sannio, Benevento, in activities in area of management of remote laboratories.
Ivan Bilic is a final year student at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Croatia. His final work occupies mobile technologies in measurement and e-learning practice.