Call for Papers for Thematic Sessions

Thematic Session 1

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REV2010, Stockholm, Sweden

Thematic Session on




Session organisers

Andrew Nafalski1, Zorica Nedic1, Jan Machotka1, Özdemir Göl1, Jose M. Martins Ferreira2,

1University of South Australia, Australia, 2University of Porto, Portugal,


The thematic paper session on "Collaboration in remote laboratories in engineering and technology education" will accommodate authors who have developed or are interested in developing remote engineering laboratories that enable student group work nationally and internationally. There are relatively few remote laboratories worldwide that allow student collaboration to re-create the proximal laboratory student experience in online collaboration. Benefits of collaborative remote laboratories include convenience of use, high availability, access to specialised or unique equipment, self-paced learning and the removal of geographic boundaries. In case of international student teams, there is also an opportunity to learn from students of differing locations, cultures, languages and work practices. These generic skills are becoming increasingly necessary for professional engineers and technologists to be effective members of international teams. The session will focus on the latest practices and developments of collaborative remote laboratories, including the international potential.


Topics of the session may include but are not limited to:

  • Design and development of collaborative remote laboratories;
  • Technological environment of collaborative remote laboratories;
  • Utilisation practices of collaborative remote laboratories;
  • Student and staff feedback and experiences on the implementation of collaborative remote laboratories;
  • Assessment practices in remote collaborative laboratories;
  • Pedagogical outcomes of the student participation in collaborative engineering laboratories:
    • specific and generic engineering skills and work practices;
    • intercultural capability;
    • development of communities of practice;
    • collaborative learning.
  • Case studies of remote collaborative engineering laboratories;
  • National and international potential of using remote laboratories in engineering education.




Thematic Session 2

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The VISIR Open Lab Platform

Session organisers: 
Ingvar Gustavsson1, Thomas Fischer2, Unai Hernandez3, Lena Claesson1

1Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden, 2FH Campus Wien, Austria 3University of Deusto, Spain

In this thematic session papers related to the VISIR Open Lab Platform will be presented. VISIR is an acronym for Virtual Instrument Systems in Reality. The platform is an open source software distribution supported by a Community organized by International Association of Online Engineering as a SIG (Special Interest Group). The platform enables universities, schools and other organizations to create online laboratories for physical experiments. Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) started a remote laboratory project in 1999. During some decades before, the number of laboratory sessions in engineering education had successively been reduced despite the fact that engineers need to learn to “speak” with nature i.e. to become true experimenters qualified to design goods and services for a sustainable society. In the late nineties, the Internet offered an opportunity to switch trend and do it without raising the costs per student significantly.

The VISIR vision is online replicas of real hands‐on workbenches supplementing hands‐on laboratories and providing more time for experiments for students. The idea is offering not only opportunities to perform real physical experiments without any risks 24/7 using a web browser only but the idea is also offering laboratory work training opportunities. Online workbenches that are replicas of hands‐on ones represent a continuation of traditional hands‐on education. They are not a final goal; they will rather be a starting point for further efforts aiming at new pedagogical tools that will be reported in future papers. So far, more than twenty person‐years have been devoted to the platform and implementation of laboratories. At the end of 2006, a disseminating project known as VISIR was started in collaboration with National Instruments and Axiom EduTech inviting other universities, schools and other organizations to use the platform to set up online remote controlled laboratories for physical experiments and contribute to the further research and development. Today four VISIR laboratories for electrical experiments are online at European universities and the laboratories are used in regular courses. Apart from BTH the universities are FH Campus Wien in Austria, University of Deusto in Spain, and Carinthia University of Applied Sciences in Austria. At least two more VISIR laboratories will be set up before the end of 2010.

Papers at this session (abstracts): 125, 133, 146, 167