1 Polytechnic of Porto - School of Engineering (PORTUGAL)
2 Blekinge Institute of Technology (SWEDEN)
3 University of Deusto (SPAIN)
4 National Distance Education University (SPAIN)
5 Carinthia University of Appiled Sciences (AUSTRIA)
6 Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (BRAZIL)
7 Federal University of Santa Catarina (BRAZIL)
8 Federal Institute of Santa Catarina (BRAZIL)
9 National University of Rosario (ARGENTINA)
10 National University of Santiago del Estero (ARGENTINA)
11 Brazilian Association for Engineering Education (BRAZIL)
12 Instituto Rosario de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Educación (CONICET-UNR) (ARGENTINA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 6392-6400
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1505
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Virtual Instruments Systems in Reality (VISIR) is a remote laboratory for conducting real experiments, at distance, with electrical and electronic circuits. It was originally developed by the Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), Sweden, in 1999, under the mentorship of Ingvar Gustavsson, and since then it has been locally installed and used by several Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in Europe, namely in Austria, Portugal and Spain. These two last mentioned countries have strong academic cooperation links with Latin American (LA) countries, which continuously favour the exchange of good practices among HEIs.

The Key Action 2 (KA2) of the European Union (EU) Erasmus+ Programme aims to support the cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices, in particular through projects with Partner Countries in the field of higher education. These projects should support participating organisations/institutions and systems in their modernisation and internationalisation process.

VISIR+ is an Erasmus+ project that aims to develop educational modules for electric and electronic circuits theory and practice following an enquiry-based teaching and learning methodology supported by VISIR. In particular, it has installed five new VISIR remote labs in partner HEIs, in Argentina and Brazil, in order to allow the combination of traditional (hands-on), remote and virtual laboratories in order to allow students to do more experiments and hence acquire better experimental skills. A key aspect for the success of this project is to motivate and train teachers in the underpinning educational methodology. This is in line with findings already reported in literature that suggest teachers’ commitment and adherence to technology-enhanced educational tools, such as remote and virtual labs, are key elements for their success in education.

With this in mind, VISIR+ adopted a 3-tier training process to effectively support the use of VISIR in the HEIs that received it. This process is based on the “train the trainer” approach, which required the participating partner HEIs to identify and engage a number of associated partners, interested in using their newly installed remote lab.

The 1st training action (TA1) was held at BTH and it involved all the (5) participating European HEIs that already had the VISIR systems, acting as trainers, and two elements from each of the (5) participating partner HEIs, acting as trainees. Additional elements from the LA partners also participated remotely. After the installation of the VISIR system, on each LA partner HEI, a 2nd TA was conducted locally by a European HEI, targeting not only those elements that participated (locally and remotely) on TA1, but also additional teachers from the host institution and at least one teacher from (2) associated partners. Finally, after having used VISIR in one or more courses, the LA partner HEIs run a 3rd TA, this time with materials produced from their own experience, for teachers from the associated partners. At TA3, the European HEI participated as observers.

To measure the quality of the training process, the same user satisfaction questionnaire was used in all training actions. In the full paper, a more complete and detailed description of the training actions will be provided along with the analysis of the user satisfaction questionnaire results.
Teachers training, remote and virtual labs, VISIR.