1 Université de Valenciennes (FRANCE)
2 Universitatea Transilvania din Brasov (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 6420-6425
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Since a couple of decades, authors are running towards the vanishing student motivations. They have applied a large amount of teachings tools or methods as the slide rule, the overhead projector, the programmable calculator, software, the internet, Moodle and supervised projects. Project based learning is one of them. Initially used in an Erasmus background, that is placement in a foreign partner university for 3 months, the project based learning technique is now applied in projects supervised by local teachers. The main goal is to grow up the autonomy of students. The paper deals with one project in connection with robotics and using the modern MOOC technique.

In the IUT of Valenciennes, some supervised projects are focusing on electronics, process control, physics, maths or electrotechnics applied to robotics. The Lego Mindstorms NXT or an homemade solar tracker rover or the French NAO humanoid make up the working platforms. Every use of any platform should gather and apply the knowledge of the previous domains. The students have to balance their mind from theory to application. Mainly, they should identify the required knowledge, and thus learn it, understand it and apply it by their own. As working alone seems a challenge, the difficulty can be fixed by the reverse learning technique. In particular the Massive Online Open Course, MOOC in short offers a new way to make students more autonomous. One example of a recent MOOC experiment given here has been done in the robotics framework. It proposes first to work in a theoritical domain laying on hard sciences then to apply the new concepts using a Matlab software or building and programming a Lego object by the way an intelligent arm.

The MOOC concerns here over ten thousand worldwide participants. In the Institute of Technology, two groups have been formed for the MOOC. A local one composed of six students from first year course in Electrical Engineering domain. Four Finnish students in second grade in Information Technology course form the second group. Their three months stay in France has been possible thanks to the Erasmus+ students exchange. In France, the students have been working and supervised weekly by teachers in Maths, Mechanics, Control and English language all the MOOC long. In Finland, students worked by their own.

The positive behaviour of students working in total autonomy is significant for the first module. The second module is requiring closer help by local supervisors. A final questionnaire given to the students after the last session confirms the teachers feeling. This experiment shall be renewed next academic year.

[1] Fratu A, Bécar J-P, Robots Collision Avoidance Using Learning through Imitation, SIITME 2013, IEEE 19th International Symposium for Design and Technology in Electronic Packaging October 24th–27th, 2013
[2] Bécar J-P., Fratu M, Fratu A, Canonne J-C., Example based learning for virtual prototyping engineering, Edulearn 14, 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Barcelona - 7th - 9th of July 2014.
[3] Corke P.I., “Robotics, Vision & Control”, Springer 2011, ISBN 978-3-642-20143-1.
MOOC, Reverse learning, robotics.