Digitisation in education and research enables new forms of location-independent networking of laboratory infrastructures. Technical, organisational and didactic challenges must be mastered.
A research consortium consisting of the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (HFT), the Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics (BIBA), the Institute for Knowledge Media (IWM) of the University of Koblenz-Landau, the RWTH Aachen University and the University of Parma is facing these challenges in the project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
In the research project Open Digital Lab for You (DigiLab4U for short), real laboratories are digitized and linked with virtual components, and the synergies between the two approaches are being investigated. Augmented Reality can help to bridge the gap between "virtual" and "real" experience. Methods of engineering education and serious gaming will be combined with learning analytics, mixed/extended reality and open badges to create a unique holistic approach in a hybrid learning and research environment. DigiLab4U offers a location-independent access to a digitalized and networked learning and research environment. Both multi-user scenarios and individual self-directed learning are supported. For example, students of the HFT Stuttgart can access laboratories of BIBA and the University of Parma. The exchange of experience in research and teaching is promoted beyond the borders of the individual institutes. As the long title Open Digital Lab for You indicates, the inclusion of further laboratories is planned. There is a considerable need for research on this future-oriented approach from a technical, didactic and organizational point of view.