Department of Electrical Power Engineering of Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) has more than ten years of experience in the development of e-learning platforms. The first experience was gained in 2008 with the development of a web-based electrical drives laboratory. Eight practical works were developed with the application of programmable logic controllers (PLCs). The user interface was developed with an old version of the moodle learning management system. Gained experiences have shown that the best way to explain theory is not by difficult formulas, but by hands-on experiments. Empowered by increasing broadband Internet connections and software platforms development, many laboratory and exercise classes can be carried out remotely, where the theoretical background can be delivered and assessment given by automated program applets. Animated diagrams and exercises help to understand functional principles, so the students are better prepared for real experiments. Thanks to a more flexible schedule the working students do not interrupt their courses so easily as before.
Nowadays, the need for remote practical studies increases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Professors and staff from the Department of Electrical Power Engineering and Mechatronics in Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) are participating in a new Erasmus+ KA2 project titled „Digital platform supporting remote laboratory classes in electrical engineering, mechatronics and automation“, project acronym RELABEMA(KA226-670AD936). Project partners are six academic centres and one secondary technical school. The leader of the project is the Silesian University of Technology (Poland), an academic university, winner of the Initiative of Excellence - Research University competition. In addition to TalTech project partners are representing Lithuania (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University - Vilnius Tech), Romania (University Politehnica Timisoara) and a large technical university in Central Hesse, Germany (Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen), as well one more university from Poland University of Zielona Góra and the Technical School Complex from Wodzisław Śl.
„RELABEMA project is planned as a cycle of innovative and educational activities devoted to ensuring the appropriate quality of practical education in technical studies and technical secondary schools,” commented the project leader and professor Mariusz Stępień from the Silesian University of Technology. “The project is primarily aimed at counteracting the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the academic education process at technical universities.” added prof. Stępień.
The TalTech coordinator professor of Mechatronics Anton Rassõlkin says: ”The project took up the challenge of developing an IT and hardware tool enabling the implementation of remote education in the field of electrical engineering, mechatronics and automation, and related fields. The tool based on network interfaces, educational platforms as well as virtual reality and “Industry 4.0” tools will combine the practical part of the laboratory with the IT part, available remotely.”
The project results will be publicly available on the project web page and consortium members hope that the project results and cooperation will attract attention to the topic of technical education.
Anton Rassõlkin, PhD
Tenured Assistant Professor of Mechatronics
Programme Director (Mechatronics - English)
Department of Electrical Power Engineering and Mechatronics
Tallinn University of Technology