Promoting Remote and Virtual Labs in Portugal

Restivo, M. T.; Cardoso, A.
February 2013
International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy;Feb2013 Supplement, p11
Academic Journal
Experimental activities are essential and contribute definitely to prepare future engineers for solving practical problems and for consolidating theoretical understanding and volatile knowledge based on concepts. They are also fundamental for training engineers and engineering scientists. And finally experimental activities need rigor and procedure methodology in order to be correctly used in validation of new theoretical results or predictions. Remote and virtual experiments, online labs, enlarge the world capabilities in experimental activities and contribute for collaborative work using emergent technologies, bringing together engineers, researchers and professionals from different areas. During last decade much interest has been generated around remote and virtual labs allowing students, technicians and engineers to interact with remote and virtual experiments in higher education, in lifelong professional development, in industrial training, in industrial activities or even in making available very sophisticated equipment or new resources for "digital divide". In an epoch of a strong students' mobility the European economic slowdown context will bring negative consequences. Remote and virtual experiments will be an interesting help to improve collaborative intercultural students activities. The European populations ageing continue to age to unprecedented levels. Later retirement brings new requirements in lifelong learning in order to up-to-date professionals. pt.lab2go, the Portuguese version of lab2go Web platform, is a consortium recently created for fostering the Portuguese potential in online labs.


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