Name of the Project: MeRLab – Innovative Remote Laboratory in the E-training of Mechatronics
Duration: 12/2007 – 6/2009
Website: www.merlab.eu

A broader purpose of this project fully complies with the third priority stated in the tender documentation (Developing relevant and innovative e-learning contents). The purpose is to introduce good practices from abroad into the vocational mechatronics training field, and support it with the state-of-the-art information-communication technology, as well as with the established methodological and didactical approaches, with the view of improving quality and efficiency of vocational training. This should result in greater recognition and appeal of the profession and will positively influence the gap between supply and demand of mechatronic staff on the market.

The main concrete goals of the project are:

  • Needs analysis: determining the actual company needs for mechatronic staff, based on company research, and determining its skill requirements for the employees;
  • Establishment of an innovative remote laboratory for the practical work in the framework of vocational mechatronics training: transfer of innovative remote laboratory into the Slovenian environment, translation of the user interface and its adjustment for the e-course needs and needs of a precisely defined target-user group;
  • Production of multimedia-interactive e-learning contents: based on the company needs analysis we shall choose relevant mechatronic topics and organise them in modules; then, using the modern ICT and methods, we will rearrange them to form modern interactive-multimedia e-materials. E-materials will be produced in accordance with the SCORM standard;
  • this will guarantee their interoperability and enable them to be further used in all e-learning management systems, which support this standard;
  • Pilot training: with the e-topics prepared and the remote laboratory for practical work implemented, we shall prepare a 40-hour e-course, which will be entirely conducted via Internet. We will organise a pilot training of at least 20 course participants for the purposes of validation and evaluation of the e-course;
  • Recognition of the project and its results: using different types of media (web page, brochure, poster, magazine announcements), and participating at events and conferences we wish to present to the general public the purpose, goals and results of the project and the mechatronic profession.

The purpose and objectives of the project are directly concentrated in solving the current imbalance between supply and demand for qualified human resources in the field of mechatronics, which was revealed by the previous research. With the introduction of e-mechatronics course in our region which will represent a completely new way of teaching this profile, we will do further vocational training (or re-qualification) in an innovative and effective way of an employed and unemployed, who have already completed their formal education, but because of the large technology change their knowledge is no longer sufficient. Because our method of teaching allows temporal and spatial independence and thereby minimizes disruption of work processes in enterprises, meets the requirements expressed by companies in research.

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