An overview of the research projects
The imc Innovation Labs contributes to national and international research projects.
This has led to the creation of tools, innovative prototypes and methods for modern teaching and learning.
Browse the overview of selected ongoing and concluded research projects below.
The Design-CT project supports school teachers to become creators and designers of digital and blended learning lessons and content. The project offers an interoperable ecosystem with an intuitive authoring tool. The tool’s integrated smart design and features, its didactical kits and templates enable teachers, of various digital competences profiles, to develop their own digital lessons.
Design-CT also offers levelled training programmes focusing on best pedagogical practices on the use of technology in the classroom. Furthermore, the peer-to-peer programmes provide teachers with the tools and strategies to become mentors and leaders of digital education in their communities. The Design-CT project activities and results are co-designed, co-created and co-evaluated by teachers for teachers.
The Open Teach project aims to advance research on high-quality open education resources and processes, as well as the implementation and evaluation thereof. Moreover, it is designed to support educators in the development of their digital competence profiles. The project offers a platform for teachers focusing on STEAM subjects at junior and senior high school level.
To this end, the Open Teach platform offers online courses comprising six modules on Open Education Resources (OER) and Open Education Practices (OEP). These modules cover critical selection, evaluation, adaptation, realignment and creation of OER. Educators who take the courses become part of the Community of Practice (CoP), and are able to exchange and critically evaluate the resources on the platform.
How can existing online courses be better tailored to their participants? Analysing how the courses are used helps to identify and remedy weak points, such as sections that are hard to understand or knowledge tests that are too easy. The course can also be adapted for individual course participants; for example, by displaying additional explanations if learning progress is lagging.
While the technology in this field is already very advanced, many course authors and digital learning guides are not all that well-versed in these possibilities.
This is where the EU-funded innovation project Learn2Analyze comes in. Four universities and two other companies are collaborating with imc to develop an online course that will close this knowledge gap.
The first edition of the MOOC “Learn to Analyze Educational Data and Improve your Blended and Online Teaching” has already been successfully offered on OpenCourseWorld.
OpenCourseWorld is the imc platform for open, free online courses, aka MOOCs. A MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is a free online course that anyone can access and which goes beyond traditional online training offers. A MOOC is structured like university lectures or seminars.
These courses have a fixed start and end date. Each week, the learner is given access to individual course modules with their contents (video lectures, theory scripts, homework / tests). The advantage is that the participants can decide for themselves when they want to work on the material provided.
D-MasterGuide is geared aspiring towards master tradesmen in the building trade. They learn to plan and support a construction project through all its stages with digital tools: Determining facade insulation requirements using digital forms, researching suitable insulation materials on the internet, planning personnel and material use for the building site, and documenting work progress with photographs. In each stage, they learn to use digital media with confidence – and grow from consumer to active collaborator. The learning offer is implemented and trialed at a master school in Swabia.
imc develops the digital learning environment for the research project and provides the multimedia editing for the learning content of the project partners.
GO-GA aims to adapt and implement the successful Go-Lab ecosystem in Africa. While the initial focus is on Kenya, Nigeria and Benin, the project will be scaled to include further users and countries. GO-GA will adapt the Go-Lab ecosystem to the African requirements, and offer teachers comprehensive training in pedagogical and technical skills.
The content and platform are translated to Swahili. A project partner will develop a “Go-Lab Box”, a small computer with pre-installed WLAN antenna, Go-Lab software and media content. This allows Go-Lab to be used in African classrooms without internet access. The same technology could later also be used in European classrooms with a slower or unreliable internet connection.
The InKraFT research project investigates potential applications for digital technologies in vocational training and on the job. The main goal of the project is to enable persons with cognitive or physical disabilities to qualify and work as an automotive mechatronics engineer. In particular, learning and working conditions are created that enable the target group to offset or compensate for their cognitive and physical disability.
The project aims to achieve this goal by using e-learning and virtual reality technologies. This approach is supported by scientific findings, especially in the areas of inclusive education and cognitive science. The technologies and methods developed as part of the research project are tested in real life by the education partners.
The DEVELOP project aims to create a personal learning environment for career development. It can be used in medium-sized to large companies offering comprehensive career paths. The project is managed by Trinity College Dublin; the consortium includes IBM Ireland and imc, as well as another five academic and commercial partners.
The learning environment enables employees to measure their soft skills and social capital, and illustrates options for advancing their career through learning activities. Both personal goals and company objectives are taken into account. Possible career paths are illustrated graphically.
In digital games, employees experience work-related situations, identify behavioural patterns based on their own reactions, allowing them to determine development potentials for their soft skills.
An analysis of communication in professional social networks serves to highlight to employees where they can intensify personal relationships to strengthen their social capital. The project outcomes are intended for use by large learning technology providers and SMEs to expand their product portfolio.
DEVELOP is funded by the European Union under the research and innovation program Horizon 2020.
The Next-Lab research project aims to enable students to gain experiences in scientific work (“inquiry learning”). To this end, it provides simulated and remote-controlled laboratories accessible via the internet, aka Online Science Labs. In the labs, groups of students supported by their teacher are able to perform experiments together online, visualise and discuss data, and record findings in electronic reports.
The idea is to encourage students to pursue a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Next-Lab continues the successful work of the precursor project Go-Lab, now also addressing primary school students. In addition to training current teachers, the research project aims to appeal to trainee teachers.
The objective of the IBIS project is to develop, implement and evaluate a business & innovation module in scientific programmes. The module includes an online course on “Fundamentals of economic sciences for scientists” and a workshop series on “Innovation in practice”.
The module is offered on an openly accessible learning platform which supports collaboration and feedback. Learning analytics are used to track and support the students’ learning process.