December 11, 2023

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CUHK Team Develops Cross-Platform eLearning Tool

Image Credits: CUHK, Press Release

A team of researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have developed an innovative approach to eLearning known as the “Flipped online laboratory.” After three years of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, this approach has gained popularity as online learning has become more prevalent.

The team, led by Dr. Han Dongkun, built 12 robotic arms from scratch, which students can operate in real-time using cross-platform remote control technology, allowing them to use laboratory instruments on campus.

The Flipped online laboratory approach allows students to conduct online experiments using flipped laboratory instructions. This involves watching a video of the experiment in advance at home and then controlling robots in real-time during online classes.

The unique feature of this approach is that the robots controlled by students are not virtual. Instead, through the use of cross-platform remote control technology, students can remotely control the lab computers using their personal computers, enabling them to adjust and control the robot in real-time.

Despite the resumption of face-to-face classes in schools due to the relaxation of pandemic prevention measures, the Flipped online laboratory approach still has practical applications. Dr. Han and his team have collaborated with a college in the UK, enabling students to remotely control each other’s robots using this technology, fostering academic and cultural exchange between the two institutions. In addition, the team has developed a more advanced version of the technology, called the Flipped online laboratory pro, which features automatic assessment of students’ lab performance.

The approach to teaching utilized by Dr. Han Dongkun centers on the use of technology to enhance students’ creativity, motivation, and learning effectiveness. Through the implementation of a technology-human hybrid system, students are able to benefit from this innovative teaching philosophy.

Dr. Han’s use of technology in the classroom has earned him several awards, including the University Education Award 2022, the Dean’s Exemplary Teaching Award twice (in 2019 and 2021), and the Exemplary Teaching Award in General Education 2018. Since joining CUHK in 2017, the focus of Dr. Han’s teaching has been on incorporating technology into the classroom to improve the learning experience for students.

Elearning, or electronic learning, is defined by the use of technology to enable learning and education. Recently, elearning has become popular as a result of the rise of digital technologies and the need for flexible and accessible learning options.

Elearning comprises a wide variety of educational resources and tools, including online courses, digital textbooks, virtual simulations, and educational games. These resources are often designed to be accessible from anywhere, at any time, making them ideal for self-paced and remote learning.

A key benefit of elearning is flexibility. Learners can often access and complete courses and resources on their own schedule, without the constraints of a traditional classroom environment. Elearning is also often more cost-effective than traditional learning, as it eliminates the need for physical resources such as textbooks and classrooms.

Elearning is used across a range of settings, from K-12 and higher education to corporate training and professional development. As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see further innovation and growth in the elearning space, providing more accessible and flexible learning opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds.


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