Within the EQUAL-CLASS project, so-called Remote Laboratories were used to assess and compare learners’ PLC (programmable logic controller) skills. The term ‘Remote Laboratories’ refers to online laboratories used to remotely conduct real experiments. These are scalable (accessible via internet) e-learning instruments especially for use by those studying technical and natural scientific disciplines. Click here to learn more about how these Remote Laboratories work.

As part of the Remote Laboratories experiment, learners from four different VET institutions in four countries (Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Switzerland) were specifically trained to work with Remote Laboratories as part of their classroom training. Having completed this training, learners then took a centralised online exam. The objective of this approach was to assess whether comparable information on learning outcomes, on the level of learning outcomes achieved, and additional evidence regarding the classification of comparable qualifications could be gained by the use of Remote Labs.

By March 2014, a total of 164 learners from 10 classes in Germany, Austria, Lithuania, and Switzerland had been trained in the use of 30 remote PLC workstations. Of these students, 150 had logged onto the examination task by the end of May 2014, with 112 passing and 38 failing the examination.

Results from the Remote Laboratories experiment: