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Virtual Presence in Higher Education Hybrid Learning Delivery

Virtual Presence in Higher Education Hybrid Learning Delivery

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Thessaly, and specifically the research group of Creative Technologies Learning Lab (http://ctll.e-ce.uth.gr), designs digital services for hybrid learning, that may take place both in the classroom and remotely, in higher education. The services are developed within the framework of project VIE: Virtual Presence in Higher Education Hybrid Learning Delivery (http://projectvie.eu) that is funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission in the context of a special call for the design of digital solutions that effectively support the seamless continuation of learning in pandemic era. The digital service under development aims to support the flexible transfer of learning from the classroom to a distance setting and the opposite, or hybrid solutions that combine the two delivery methods, minimizing adverse effects on the participants. Although higher education students are familiar with digital technology and feel comfortable with the use of digital solutions to access educational content and activities, they can benefit from tools that enable remote collaboration in a way that simulates classroom communication. The service is highly interactive. It supports problem-based learning in groups. It allows students to recognize team members in a digital environment through avatars, to share ideas in a common digital workplace, to review, edit, and combine contributions of team members for designing solutions, and to effectively manage and prioritize tasks in a visual and attractive manner. The service is designed to allow the continuation of collaborative practices beyond the classroom, for example from home or on the road.

The project is implemented from 2021 to 2023 by Tallinn University (Estonia), the University of Thessaly (Greece), the University of Vigo (Spain), ATS (Romania), Virtual Campus (Portugal), and the University of Tampere (Finland).