Tempus - e-Laboratories for Physics and Engineering Education
The main project objective is to establish a virtual internet-based engineering campus for laboratory exercises. These exercises will target students in mechanical, electrical and civil departments, as well as Physics education in high schools and preparatory engineering. This will be achieved through the following main tasks:
- Develop several electronic laboratory exercises for engineering education. These exercises will be web based so that students can access these laboratory exercises from home and go through different experiments to complete a certain lab sheet or homework assignment.
- Several experiments will be carried out at the university campus, and will be controlled through web-based application.
- Besides regular exercises, the students will be able to communicate interactively with online instructors to have the maximum benefit of regular classrooms
Egyptian universities face the problem of overcrowded classes and laboratories; hence there is a difficulty of delivering high quality education, which will affect the quality of graduating engineers. The wider objective is to produce a new generation of engineers capable of performing constructive engineering work in different engineering fields; mechanical, electrical and civil; in fast changing business environments. This can be achieved by introducing the missing experimental part in teaching of these courses without the burden of building new labs. This will be done by making these experiments available virtually over the internet, available to the students 24 hours to repeat the experiment as many times as necessary to meet the learning objectives of the experiment. Several e-learning programs exist nowadays with regards to courses and teaching material but there are no e-experiments. It is expected that the new eLab will attract other teaching organizations in Egypt, Europe and the Arab countries to benefit their students from the new teaching technology and methodology.
The partners in this project are divided into three groups:
- Egyptian Universities, who are the final beneficiaries of the developed electronic laboratory: Ain Shams University (ASU), Nile University (NU), Aswan University (AU), British University in Egypt (BUE) and Egyptian E-Learning University (EELU).
- European Partners, who will provide help and support during the design, programming, and implementation of the experiments. This is based on their long experience in educating the engineers in Europe on different fields: Kungliga Tekniska HÖgskolan (KTH) Sweden, University of Nottingham (UNOTT) UK, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Belgium, and Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) Greece.
- Non-academic Egyptian Partners, who can be identified as major stakeholders of the project as they are affiliated to increase e-learning in Egypt and raise the quality of education in Egypt. They represent three Egyptian ministries: Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) Ministry of Higher Education, E-learning Competence Center (ELCC) Ministry of Communication, and The Ministry of Education (MOE).
- Ain Shams University (ASU) - is one of the biggest and oldest universities in Egypt founded in July 1950. At ASU faculty of engineering there are about 14000 students attending classes in four disciplines, Architecture, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical. ASU has developed some experience in designing and developing experiment using virtual reality from previous tempus project JEP-34012-2006 with its partners KTH and UNOTT among other partners.
- Nile University (NU) - is a unique institution of higher learning dedicated primarily to excellence in technology-related fields. NU institutions in Egypt that embraces partnership with the private sector, government and industry, in a major initiative of great national and regional interest. NU is seeking to develop distant learning programs in mechanical and Electrical Engineering.
- British University in Egypt (BUE) - seeks to achieve education of the highest quality where students can succeed as independent learners. However, to achieve this purpose, the university provides full support and facilitates to the development of different e-learning applications. Several web-based learning and teaching sessions have been developed to enhance the professional use of the university e-learning system.
- South Valley University (SVU) - Started at the year 1970 as part from Assuit University, then it was separated at 1994. The main campus is the most geographically diversified campuses in Egypt, from Qenna to Aswan to the south and from Qenna to Hurgada to the East. In order to serve the highly geographically spread campus SVU had an old Tempus project in "Virtual Laboratory" where they developed several computer exercises for electrical and civil applications for their students, these experiments cannot be performed remotely.
- Egyptian E-Learning University (EELU) - is a private non-profit University established at 2008 to provide distance education through online learning with a vision to be a leading university providing e-learning nationally, regionally, and internationally. EELU is willing to establish a curricula in engineering fields hence it will both benefit from the project and will represent a great addition due its experience in e-learning.
- Kungliga Tekniska HÖgskolan (KTH) - was founded in 1827 and is the largest technical university in Sweden with all kinds of engineering disciplines. The Marcus Wallenberg Laboratory for Sound and Vibration Research (MWL) is recognized as one of the leading research establishments in the field in Europe and the biggest in Northern Europe. KTH Erasmus University Charter number 29371-IC-1-2002-1-SE-ERASMUS-EUC-1.
- Univeristy of Nottingham (UNOTT) - is one of the top 1% of all universities worldwide according to Times Higher Education-QS World University Ranking. Virtual Reality Applications Research Team (VIRART) at UNOTT has over 15 years of track record in development and evaluation of VR and interactive technologies for training and education. UNOTT have developed VR education programmes for use in UK Schools and special needs education.
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - is a dynamic and modern university in the Brussels Capital Region. The department of Mechanical Engineering is responsible for a large part of the education and research in the field of Mechanical Engineering, going from the first year in Bachelor in Engineering to the last year of the Masters in Electromechanical Engineering.
- The Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS) - is a non profit Academic Research Body carrying research and development activities in the fields of telecommunications , computer systems and techniques. Within its entire lifetime ICCS has successfully focused in development of applications in the field of Electrical Engineering. In addition the series of projects dealing with distance or e-learning.
- E-learning Competence Center (ELCC) - was established by the Ministry of communication and information technology to boost distant learning in the region. In serves as important partner in the Egyptian Education Initiative which is a road map for the education in Egypt.
- Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) - is the main responsible for education in Egyptian universities.