After securing a Teaching Innovation Award to evaluate how students found working with their remote lab, Dr Richard Blanchard and Dr Sheryl Williams have won the 2015 e-Learning Excellence Award.
The international award recognised their work on the Photovoltaic Remote Laboratory. The TIA evaluation of its impact on student learning enabled demonstration of the value of such an inventive pedagogic approach to student learning compared to traditional and simulated labs.
Their remote laboratory enables distance learning students to perform real experiments, via the internet on a rig, to allow them to demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between different photovoltaic module types, irradiance and temperature.
Colleagues in other lab environments could find the principles of such an innovative approach to the changing nature and needs of our student population applicable to their areas. The team with this project are actively making higher education in this key area accessible to a diverse student population as Sheryl highlighted: “We are especially pleased that the main reasons cited for us winning this prestigious award were innovation and complexity. All the team can be very proud. The fact that students all over the world get to benefit from an enhanced learning experience is a tremendous achievement.”
The project winners themselves are now looking to their next stage as Richard outlined: “ We are planning to develop additional remote laboratories for wind energy and micro-grids”.