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implementation of xR training applications

International Cooperation on VR/AR Projects IC xR-P

The Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, the Finnish University of Applied Sciences Turku and the Institut Supérieur d'Informatique et du Multimédia de Sfax in Tunisia have successfully launched the transnational research project IC xR-P (International Cooperation on VR/AR Projects).

 

Project

IC xR-P is an international cooperation project and focuses on the implementation of xR training applications in the areas of medical training, rescue and Knowledge transfer in schools and universities.
 

Project consortium

Project duration

  • Start of project: 1st of September 2020
  • End of project: 8th of September 2023
     

Project participation

International and intercultural interested Students from the partner universities.

 

 

Motivation

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are among the key technologies of digital transformation

With the help of VR / AR, complex systems from technology and nature can be digitally presented in a realistic virtual environment. This creates new possibilities to illustrate the behavior of complex and abstract systems in a tangible and understandable way. The VR technology thus has the ability to revolutionize the learning methods, especially in the area of ​​knowledge transfer (e.g. teaching and research in schools and universities) and the qualification and training of specialists (e.g. medical, nursing, rescue workers) in terms of the development of new cognitive training approaches.

Despite the powerful VR / AR hardware systems and infrastructure that are now available on the market, there is currently no breakthrough of this technology in the field of knowledge transfer and qualification in the industrial and university sectors. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the VR / AR-based training applications that have been developed represent a simple transfer of the existing qualification concepts and content (e.g. e-learning, face-to-face training, blended learning) to VR / AR platforms. Thus, the potential of VR / AR technology - with regard to the boost and the support of cognitive skills compared to the classic training approaches - could not be demonstrated for the end user. As a consequence, there is currently a lack of acceptance of this technoligy both in the university and in the industrial area.

The use of VR / AR technology as a training and qualification instrument is fairly new for many sectors and especially for people with lower qualifications or without suitable IT skills. Therefore, before developing suitable VR / AR training concepts, user survey must be carried out in order to collect user feedback and then use it as a basis for creating VR / AR training approaches. In order to obtain sufficient representative feedback data, the survey must be carried out in several industries and internationally. The establishment of an international network of institutions that focus on the development of VR / AR training concepts and applications across industries and that are willing to work on such a cooperation is a main challenge for this project.

Project setup

Three sub-projects will be initiated and carried out annually

For each project, an cross-university student team of three students - from the three different universities - will be formed. The task of each student team is to develop, impliment of a practice-oriented VR / AR training application and to test and evaluate it with selected ende-users. For this project, the focus is set on three main areas of application: medical training; rescue and Knowledge transfer in schools and universities. During the implementation of the projects, the teams will be supporvised by the lecturers from the participating universities.

At the beginning of each project year a kick-off event (duration: one week) with all project participants (lecturers and students) will be organized at a partner university to present the goals, the timleine of the three sub-projects. During of the kick-off meeting, an intercultural seminar will be held to prepare the involved students and lectures for the challenge of an intercultural project. After this, eight weeks of internal project work within the individual teams (first project phase) will follow. The individual project members will work at the VR / AR laboratories of their own universities. In order to enable a smoothly communication and cooperation between the team members, new innovative cooperation applications "VR conference" as well as other common means of communication such as Video conference applications or cloud solutions will be used. In order to control the project progress and achievment, at least a biweekly project meeting (video conference) will take place with team members and the sub-project supervisor.

After eight weeks of internal project work, an online project mid-term meeting will take place with all project participants (lecturers and three project teams) in order to present and evaluate the intermediate project results. On this meeting, in addition to the lecturers, other university-internal and external experts will be invited. The meeting also serves to take necessary measures and actions, to ensure the success of the whole project. After the mid-term meeting, the second phase of the project will start, which also lasts eight weeks and aims to carry out and complete the project to the end. The organizational implementation of the second phase is analogous to the first phase. In order to conclude the project year, the second phase will be followed by the final meeting and event to present the results of the three sub-projects to a jury of VR / AR experts from universities and companies and to award the best AR/VR application.

Project goals

Innovative VR / AR training approaches for medical, rescue area and knowledge transfer on schools and universities

The international project consortium from the three universities with excellent expertise and a large network in the field of VR / AR offers all project partners a unique opportunity to develop new, innovative VR / AR training approaches for medical, rescue area and knowledge transfer on schools and universities and to test and evaluate them with a large number of experts on an international level. The research results to be obtained are very valuable and important for future development projects. A university alone cannot undertake such a project. Furthermore, this international cooperation can lead to further synergies that will be expected through the exchange of knowledge, the joint use of resources and the networking with other partners from the participating countries in the area of ​​VR / AR.  

By participating in this project, the students from the involved universities have the opportunity to acquire intercultural skills that are important for their professional lives. Working in an international team consisting of three nationalities and spread across three countries will be very challenging for the students and valuable for their future professional life. Furthermore, the students will use new and modern means of communication (VR conference, video conference, cloud systems), which are becoming more and more important for today's and future working enviromnet within companies. In this project the students can learn and practice this working methods and working techniques.

Measures for project evaluation

Meetings on a regular basis

The project progress will be monitored regularly through biweekly review meetings between the individual project teams and the supervising university lecturer.

With the online mid-term meeting, the intermediate project results will be presented to the VR/AR experts from the partner universities and industrial companies. The experts have the task of evaluating the sub-project results on the basis of certain criteria (innovation, sustainability of the results, target achievement, ...) and definition of corrective measures and recommendations for the sub-projects.

At the end of the project, all project teams have to test and evaluate the developed VR / AR applications with users from companies and institutions. The user feedback will be systematically recorded and evaluated using developed questionnaires. Furthermore, the results of the individual sub-projects including the user studies will be documented as a project report.

The project documentation and results will be sent to the experts before the final meeting in order to carry out a final evaluation and to determine the project grade.

Sustainable cooperation between the partner universities

Project results for future cooperation projects

It is planned to take up the newly generated project results at the end of each project year and to use them to define concrete ideas and measures for future cooperation projects between the partner universities. In addition, based on the experience and results of this cooperation, further activities will be taken in order to offer the students of the participating universities further exchange programs in the medium and long term.

Milestone plan

Period

(from – till)
Actions
01.09.2020

Preparation meeting (video conference) of the project coordinators (HsKA, AMK and ISIMS):

  • Definition of the topics for 3 student AR / VR projects
  • Determination the criteria for selecting students
From 01.10.2020
  • Announcement of the international program in the partner universities: lectures, information events, university website, etc.

Public relations activities:

  • Announcement via the public channels of the partner universities (local press, channels for social media, etc.)
From 16.11.2020
  • Start of the application process for the international program at all partner universities 
18.12.2020
  • The selection of students for the international program has been completed at all partner universities (3 HsKA students, 3 AMK students, 3 ISIMS students).
From 11.01.2021

Start of preparation for the first year of the project at all partner universities:

  • Specification of the project topics.
  • Establishing the criteria for project evaluation with the internal and external VR / AR experts.
  • Biweekly coordination meeting with all project coordinators via video conference. 
01.03.2021 – 05.03.2021

Kick-off event for the first year of the project at the HsKA in Karlsruhe with all project participants (students and lecturers) as well as representatives of the international offices and the rectorate and representatives of the BW Foundation and:

  • Concretization and coordination of the project content and project goals.
  • Intercultural seminar (1 day).
  • Training or introduction to communication applications.
  • Organizational workshops to get to know each other intensively.
08.03.2021 – 30.04.2021
  • Project implementation (first phase) at all partner universities.
  • Continuous support from the local lecturers and project coordinators.
  • Biweekly review meetings for the individual project teams with the responsible project supervisors via VR and video conference.
03.05.2021 – 07.05.2021

VR-based midterm meeting (project half-time meeting) with all project participants (students and lecturers), as well as internal and external VR / AR experts (via Videoconference):

  • Presentation and discussion of the intermediate results of the 3 projects.
  • Intermediate evaluation of the project results by the review group.
10.05.2021 – 02.07.2021
  • Project implementation (second phase) at all partner universities.
  • Continuous support from the local lecturers and project coordinators.
  • Biweekly review meetings for the individual project teams with the responsible project supervisors via VR and video conference.
05.07.2021 – 09.07.2021
  • Carry out of user workshops at partner companies and institutions to assess and evaluate the developed VR / AR application by end users. A user workshop is held for each project team.
12.07.2021 – 16.07.2021
  • Creation of the project documentation (one project report per project team)
  • A small video is created for the project work and for the end result
Ab 19.07.2021
  • Sending the project reports to the members of the review group
  • Start of the evaluation and assessment of the project results by the review group
06.09.2021 – 10.09.2021

Closing event for the first year of the project at the AMK in Finland with all project participants as well as representatives of the international offices and the rectorate:

  • Presentation of the individual projects.
  • Award of the best project.
  • The experiences of the project participants are recorded in feedback sheets.
  • Visiting companies or labs related to VR / AR.
  • Cultural program.

Public relations activities:

  • Publication of the project results in the university magazine, e.g. on the websites of the partner universities, videos, in social media such as HsKA Facebook page, Campus Day, at scientific and economic conferences in BW
  • Lectures and reports within the VDC network
Ab 13.09.2021
  • "Lessons Learned" from the first year of the project.
  • Definition of measures to further optimize the second year of the project
  • Start of preparation for the second year of the project
  • Start of the application phase for the second project year
  • Biweekly coordination meeting with all project coordinators via video conference
28.02.2022 – 04.03.2022
  • Kick-off event for the second project year at ISIMS in Tunisia with all project participants (students and lecturers)
07.03.2022 – 29.04.2022
  • Project implementation (first phase) at all partner universities.
02.05.2022 – 06.05.2022
  • Online mid-term meeting (project half-time meeting) with all project participants (students and lecturers) and internal and external VR / AR experts.
09.05.2022 – 01.07.2022
  • Project implementation (second phase) at all partner universities
05.09.2022 – 09.09.2022
  • Closing event for the second year of the project at the HsKA in Karlsruhe with all those involved in the project as well as representatives of the international offices and the rectorate, representatives of the BW Foundation.
06.03.2023 – 10.03.2023
  • Kick-off event for the third year of the project at AMK in Finland with all project participants (students and lecturers).
13.03.2023 – 05.05.2023
  • Project implementation (first phase) at all partner universities.
08.05.2023 – 12.05.2023
  • Online midterm meeting (project half-time meeting) with all project participants (students and lecturers), as well as internal and external VR / AR experts
15.05.2023 – 07.07.2023
  • Project implementation (second phase) at all partner universities.
04.09.2023 – 08.09.2023
  • Closing event of the third project year at the ISIMSF in Tunisia with all project participants as well as representatives of the international offices and the rectorate.

 

 

Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM

The Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM supports the international exchange of students and vocationally qualified people. Since 2001, it has enabled more than 25,000 young people from Baden-Württemberg to gain experience abroad and allowed scholarship holders from other countries to visit Baden-Württemberg. Approximately 1,500 young people receive a Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM each year.

www.bw-stipendium.de
 

Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus

With the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus, the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung supports innovative joint projects between universities from Baden-Württemberg and their international partners. The programme is endowed with approximately 1.2 million euros annually. Since 2011, more than 80 BWS plus projects have been supported at universities in Baden-Württemberg.


The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung

advocates a vital Baden-Württemberg with a high quality of life for all its residents. It helps pave the way for advanced technological progress, high quality education, and a responsible relationship with fellow human beings. The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung is one of the major foundations in Germany. It is the only foundation which exclusively and above party lines invests in the future of the state of Baden-Württemberg – and thus in the future of its citizens.

www.bwstiftung.de

Contact

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Fahmi Bellalouna
Tel.: +49(0) 721/925 - 1862
E-Mail: fahmi.bellalounaspam prevention@hs-karlsruhe.de

 

Turku University of Applied Sciences:
Dr. Mika Luimula
E-Mail: mika.luimulaspam prevention@turkuamk.fi

 

Institut Supérieur d'Informatique et du Multimédia Sfax
Dr. Anis Jedidi
E-Mail: anis.jedidispam prevention@isims.usf.tn                           

 

 

International Cooperation on VR/AR Projects is part of the  Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus, a programme of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung.