P.G. Demidov
State University

Engineering Students Get to Use Innovative Tools for Interactive Online Learning

  Faculty from some of the leading engineering institutions in the U.S., including the University of Maryland at College Park, have been collaborating with faculty from two Russian universities, Moscow State Technical University of Radio-Engineering, Electronics and Automation (MIREA) and Yaroslavl State University (YSU) on the development of online modules for students using virtual X-ray equipment and interactive simulations.

   During a collaborative workshop at Yaroslavl State University, the students were exposed to virtual experiments for the very first time and were excited to learn about a wide range of ways an interactive virtual laboratory can be used, including lectures, distance learning courses, hands-on practice in combination with real experiments, and performance-based assessment. The students and faculty have also been having discussions through web conferences, which proved to be a very useful communication tool as it helped link participants from different sites, including the project coordinators in Massachusetts and Maryland and students from Yaroslavl, St.Petersburg, and MIT in Boston.

   The overall goal of the project is to establish a collaborative network between participating institutions. This will enable effective and sustainable organizational partnerships and personal contacts between U.S. and Russian engineering faculty and students by sharing best practices at workshops and facilitating participant exchange

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