You are here:

Students as Future Workers: Cross-border Multidisciplinary Learning Labs in Higher Education

, , , , , , , , ,

IJTES Volume 3, Number 2, ISSN 2651-5369 Publisher: International Journal of Technology in Education and Science


One promising way to cope with changing requirements from the labor market in the domain of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), but also to keep the field up to date, to start innovations and to advance the STEM domain as such is the use of student labs. In these labs, students work together in small groups imitating professional practice of design and technology workers. More insights are needed in what competences student labs in the STEM domain address and what the implications would be for the design of student labs. A review of empirical studies on student labs and additional literature indicate that five generic competences are addressed in most student labs: Collaboration, communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. In order to effectively enhanced these competences, student labs should be designed as authentic productive learning environments based on three design principles: 1) Realistic, complex task situations, 2) Multidisciplinarity, and 3) Social interaction. IoT Rapid Proto Labs are examples of such a student labs, in which cross-border multidisciplinary teams of students, teachers (coaches), and practitioners jointly develop solutions to challenging IoT applications (Internet-connected objects), add value for enterprises, and strengthen the employability, creativity and career prospects of students.


Admiraal, W., Post, L., Guo, P., Saab, N., Makinen, S., Rainio, O., Vuori, J., Bourgeois, J., Kortuem, G. & Danford, G. (2019). Students as Future Workers: Cross-border Multidisciplinary Learning Labs in Higher Education. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science, 3(2), 85-94. Retrieved March 25, 2019 from .

View References & Citations Map


  1. Al-Samarraie, H., & Saeed, N. (2018). A systematic review of cloud computing tools for collaborative learning: Opportunities and challenges to the blended-learning environment. Computers& Education, 124, 77-91.
  2. Azad, A.K.M. (2007). Delivering a remote laboratory course within an undergraduate program. International Journal of Online Engineering, 3(4), 27-33.
  3. Bourgeois, J., Liu, S., Kortuem, G., & Lomas, D. (2018). Towards a domain-specific design platform for wheelchair user well-being. Ubi/Comp/ISWC ‘18 Adjunct, October 8-12, 2018, Singapore. Singapore: ACM.
  4. Broisin, J., Venant, R., & Vidal, P. (2017). Lab4CE: A remote laboratory for computer education. International Journal of Artifical Intellogence and Education, 27, 154–180.
  5. Chen, X., & Gao, H. (2012). A remote PLC laboratory design and realization. Procedia Engineering, 31, 1168 – 1172.
  6. Day, S.B., & Goldstone, R.L. (2012) The import of knowledge export: Connecting findings and theories of transfer of learning, Educational Psychologist, 47(3), 153-176.
  7. De Jong, T., Sotiriou, S., & Gillet, D. (2014). Innovations in STEM education: The Go-Lab federation of online labs. Smart Learning Environments, 1(3), 1-16.
  8. Fiore, L., & Ratti, G. (2007). Remote laboratory and animal behaviour: An interactive open field system. Computers& Education, 49, 1299 – 1307.
  9. Heijnen, E. (2015). Remixing the art curriculum: How contemporary visual practices inspire authentic art education. Unpublisjed doctoral dissertation, Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen.
  10. Jara, C.A, Candelas, F.A., Puente, S.T., & Torres, F. (2011). Hands-on experiences of undergraduate students in Automatics and Robotics using a virtual and remote laboratory. Computers& Education, 57, 2451– 2461.
  11. Lang, D., Mengelkamp, C., Jäger, R.S., Billaud, G.M., & Zimmer, T. (2007). Pedagogical evaluation of remote laboratories in eMerge project. European Journal of Engineering Education, 32(1), 57-72.
  12. Lave, J. (1988). Cognition in practice: mind, mathematics, and culture in everyday life: New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  13. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). S`ıtuated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
  14. Lehlou, N., Buyurgan, N., & Chimka, J.R. (2009). An online RFID laboratory learning environment. IEEE Transaction on Learning Technologies, 2(4), 295-303.
  15. Lucena, J., Downey, G., Jesiek, B., & Elber, S. (2008). Competencies beyond countries: The reorganization of engineering education in the United States, Europe and Latin America. Journal of Engineering Education, 97(4), pp 433-447.
  16. Luthon, F., & Larroque, B. (2015). LaboREM—A remote laboratory for game-like training in electronics. IEEE Transaction on Learning Technologies, 8(3), 311-321.
  17. Morgan, F., Cawley, S. & Newell, D. (2012). Remote FPGA Lab for enhancing learning of digital systems. ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems, 5 (3), Article 18, 1-13.
  18. Nedic, Z. (2013). Demonstration of collaborative features of remote laboratory NetLab. International Journal of Online Engineering, 9(Special Issue: REV2012 Exhibition), 10-12.
  19. Nedic, Z., & Machotka, J. (2007). Remote laboratory NetLab for effective teaching of 1st students. International Journal of Online Engineering, 3(3), 1-6.
  20. Nickerson, J.V., Corter, J.E., Esche, S.K., & Chassapis, C. (2007). A model for evaluating the effectiveness of remote engineering laboratories and simulations in education. Computers& Education, 49, 708–725.
  21. Putnam, R.T., & Borko, H. (2000). What do new views of knowledge and thinking have to say about research on teacher learning?. Educational Researcher, 4-15.
  22. Sauter, M., Uttal, D.H., Rapp, D.N., Downing, M., & Jona, K. (2013). Getting real: the authenticity of remote labs and simulations for science learning, Distance Education, 34(1), 37-47.
  23. The Telegraph. (2017). University subjects with the highest dropout rate. Published on 19/1/17.. Available from:
  24. Tirado-Morueta, R., Sánchez-Herrera, R., Márquez-Sánchez, M.A., Mejías-Borrero, A., & Andujar-Márquez, J.M. (2018) Exploratory study of the acceptance of two individual practical classes with remote labs. European Journal of Engineering Education, 43, 278-295,
  25. Uğur, M., Savaş, K., & Erdal, H. (2010). An internet-based real-time remote automatic control laboratory for control education. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2, 5271–5275.
  26. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and Identity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  27. Wenger, E. (2009). A social theory of learning. In K. Illeris (Ed.), Contemporary theories of learning: Learning theorists in their own words (pp. 209-218). Abingdon: Routledge.

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact