What are Federated Experiments?

Federated experiments refer to the orchestration of online resources and activities aimed at improving knowledge and skill acquisition. They enable experiments and projects to be shared between institutions, based on access policies and single sign-on authentication. Today, there are many online learning resources, activities, and e-learning platforms (learning management systems and knowledge management systems) that address the needs of individual institutions. They are often developed by universities to solve their own specific problems -- though the problems are broadly shared by many other institutions. The result is disparate online learning resources that cannot be shared or integrated across multiple universities. Examples include the implementation of online labs, which lack unity of design between institutions, involve considerable custom development, and present integration issues. Federated experiments allow these institutions to develop online learning resources following common e-learning standards, while considering interoperability, reusability, accessibility and durability issues. This minimizes the duplication of learning resources and services, while reducing cost as institutions do not need to create and maintain their own platforms.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Electronics engineering courses may include quality third-party on-line experiments instead of including hand-made labs developed by each teacher.- Sergio Sergio Jul 21, 2012
  • add your response here

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • This isn't a theme that hangs together. Remote Labs, yes. Simulations, yes. But federated labs is a overlay that is about UI design, navigation, and perhaps consistence of user experience. Sergio was talking about online remote labs in several points here but his comments and mine really pertain to remote labs more than this topic. - Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Aug 18, 2012
  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on STEM+ education?

  • On-line labs will be developed by experts as commercial products and distributed to secondary and higher education institutions.- Sergio Sergio Jul 21, 2012
  • Really expensive labs, such as a telescope, will be shared between institutions reducing the development and maintenance costs.- Sergio Sergio Jul 21, 2012
  • The use of a single sign-on service allows integrating third party on-line experiments in our own e-learning platforms in a transparent way for the students.- Sergio Sergio Jul 21, 2012
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • The Global On-line Laboratory Consortium is working on infrastructures to federate on-line labs. http://online-lab.org/
    - Sergio Sergio Jul 21, 2012
  • The European Union is funding in 2012 an important project named Go-Lab to create such kind of infrastructures where labs can be reused and shared across all Europe.- Sergio Sergio Jul 21, 2012

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