Cross Reality Spaces in Engineering Education – Online Laboratories for Supporting International Student Collaboration in Merging Realities

Dominik May


This paper discusses online laboratories as cross reality spaces in education. Cross Reality (also XR) as a term is borrowed from the field of gaming and broadly describes the integration of immersive, augmented, mixed, and virtual reality technology within physical reality. Online laboratories form an ideal example, as different realities (the real hands-on world in real labs, the virtual world in simulated labs or even a mixture of both in context with remote labs) are merged. The connection between different realities in laboratory education and their relation to engineering education contexts are discussed by describing a three-dimensional matrix for categorizing (online) laboratories in teaching and displaying current research results in this area. On basis of this, a scholarly research study is discussed, which is making use of a remote lab in mechanical engineering education for an international student body. In this study, the lab and its application are evaluated from the learner, the system, and the course perspective. These three perspectives offer a holistic view of the lab and the students’ learning. The study proofs a positive effect on the students learning experiences. The results also show which current needs and future potentials lie on the intersection of engineering education, internationalization, and digitalization in terms of collaborating and learning in Cross Reality Spaces.


engineering education; online learning; online laboratories; cross-reality spaces; internationalization

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International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE) – eISSN: 2626-8493
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