October 30, 2020
Dr. May gave a keynote at 9th “International Conference on Interactive Collaborative and Blended Learning (ICBL2020)”. In this talk “How Cross Reality technology is changing Engineering Education”, Dr. May took a look at engineering education and its specific innovations in terms of Cross Reality technology for teaching. Cross Reality technologies, understood as an umbrella term for all digitally created or supported realities in the sense of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed or Merged Reality (MR), offer special innovation potential for engineering science teaching. This is especially true in the field of teaching and learning in the laboratory, which has been an integral and essential part of every engineering science course for decades. Dr. May displayed the innovative potential of augmented labs, remote labs, and fully virtual labs in engineering education. Especially in times like these, in which physical presence and social contacts in educational labs are heavily limited, these types of labs offer great opportunities, and sometimes even the only way to gain experiential experiences. However, examples from practice show that face-to-face teaching can benefit from such developments and innovations, too. It should not be a clash of different realities, but rather a mutually supportive and joint process in the interest of better teaching and learning practice as a whole. ICBL 2020 was the 9th in a series of bi-annual international events concerning the fundamentals, applications, and experiences in the field of blended learning and related new technologies. The conference was an online-only meeting hosted by the McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada) from 10/14 to 10/16 2020.