The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is one of the top European Universities participating in numerous national and international research projects. The Real-Time Coordination and Distributed Interaction Systems Group (React) belongs to the EPFL School of Engineering and carries out research in Distributed Systems, Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), and Knowledge Management (KM). The group focuses on real-time and ubiquitous human-machine interaction, artifact-based collaborative learning, context-sensitive awareness and recommendation, smart devices, in addition to knowledge and resource management.
React pioneered research and deployment of remote and virtual experimentation back to 1996 with a full remotely accessible lab for higher engineering education accessible 24/7 since 2001. Joint research on remote labs was carried out at the Swiss level in the eMersion project and at the European level with the RELAX project, a Remote LAboratory eXperimentation trial, and in the AutoTECH project focusing on Automation Technicians Vocational Training Repository, as well as with dedicated work package in the ProLEARN network of Excellence. React had a leading role in the Palette Integrated Project that aimed at facilitating and augmenting individual and organizational learning in Communities of Practice. In this framework, it investigated and developed social software to support formal and informal collaborative learning and ubiquitous knowledge sharing.
In Next-Lab, EPFL leads the Work Packages WP2 Empowering Teachers and WP4 Enabling Solutions, being one of the core technological partners in the consortium.
In the framework of the PALETTE and ROLE European projects, the React Group has developed the Graasp social media platform designed to enable an agile creation of shared spaces to support the interaction of communities in practical and personal learning. Universities, schools, and non-profit organisations are already exploiting this platform, taking advantage of the ability to aggregate resources gathered from the cloud and to collaborate in informal settings. This platform has been adapted and exploited in the Go-Lab project to support communities of teachers and inquiry learning spaces for students to carry out scaffold hands-on activities with online labs. In Next-Lab, Graasp will be enhanced to support collaborative creation of Inquiry Learning Spaces and creation of ePortfolios.
The PALETTE Project (Pedagogically sustained Adaptive Learning Through the exploitation of Tacit and Explicit knowledge) supported by the European Commission gathered 14 partners from Algeria, Belgium, France, Greece, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, and Switzerland, and aimed at facilitating and augmenting individual and organisational learning in Communities of Practice (CoPs). Towards this aim, the PALETTE project provided stakeholders of CoPs with a set of services classified into three categories: information services, knowledge management services, and mediation services, respectively providing support to community’s participants for: data production, exchange and reuse between autonomous and heterogeneous applications; reification of explicit and tacit knowledge about practices; advanced communication and collaboration between stakeholders of communities.
Responsive Open Learning Environments (ROLE) is a European collaborative project with 16 internationally renowned research groups from six EU countries and China. ROLE technology is centred on the concept of self-regulated learning supporting (lifelong) learners in constructing their Personal Learning Environments according to their learning goals, experiences, and preferences. ROLE provides a psycho-pedagogically sound framework for supporting individual composition of learning services and learning tools and resources and allowing users to plan their learning process, search for the resources independently, learn and then reflect on their learning process and progress. ROLE aims at empowering each user to generate new tools and functions according to their needs, and can help them to establish a livelier and personally more meaningful learning context and learning experience.