Robot in class for better distance learning

Published: 28 January 2020

Robots will help distance learning students to become more included in the teaching situation. – We hope to get a more creative atmosphere and better social presence with the distance students, says Diana Chronéer, Associate Professor of Information Systems and teacher at the Bachelor programme in Digital Service Innovation.

From this autumn, students can attend the Bachelor programme in Digital Service Innovation through distance learning. To increase the distance learning students' sense of physical presence, a robot will represent them in the classroom. The distance learning students simply connect themselves via an app and the students are thus visible and can attend by talking, listening and turning their "head" around. The distance students can be in the classroom, participate in discussions and workshops and together with others create and present material in real time.

– Hopefully the robots will give a greater sense of presence for the distance learning students in the long run, we hope that they can help reduce the number of distance learning students who quit their education, says Diana Chronéer.

– We also believe that the robots can contribute to greater involvement in teaching situations where the dialogue between students and teachers is important.

To begin with, the robots will be used on Bachelor programme in Digital Service Innovation. In the long term, more distance learning programmes can be included and there are also plans to create a digital classroom where also classroom technology is adapted for a mixture of distance and campus students.

How is it to teach in front of a bunch of robots?

– Very interesting! We get a more social presence with the distance learning students who can otherwise become quite invisible, says Diana Chronéer.

Guest lecturers, researchers and representatives from the industry can also get a more tangible presence with the help of the new distance technology.

– Because of our geographical location, we need to experiment with different types of presence in the classroom, not least to reduce travel and encourage a greener approach, Diana Chronéer concludes.