An architecture for new models of online laboratories: Educative multi-user gamified hybrid laboratories based on virtual environments


Research in virtual environments, gamification and serious-games suggests that those tools can be very effective for education, and that in certain contexts they provide unique advantages. Recent advances are making the technologies they are based on more widespread, with technologies such as 3D becoming widely available through web browsers and even in mobile devices. Efforts are being dedicated in the area of online hybrid laboratories (laboratories with both virtual and remote components) to evaluate whether it is possible to also incorporate concepts such as virtual environments, serious-gaming, or even collaboration between its users, and what advantages would that provide. There have been some promising results so far, but there are still many possibilities to explore, and the area is relatively novel. This dissertation aims to advance the field by creating and testing the viability of new complex online laboratory models which leverage those new features, and by creating an architecture and providing methodologies to facilitate the creation of laboratories which incorporate them, and which are reliable and interoperable with different Remote Laboratory Management Systems. Additionally, a particular implementation of the proposed architecture will be developed, and generic open tools provided.