Interactive e-Learning Tools and Pedagogy for Engaging STEM Education and Skills Development in the Digital Era: Challenges and Opportunities

J Uhomoibhi, Yakov Cherner, Maija Kuklja

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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This paper presents and discusses e-learning tools and instructional approaches that are well adapted to habits of modern youth and the most advanced pedagogies. The tools promote exciting novel ways to engage students in interactive learning of STEM concepts in the context of their practical applications and acquire professional skills online.
The learning and training activities and virtual laboratories (v-Labs) immerse students in digital learning environments such as an Energy Efficient Smart House, Golf Course, Biomanufacturing Facilities, Automotive shop, and Leonardo Da Vinci’s Distillation Laboratory. Students are involved in cross-disciplinary learning STEM subjects related to classical mechanics, solar energy, energy efficiency, Internet of Things (IoT), conventional and smart home appliances and systems, engines and turbines, bioprocessing and much more. Microeconomics and environment protection issues are considered as well. The assignments are designed in a way that students acquire practical skills while gaining
theoretical knowledge and developing deep understanding.
Students’ and teachers’ feedback - and our and our partners’ observations - revealed that:
 Educational content capitalized on students’ real-life experience helped learners comprehend STEM subjects and convince them that STEM knowledge and skills are within their grasp.
 Online experimentation prior to on-site hands-on practice enabled users to perform training and job tasks meaningfully, faster and with fewer mistakes.
 Project’s hybrid laboratories were effective in engaging students and acquiring practical skills based on deep understanding.
 Reconfigurable self-guided online assignments made it possible to personalize learning activities and adapt them to student backgrounds and educational needs.
 Gamified learning activities were effective in engaging and motivating students and improved their overall learning experience, as well as in facilitating informal learning.
In summary, v-Labs are easy to use, and science becomes fun to learn. All interactive resources run on PCs and mobile devices and can be easily integrated into online courses including MOOCs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 28th ICDE World Conference on Online Learning, WCOL-19
Subtitle of host publicationTransforming Lives and Societies
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2019
Event28th ICDE World Conference on Online Learning - WCOL-19, : “Transforming Lives and Societies” - Convention Centre, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 3 Nov 20197 Nov 2019
Conference number: 28


Conference28th ICDE World Conference on Online Learning - WCOL-19,
Internet address


  • Virtual laboratories
  • activity-based learning
  • STEM education
  • skills training
  • biopharmaceutical education and training
  • sustainable energy


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