With digitization, higher education faces challenges and opportunities to adapt to new technological needs. Remote learning has gained prominence as a flexible and accessible alternative, and in this context, we will explore CloudLabs’ role in transforming the university educational experience.
This blog aims to analyze how digital ecosystems and simulation environments can enhance university learning, focusing on CloudLabs Virtual STEM pedagogical approach. We will explore how these digital ecosystems provide a wide range of resources, collaboration, and personalization for students, enabling a dynamic and engaging learning experience.
Digital ecosystems in higher education institutions
In higher education institutions, digital ecosystems have become a fundamental part of the educational infrastructure. These ecosystems include varied digital tools, platforms, and resources to support the learning process. Institutions can offer students convenient and flexible access to educational materials while promoting online collaboration and interaction through management systems, digital repositories, interactive applications, and more. Digital ecosystems also provide educators with tools to track student progress, provide personalized feedback, and encourage active participation.
In this context, simulation environments have become a prominent part of digital ecosystems in higher education institutions. These environments offer students an immersive, hands-on experience where they can apply theoretical concepts in real situations. Also, they can explore complex phenomena, experiment with different variables, and make decisions in safe environments.
Simulation environments: a tool that supports the digital transformation objectives of Higher Education Institutions.
Simulation environments have emerged as a pedagogical tool in the educational landscape, playing a prominent role in realizing the digital transformation objectives of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). These environments recreate real-world situations and contexts virtually, allowing educators to create learning experiences that are immersive and dynamic for students. Through interaction with these simulated environments, students acquire conceptual knowledge and develop practical skills, decision-making, and problem-solving in a safe and controlled environment.
Implementing simulated environments in HEI academic programs provides an opportunity to foster active student engagement; thus, promoting active participation and autonomous learning are fundamental pillars of the digital transformation of education.
From a scientific perspective, integrating simulation environments in higher education is a field of interdisciplinary research of growing interest. Recently, research in psycho-pedagogy and cognitive neuroscience has shown that exposure to simulated situations leads to greater retention and understanding of complex content. In addition, the adaptability of simulation environments to diverse disciplinary contexts allows HEIs to address specific learning challenges, enriching the interaction between theory and practice. Likewise, data analytics derived from student-environment interaction offer valuable insights for curriculum design and learning personalization, contributing to strengthening higher education.
CloudLabs is in different universities that have already used our gamified simulation environments in various areas of knowledge, allowing their students to apply concepts in real and productive contexts of their professional profiles.
Likewise, the largest technical training institution in Colombia, the National Learning Service – SENA, develops skills in apprentices in rural sector programs, contributing to its commitment to Colombians in agriculture and agribusiness, which has allowed the development of skills for innovation in the sector, through simulators focused on biotechnology, biology, agroecology, alternative energy, crops, water systems, among others. CloudLabs has become a useful technological platform to support the rural sector, strengthening the economy through education and technology integration.
By integrating simulation environments into educational practices, higher education institutions are able to enhance students’ active participation and improve their understanding and application of concepts. In addition, simulation environments provide educators with tools to assess student progress and provide personalized feedback accurately.
CloudLabs’ pedagogical approach
CloudLabs’ pedagogical approach integrates the STEM model (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and active learning methodologies. This approach seeks to promote the construction of knowledge through practical and contextualized experiences. With CloudLabs, students are expected to become active protagonists in their learning process, participating in exploration, experimentation, and problem-solving activities.
CloudLabs’ pedagogical approach focuses on implementing gamified simulation environments where students can immerse themselves in challenging and stimulating situations. These environments provide interaction and immersion for students’ curiosity and interest to be stimulated. To actively participate and overcome challenges, the simulations include gamification, playful, and competitive elements to motivate students’ process.
CloudLabs offers varied gamified simulation environments in areas such as robotics, alternative energy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, management, electrical networks, and other vocational fields. CloudLabs’ pedagogical approach also emphasizes the importance of teachers as mediators and facilitators of learning. Teachers’ role is fundamental in selecting and designing activities that integrate with simulation environments. Additionally, teachers can enrich educational experiences, encouraging collaborative and interdisciplinary work through integrative projects and didactic sequences.
Pedagogical proposal for the use of gamified simulation environments as complementary activities
CloudLabs Virtual STEM offers a pedagogical proposal for gamified simulation environments as complementary activities in university remote learning. The complementary activities can enrich and strengthen students’ experience, providing additional opportunities to explore concepts, practice skills, and face practical challenges.
A pedagogical proposal to use gamified simulation environments involves integrating these activities into the curriculum with the possibility of designing didactic sequences that incorporate simulation environments as part of a broader learning unit. Also, integrative projects are essential in this pedagogical proposal, allowing students to work in teams and address complex challenges that require knowledge application and skills from multiple disciplines.
In summary, the pedagogical proposal to use CloudLabs Virtual STEM gamified simulation environments offers a valuable contribution to university remote learning. The proposal is based on a student-centered pedagogical approach that fosters knowledge construction, practical skills development, and collaborative work. Integrating these simulation environments into the curriculum of higher education institutions can provide students with an enriching and meaningful learning experience.