One of the ITA-CET Committee’s goals is to develop distance learning. This will enable wider audiences to be targeted and will reduce financial costs for organizers, lecturers and course participants.
Modern distance learning methods encompass a range of technical tools such as video-conferencing, webinars or webcasts. After taking a look into the advantages and drawbacks of each of these tools, the ITA-CET Committee decided to opt for video conferencing as an initial means of providing distance learning to students in tunnelling.
An initial one-hour video-conference training session was organized on 8th Februray 2016 by the ENTPE in Lyon, France, in collaboration with the Politecnico di Torino in Italy.
Professor Robert Galler (Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria) gave a face-to-face lecture on the topic of Resource-efficient Tunnelling to a group of Master students at the ENTPE in Lyon.
This lecture was simultaneously broadcast by video-conference to a group of Master students at the Politecnico di Torino and to a small group of engineers at the CETU (Centre for Tunnel Studies) in Lyon. This enabled the technical capacity of the system to be fully tested and showed that a multi-site conference is possible.
The lecture was followed by a question and answer session in which all three sites were able to interact with the lecturer and with each other.
The feedback from this initial training session has been positive and has shown that video-conference material can offer a practical means of providing distance learning courses. The Committee therefore envisages organizing similar courses by video-conference in the future.