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IDEALS will develop a modular training system which will make flexible distance learning packages available on demand for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and universities. Telematics-based modular courses, co-authored for cost effectiveness, will be delivered across Europe via interconnected local training centres serving both groups. Courses for in-company training, to be tested initially by some 20 SMEs, will be adapted to their individual needs and real-life problems. Testing in universities will involve students in computer labs or at home, with possibilities for remote tutoring and group learning.

The IDEALS project aims at installing and positioning flexible, on-demand, telematics based distance learning and training services in the market. A Modular Training System (IDEALS-MTS) will be developed and a European-wide network of Local Training Centres (LTCs) will be established. The Modular Training System will allow cost-effective co-authoring of courses and flexible, cost-effective learning for users. The IDEALS project will enhance the results of the DEDICATED project (3rd Framework Programme) and transform them into marketable products.

In IDEALS, the Modular Training System will be enhanced to support multiple users at the same time. Courseware will be stored in a distributed database, can be enriched by using real-time simulations (microworlds). Support will be provided for course authoring, learning, and tutoring.

The Local Training Centres are interconnected to provide a uniform courseware domain with European-wide access. Different forms of networking will be tested like modems, ISDN, Internet, and satellite links.

IDEALS will be demonstrated and evaluated in pilots for Institutes of Higher Education and SMEs.

In the Institutes of Higher Education Pilot, Technische Hochschule Darmstadt (Germany), University of Oulu (Finland), and Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal) will jointly create courseware on the topic "Fundamentals of Computer Graphics" by using tools for co-operative authoring and on-line communication. These institutes are connected via terrestrial links and satellite. The resulting courseware will afterwards be used in their lecturing activities. Students (about 200 in total) can access this courseware in computer labs at their university (electronic classroom) as well as at home (home learning). Remote tutoring and group learning will be supported.

In the SME Pilot, seven courseware providers will jointly create courseware on the topics "Parametric Design", "Telematics Usage", and "Quality Management". Customised versions of these courses are delivered to approximately 20 SMEs. The SMEs in rural areas in Portugal are connected to the LTC via satellite modems. The trainees (about 150 in total) can access the courseware either from their working place or in training labs of SMEs, specialised in providing training to external customers. The SMEs involved in this pilot are located in Germany, Greece, Portugal, and the Netherlands.

As a result, IDEALS will deliver a client/server based learning and training system, consisting of a client application, running at the learner's workplace, powerful servers, running at the LTCs, and a distributed database. A European-wide courseware domain will be created and courses based on this domain will be offered on a commercial basis. Tutors located at the LTCs will provide interactive on-line help for local and remote learners.

Call for proposal

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Zentrum für Graphische Datenverarbeitung EV (ZGDV)
Wilhelminenstraße 7
64283 Darmstadt

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Participants (11)