COVID-19 is no barrier to innovative robotics and coding education at RMIT

COVID-19 is no barrier to innovative robotics and coding education at RMIT

Students from across Vietnam came together online to learn robotics and coding during an intensive nine-day program, facilitated by RMIT’s Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE).

Sponsored by the American Center at the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, the fully online Robotics = Code+Creativity program builds upon CODE's Remote Learning Lab, a new initiative that allows students to program and control CODE’s educational robots online, without leaving their own homes.

news-1-covid-19-is-no-barrier-to-innovative-robotics-and-coding-education-at-rmit Students use online remote control to complete a task using a mBot robot.

A big challenge for educators around the world is to get hands-on with tools like educational robots, which can be expensive to buy and require specialised teaching knowledge. The Remote Learning Lab solves this problem by allowing any online student to learn how to use CODE’s educational robots to perform a range of creative challenges with clear learning outcomes.

“Using the Remote Learning Lab, participants worked online in teams with other students from all over Vietnam,” said Head of CODE Associate Professor Jerry Watkins. “This kind of online collaboration and problem-solving prepares students for the future of robotics and automation, and is difficult to replicate in a traditional classroom”.

University of Social Sciences and Humanities - VNU HCMC student Nguyen Thi Hong An said that what made this program stand out was the level of interaction.

“It was truly hard to imagine how a robotic class was held online and delivered hands-on experience despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” An said.

“By using the remote-control feature, it was easier for us to program the robots and execute code simultaneously,” she added.

“The CODE team is extremely supportive, which adds to the success of this program.”

As part of the Code+Creativity program, twenty-seven students and technology enthusiasts aged from 15-21 years tested their innovative thinking in a team-based final project which required them to design and produce their own creative robotics 'mission'.

news-2-covid-19-is-no-barrier-to-innovative-robotics-and-coding-education-at-rmit Online student team presents its final project using the Sphero® robot as an airport guide.

Dong Thap University student Tieu Ngoc Thuy said this was a great experience for her and all her fellow learners as they could use robotics to tackle real-world problems.

“By taking advantage of CODE’s Remote Learning Lab, our team designed mobility assistance robots with verbal interaction to guide passengers to the departure gate of an airport,” Thuy said. “In airports of the future, advanced technology could help towards making the whole process of air travel much smoother, especially for visually impaired passengers”.

news-3-covid-19-is-no-barrier-to-innovative-robotics-and-coding-education-at-rmit Students program a tour guide robot.

According to CODE Senior Coordinator Huynh Thuc Yen, “One of CODE’s ambitions is to increase science literacy and enable the next generation of innovators in Vietnam by engaging them with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. We are very happy to see how successfully our workshop students learned not just robotics and coding skills, but also creative and critical thinking.”

Established at RMIT University in 2016, CODE supports digital education across Vietnam. CODE’s Remote Learning Lab initiative is open to Vietnamese high school teachers who would like to co-develop innovative STEM learning activities for their students.

Story: Thuy Le

  • Digital
  • CODE

Related news