Generating new digital skills in methodologies for trainers and students in industrial environments through e-learning, gamification and augmented reality experiences: this is the main objective of DITMEP ('Digital Tools for Manufacturing Training and Education Programmes'), a transnational research project in which CiTIUS is participating under the auspices of the European Union (EU), which is funding the project through its Erasmus+programme.
The project, which started in 2021 and will end in April 2023, was designed to contribute to the transformation of training methodologies for factory workers in response to the needs generated by the pandemic. Despite the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, the work of the various DITMEP teams was able to start in May 2021: "the fact that 'digitalisation' became extremely important was an extra motivation among all partners, and in itself shows that this research project has gained in relevance," say sources from the consortium. "The digital tools developed will help to continue offering high-quality training in the future," they say.
Specifically, in the last quarter of 2022, the developments carried out in DITMEP have resulted in a pilot test developed in the facilities of one of the project partners, the Centro Tecnológico del Mar (CETMAR). In it, an online course on Occupational Risks in manufacturing environments has been deployed, using different e-learning techniques to promote learning: on the one hand, gamification techniques have been used (an innovative strategy based on the idea of 'learning by playing'); on the other hand, two augmented reality applications have also been included, which offer greater flexibility and facilitate training by interacting with signage elements in industrial environments, as well as in the selection of personal protective equipment (PPE). The results of this pilot test have served to refine the course content and the functioning of the augmented reality applications, thereby increasing the quality of the products generated within the framework of DITMEP.
This first pilot is only one of the blended courses that will be developed before the end of the project, scheduled for April 2023. In the coming months, new blended courses on Risk Prevention based on digital techniques will be presented, in which the spirit of the first pilot will be maintained: transnational format and an innovative and reinforced education in the field of composite materials manufacturing (composites), which can be easily replicated in other industrial sectors.
The DITMEP consortium is composed of 5 partners from 3 European Union countries (Germany, Spain and Portugal), and its constitution has taken into account the need to cover the different aspects of the development of these training courses. Therefore, the partners include representatives from various sectors, such as training centres, universities and certifying companies.
The final results of DITMEP will be presented in April 2023 at a final project conference in Hamburg. All results will be published on the website www.ditmep.eu.