Remote Laboratories wins Jisc sponsored ALT award for digital transformation

University of Edinburgh team triumphs with remote experiments accessible anytime, anywhere.

The annual Association of Learning Technology awards (ALT) Awards celebrate world-class research, practice, and outstanding achievement in learning technology, attracting competitive entries from the UK and internationally.

This year’s winning entry for the Jisc-sponsored award for digital transformation is Remote Laboratories, a University of Edinburgh project headed by Professor Timothy Drysdale.

The project addresses space limitations as well as creating learning experiences not possible with on-campus teaching alone.

Using Remote Laboratories, students and educators can view experiments and their data online. Created as open source, the laboratories are designed to be shared beyond the university and can be used at any time and from any location.

The University of Edinburgh team has conducted more than 100 experiments so far and proved Remote Laboratories to have 150 times the estate efficiency of a traditional lab.

ALT chief executive, Billy Smith, said the winner showed “exceptional dedication to pushing the boundaries in digital transformation”.

He continued:

“Their multidisciplinary approach and commitment to accessibility, co-design, and inclusivity shines through in every aspect of their work.

"By sharing their expertise openly, developing resources and embracing accessibility, they're not only transforming the quality of education but equally fostering a global community of knowledge-sharing. These accomplishments truly embody ALT's core aims and mission.”

Sarah Knight, head of learning and teaching transformation, higher education, Jisc, said:

“The ALT awards never disappoint, showcasing incredible sector-leading innovation, which aligns with the ethos of Jisc’s framework for digital transformation.

“Remote Laboritories is a fabulous example of outstanding practice, and Jisc would like to congratulate them on their well-deserved award.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity of once again supporting ALT and look forward to building on the collaboration with its new CEO, Billy Smith.”

Professor Timothy Drysdale, chair of technology enhanced science education, director of strategic digital education in the school of engineering and remote laboratories project lead, said:

“I’m delighted for our achievements to be recognised by Jisc and ALT.

"A great many people have contributed to the cultural change involved in adopting Remote Laboratories, including students, academics, technicians, PhD researchers, teaching administrators, tutors and demonstrators, IT, buildings, and central estates, as well as our teaching and senior management teams.

"It’s a been a pleasure working with everyone involved and I look forward to continuing current activities as well as working with new users internationally across the education sector.”