A Teaching Factory knowledge exchange network

Harry Bikas, Pierre E. C. Johansson, Rosa Di Falco, John Stavridis, Esko Niemi, Zigor Azpilgain, Luca Fumagalli, Bastian Thiede, Panagiotis Stavropoulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsProfessional

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Skills and competences required by the labor market evolve at a high rate. In addition, manufacturing enterprises face a number of technical and non-technical challenges in their daily business, and most of them are relatively slow as it regards innovation adoption. Academia needs to be able to closely follow industrial needs, to generate the right kind of professionals. In addition, academia owns a lot of high-value specialized industrial equipment, which is not shared and subsequently often underutilized. Over and above, COVID-19 has significantly impacted the educational institutes' operation. All aforementioned facts point to one specific need; an effective remote collaboration paradigm aiming at knowledge exchange. The Teaching Factory paradigm provides a real-life environment for students to develop their skills and competences, through directly involving them with real-life industrial challenges. Through the use of modern digital technologies and tools, and in combination with the relevant educational approach, a two-way online knowledge communication between academia and industry is formed, aiming to mutually benefit both stakeholders. This work focuses on presenting a framework for successfully extending the established Teaching Factory paradigm on a network level, taking advantage of the unique characteristics of all aforementioned actors and connecting them together to the ecosystem benefit, forming a Teaching Factory Knowledge Exchange Network. The educational approach and required ICT infrastructure for the facilitation of knowledge exchange are presented. The proposed framework and tools applicability are validated in two heterogeneous pilot applications, using different modalities of the proposed framework, involving a collaborative academic teaching scheme via virtually interconnected classrooms and labs, as well as a collaboratively solving an industrial challenge linked with digital work instructions in manual assembly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Conference on Learning Factories (CLF) 2021
PublisherSocial Science Research Network (SSRN)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventConference on Learning Factories - Virtual, Online, Graz, Austria
Duration: 1 Jul 20212 Jul 2021
Conference number: 11


ConferenceConference on Learning Factories
Abbreviated titleCLF
Internet address


  • Teaching Factory Network
  • Collaborative teaching
  • Interconnected classrooms
  • COVID-19


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