In order to collect and understand the needs and requirements of academic institutions across all participating countries in the framework of the proposed Teaching Factory knowledge exchange network, an e-survey has been created.
Overall the survey had 10 participants, of which 80% were Universities. 30% of the participants educate between 25-50 students/trainees per year, while 70% educate more than 100.
Although 70% of the participants were already aware of the TF paradigm, only 20% has already implemented a TF, but 60% is thinking of using it, which indicates both the potential of the concept but also the importance of TF KnowNet at large. This is being reinforced by the fact that 50% has claimed the lack of knowledge on the concept as the main drawback/reason they do not use the TF paradigm yet. In addition, 30% blames the lack of infrastructure (physical and software tools). Main challenges were also attributed difficulty to manage/organize (pointing out a need of solid guidelines) as well as difficulty to find collaborators, emphasising the need to facilitate match-making and further disseminating the concept.
Regarding ICT tools, most participants proposed Zoom and Microsoft Teams, with some mentioning other tools like Panopto and 360 visual studio.
Respondents were asked to select desired funcationalities for ICT tools. The main requested functionalities are the ability to facilitate video conferencing and files/info exchange with an average score of 4.5, while the access to teaching material and tutorials is ranked 2nd with an average score of 4.3. The ability to store recorded sessions, monitor the progress of participants and be accessible through multiple devices come third with an average score of 3.9. Next is the ability to do self-assessment tests (3.6) while connecting to manufacturing equipment via IoT devices and to VR/AR devices come last (3.2 and 2.8 respectively). Lastly, in terms of other requirements not already discussed, 70% of the participants indicated “none”, while 30% made suggestions about easily accessible ICT tools, low-cost robust and easy to implement approaches and awareness between students that they participate in state of art research/experiments.