FORGE: An eLearning Framework for Remote Laboratory Experimentation on FIRE Testbed Infrastructure

Mikroyannidis, Alexander; Collins, Diarmuid; Tranoris, Christos; Denazis, Spyros; Pareit, Daan; Gerwen, Jono Vanhie-Van; Moerman, Ingrid; Jourjon, Guillaume; Fourmaux, Olivier; Domingue, John and Marquez-Barja, Johann M. (2017). FORGE: An eLearning Framework for Remote Laboratory Experimentation on FIRE Testbed Infrastructure. In: Serrano, Martin; Isaris, Nikolaos; Schaffers, Hans; Domingue, John; Boniface, Michael and Korakis, Thanasis eds. Building the Future Internet through FIRE: 2016 FIRE Book: A Research and Experiment based Approach. Gistrup, Denkmark: River Publishers, pp. 521–559.



The Forging Online Education through FIRE (FORGE) initiative provides educators and learners in higher education with access to world-class FIRE testbed infrastructure. FORGE supports experimentally driven research in an eLearning environment by complementing traditional classroom and online courses with interactive remote laboratory experiments. The project has achieved its objectives by defining and implementing a framework called FORGEBox. This framework offers the methodology, environment, tools and resources to support the creation of HTML-based online educational material capable accessing virtualized and physical FIRE testbed infrastruc- ture easily. FORGEBox also captures valuable quantitative and qualitative learning analytic information using questionnaires and Learning Analytics that can help optimise and support student learning. To date, FORGE has produced courses covering a wide range of networking and communication domains. These are freely available from and have resulted in over 24,000 experiments undertaken by more than 1,800 students across
10 countries worldwide. This work has shown that the use of remote high- performance testbed facilities for hands-on remote experimentation can have a valuable impact on the learning experience for both educators and learners. Additionally, certain challenges in developing FIRE-based courseware have been identified, which has led to a set of recommendations in order to support the use of FIRE facilities for teaching and learning purposes.

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