Covid-19: the Université de Lyon, continuing teaching and research activities with its telepresence robots

On The March 2, 2021

The March 2020 lockdown caused havoc in the world of higher education and research. As soon as it was announced, the first question was: how can we continue teaching and research activities in these conditions? Answering this question has involved making a number of adjustments to existing activities, resulting in a wide range of educational continuity plans within our member and associate institutions.

TELEPRESENCE ROBOTS: AN IMPORTANT ASSET FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION

The VetAgro Sup veterinary school was no exception

The veterinary clinic was forced to close its doors and students were no longer able to take part in animal consultations or operations on site.
Nevertheless, the school was quickly able to reinvent its teaching methods thanks to a special service offered by the Université de Lyon: a fleet of telepresence robots.

These robots were originally designed for students off sick, students with disabilities, for distance learning or to limit the travel of foreign researchers, but they have been used on a much larger scale following the pandemic.


AT THE HEART OF THE VETAGRO SUP VETERINARY CLINIC

The Université de Lyon has provided VetAgro Sup with five Ubbo telepresence robots in order to allow them to resume a “hybrid” combination of on-site teaching, in half groups, and veterinary practice.

Thanks to these robots and their high-resolution image and sound quality, students following the course online can interact with the instructor and participate in the lessons in similar conditions as students in the classroom.
In the clinic, face-to-face consultations were provided to a small group of students while simultaneously being made available to students online. They were able to communicate with the group in the clinic using the robots’ built-in cameras and microphones, which also allowed them to view the experiments and interact with their instructor.


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