Teach Labs Remotely
Teach Lab-Based and Performance-Based Courses Alternatively
This guide is meant to provide you some resources and does not go into great detail. It is meant to provide you with key concepts to keep in mind when transitioning to
remote delivery labs and website in which you can look for existing labs and resources. It is intended to assist with getting you started.
You will want to focus on what is important and what are the critical outcomes you want students to learn. You will likely be shifting from focusing on the "how to"
do the lab and
manipulate tools, measuring chemicals, performing tasks, etc. to more on "analyzing results"
and what is the outcome of the lab.
There are a lot of great resources and websites that share certain labs such as dissecting or chemistry simulations.
- JoVE: The JoVE collection is a video library of scientific fundamentals demonstrations in STEM. Kent Library was contacted by them and JoVE is offering access to their Video Library
free through June 15th. Please be looking for updates regarding JoVE.
- JoVE has made its educational video content available through Jun. 15, 2020. That includes free access to the three types of resources: JoVE Core, a video textbook
that covers core concepts in biology and social psychology to improve learning comprehension; JoVE Science Education, a collection of easy-to-understand video demonstrations
in eight STEM fields; and Lab Manual, curriculum for introductory biology lab courses. The company is also making its curriculum specialists available to help faculty map
JoVE videos to their curriculum at no charge.
Virtual/Alternative Lab Resources
- This link takes you to a Google Doc shared by the POD Network and is a list of great resources
for virtual labs – some free and some at cost. There are roughly 151 different virtual lab
opportunities available through this resource for various subjects (DWK)
- Link takes you to Penn State website that has good video on transitioning labs to online as well as several resources for simulations and virtual labs.
- Martin (2020) guide created for teaching online with two great sections on virtual labs and performing arts.
- (Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Medicine and Physics).
- A compiled list of 13 tools, apps, and resources that allow students to conduct science experiments and investigations virtually
- (Mostly K-12) - 158 interactive simulations (download/ embed) and teacher submitted lessons.
- Includes 185 videos, 100 interactive media, 145 online activities for college level biolog
- Online at-home LabKit vendor (students purchase kits).
- Includes 347 online science labs for students 16+ years old.
- Interactive tutorials and hands-on activities for Biology, Medicine, Health, and Humanities.
- North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO
- News story on using a virtual lab
- Interactive site for supplementing, laboratories for students who are unable to afford or access the real thing.
GitHub Student Developer Pack Now Features 100-Plus Tools
- The GitHub Student Developer Pack has just expanded, now featuring development tools and training from more than a hundred companies.
- NCSU Chemistry Lab (VR) by Dr. Maria Gallardo-Williams
- DELTA News Article: Virtualizing Organic Chemistry Labs (QR code for access).
- OnScale, which produces a cloud-based engineering simulation platform, is offering its customers free cloud core-hours, to enable people to keep working on
engineering projects remotely. Current customers can learn more about the remote work offer at email@example.com. New customers can learn more at
Alternative Lab Activity Ideas
- Lab Project where students create “something” that was/is being covered in the lab
- I.e. instead of just having your students take a quiz on the parts of the muscle you could have them create their own and let them pick and choose household items
they have laying around. Then require the students to take a picture of their newly created muscle and make them describe the different components of the muscle,
and why they selected the material they did for that component.
- Have students gain a better understanding of the actual lab equipment
- I.e. if you are teaching a welding lab maybe you talked about the external components of the welder, but have you ever had the students look at all the internal parts
and their importance. Students could be quizzed, or each student/small group could create an unlisted YouTube video about the different parts
- Recording yourself completing the lab
- If you have the ability to complete the lab yourself (either at home or safely at the University), you can record yourself completing the lab. You can use a video editing
software (OBS is an open source software that works great!) to edit and add text or vocals to your video. You may find it more helpful to record the lab with no sound,
then during editing you can voice over the video to create the best possible sound quality.
Creating Lab Videos? - What to Consider
- Video length - Keep it short
- Guo et al. (2014) observed that the median engagement time for videos less than six minutes long was close to 100%. At 9-12 minutes that was roughly 50%,
and from 12-40 minutes that was down to 20%
- Use a conversational style also known as the personalization principle by Richard Meyer. This states that the use of conversational rather than formal language during
multimedia instruction has been shown to have a large effect of students’ learning, perhaps because this style encourages students to develop a sense of social partnership
with the instructor (narrator) that leads to greater effort and engagement (Meyer, 2008)
- Make sure the video feels worthwhile
- This is going to be an incredibly difficult task for instructors as you all rush to find learning experiences for your students using a different modality that you
started the semester off doing. However, creating your own videos rather than using someone else's is that to students it will feel like the material was made
specifically for them. If you are reusing video from another source students may not feel as connected to the content.
Brame, C.J. (2015) Effective educational videos. Retrieved 3/17/2020 from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-video