student holding up lab equipment

Online Science Labs

Why Online Science Labs?

Online science labs are a valuable option for faculty who need to facilitate labs for their courses but cannot conduct labs in person. Some practical reasons faculty may choose to move a science lab online include teaching during a pandemic due to restrictions on gathering or dealing with inclement weather that may make it difficult for students and faculty to travel to campus. Other reasons faculty may want an online lab option include the ability to expand online course offerings, innovate their teaching, and provide more opportunities for students to engage with course content.

Benefits

two students conducting lab experiment

Some of the benefits of conducting online science labs are that it provides additional flexible active learning opportunities for students and increased flexibility for faculty in implementing lab activities. Additionally, simulation software and programs for lower-level or general education courses could cut down on lab material costs and logistical considerations for online lab activities. In online science labs, as in face-to-face labs, faculty can give students opportunities to propose and design their own complex scientific experiments, incorporate scientific inquiry by teaching students to read peer-reviewed journals critically, and provide students with opportunities to analyze experimental data. Online science labs can also provide faculty with a chance to gamify learning and increase peer-to-peer engagement in online learning.

Learn More in Our New Workshop

Learn more about the resources available for moving science labs online in CITL’s November workshop, Options for Conducting Online Science Labs. In this workshop, we will discuss various options available for implementing online science labs and provide additional resources for faculty to continue their “education” and help implement online science labs in their courses.

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