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How to Close Learning Gaps in Science with Labster

Ginelle Testa
Teaching with Labster

Learning gaps are a reality for students all over. Labster is here to help teachers provide the fundamental lab skills and science concepts their students need to help them catch up and be successful.

A fall 2021 survey by the Christenson Institute asked teachers and administrators across the US, “How did your students' academic preparedness at the start of this school year compare to a typical pre-pandemic year?” The results were that 46% of students are behind and 34% are slightly behind, totaling 80% of students off-track. 

pandemic learning

Source

Help students gain fundamental lab skills

Students may have developed learning gaps in science due to pandemic learning experiences, such as the lack of access to physical labs. Our virtual labs span many disciplines: Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Earth Science, Biology, and more. Within each of these disciplines, there are accompanying virtual labs, 3D animation videos, quiz questions, and other resources to help students develop fundamental lab skills.

We now offer a package of course resources aimed at teaching students basic lab skills. In addition to essential skills like how to pipette and how to prepare a solution with a specific concentration, this package includes a variety of safety labs. In the Chemistry Safety Lab, students go on a mission to produce sustainable biodiesel and learn how to safely work with dangerous chemicals without any risk of getting hurt. Safety labs can prepare students for safer in-person labs by getting them comfortable with the various safety steps.

Lab safety skills

Dr. Stephani Joy Macalino of De La Salle University had this experience in her classroom. She said: “The simulations are really useful because, in the virtual lab, it always reminds the students to wear a lab coat and then get a pair of gloves and goggles. Labster is very, very helpful in preparing them to be safe.”

Dr Macalino

Beyond safety skills, we teach students the fundamentals of each discipline, such as microbiology lab techniques like inoculation and incubation. There are a variety of virtual labs that can help your students address learning gaps. Many of the teachers and instructors using Labster find that it’s a helpful preparatory and post-lab tool.

Help students grasp scientific concepts

Scientific concepts aren’t always easy to teach, and with learning gaps, students are even further behind. Labster can help by breaking down complicated concepts into digestible storylines.

We utilize engaging stories coupled with gamification to help students learn more and have fun along the way. A new simulation that Labster released for high school physics is Propagation of Sound: Help a rock star tune their guitar! Students get to ride the Shrink-o-Ship to see a propagating sound wave up close while learning about the production, propagation, and detection of sound. They experiment with the properties of a sound wave and use their newfound knowledge to help a rock star tune their guitar! 

Proof that Labster works

We’ve seen the evidence that students are benefiting from Labster from several peer-reviewed and external studies. Dr. Manuela Tripepi of Thomas Jefferson University published findings on immersive Labster interactive science laboratory simulations in both online and in-person curricula in the April 2022 issue of the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE).

The results were overwhelmingly positive:

  • 100% preferred interactive simulations as pre-laboratory material over traditional textbooks and lab manuals

  • 91.67% said they gained relevant knowledge from the simulations

  • 91.67% found the simulations engaging

  • 90.91% felt more confident about doing real, in-person labs after using the simulations

  • 91.67% liked having simulations available as part of their course

Gained relevent knowledge

We’re here to help

We’re here to help close the learning gaps and help students succeed so they can move on to a career they love. We hope to empower the next generation of scientists to change the world by tackling our most pressing issues. Students can’t do that if they’re falling behind and dropping out.

Labster can be used as a supplemental teaching tool to meet the needs of students by helping them develop fundamental lab skills and grasp complex scientific concepts.

Try Labster’s 30-day free trial and see how you can help address student learning gaps with virtual labs.