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Announcing New Simulations, Enhanced Features and Expanded Translations — October 2021 Product News
Alyson Aiello
Product Information

The latest Labster launch is here. As always, our October 2021 product update was inspired by your feedback. From our expanded library of multi-language lab simulations to all new simulations and supplemental content, we’re excited to deliver on our commitment to bring you the tools you need to achieve desired learning outcomes in science education (and inspire future scientists along the way!).

Here’s a snapshot of what’s new this October:

  • 14 new virtual lab simulations for higher education and high school, including 8 full-length simulations and 6 short-form simulations

  • Expanded 3D animation library

  • New banks of quiz questions

  • 70+ multilingual translations of our most popular lab simulations, across five languages, now available

  • Advancement in accessibility plan to meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards in most of our simulations

  • New educator and student platform for my.labster.com users

8 new full-length simulations 

There’s something new for all educators this month! We've enriched our higher education virtual labs with new simulations in organic chemistry and general chemistry. For high school, we’ve expanded our catalog with simulations in physics and earth sciences, as well as new topics covered in biology and chemistry.

Ranging from 20 to 30 minutes, these original simulations offer students an immersive learning experience with 3D visualization of scientific concepts, games and quizzes, trial and error, and more. 

Wondering if Labster is right for you? Here are 11 questions to ask when shopping for virtual labs.

New simulations for higher education

Organic chemistry

Carbon Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR): What is the mystery compound? Students critique the utility and limitations of 13C-NMR techniques in determining the molecular structure of organic compounds.

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Synthesis of Aspirin: How to fight students’ migraines Practical examples encourage students to apply knowledge in a real world setting. This simulation brings students through a multi-step sequential synthesis of the manufacturing of aspirin. They identify points of loss within a reaction scheme and relate this to the percentage yield of product formed. They also recognize the utility of purity measurements after synthesis.

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General chemistry

Chemical Nomenclature (Inorganic Chemistry) - COMING SOON! This simulation supports general chemistry learning foundations. Students apply International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) naming rules and conventions to inorganic molecular species and recognize exceptions where they exist. 

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New simulations for high school

Labster is adding new simulations specifically designed to meet high school curriculum needs across earth sciences, biology, chemistry and physics. This month, look for these new simulations to add to your course materials.

Physics

Introduction to Radioactive Decay Physics students investigate and calculate key kinetic parameters of radioactive decay modes. They visit a meteor crash site and bring a sample back to the lab for investigation. Along the way, students receive guidance from Marie Curie.

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Applications of Buoyancy: Floatation Students apply the concept of buoyant force on an object relative to its weight to see if it can float in a liquid of a given density. They relate the submerged fraction of a floating object to its average density relative to the fluid in which it is floating.

 

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Earth sciences

If you’ve already experienced The Carbon Cycle lab simulation, you’ll be excited to add two new simulations to the series:

The Nitrogen Cycle Students explore Earth’s nitrogen cycle through immersive 3D animations and storytelling. They help a restaurant owner understand sustainable crop production and make a four-year plan for production, while investigating the human factors that influence the nitrogen cycle such as synthetic fertilizers and fossil fuels.

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Principles of the Water Cycle - COMING SOON! Students discover the principles of the Earth’s water cycle and learn more about its relevance to everyday life as they explain the water cycle to a local property owner and explore different stores of water. Like our other cycle series simulations, the active learning involved is designed to bring the material to life for your students.

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Biology and chemistry

Properties of Water Students study a summary of the properties of water as a polar molecule central to sustaining life. They create a hydrogen bond network and unlock how this affects water’s behavior. Explore questions like, “How do the properties of water help fish survive?”

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In addition to these 8 new full-length simulations, the Labster team is at work to deliver even more this winter across general chemistry, general biology, anatomy and physiology, physics, and earth and space sciences. Explore all our courses packages to find the right fit for your courses.

Hear us tell you all the details about our latest Labster product updates and features in our product update webinar.

6 new short-form simulations

We now offer more than 60 short-form simulations with a play time ranging from 5 to 20 minutes, adapted from existing full-length simulations. Short-form simulations offer the complete Labster experience in bite-sized format. Here are the highlights:

  • Focused on one specific topic, concept, or technique

  • Flexible and easy to integrate into class, lab or homework

  • Complete with Labster immersive experiences and pedagogical techniques, including storytelling and gamification

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Our six new short simulations cover popular topics in biomedical sciences and general chemistry. Here are the titles you can access now:

  • Organs and Cells of the Immune System Summarize the key cells and organs involved in innate and adaptive immune responses (adapted from: Introduction to Immunology simulation).

  • Immunoassays for Detecting SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies Interpret the SARS-CoV-2 exposure and infection status of individuals using serum immunoassay data (adapted from: Introduction to Immunology simulation).

  • Gene Linkage Analysis Perform a genetic linkage analysis of specific mutations and cancer development risk (adapted from: Medical Genetics simulation).

  • Cancer: Impact of BRCA Mutations - COMING SOON! Justify an individual's cancer risk using familial and personal BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status data (adapted from: Medical Genetics simulation).

  • Ion Exchange Chromatography Explain the use of ion-exchange column chromatography for separating compounds in a mixed sample (adapted from: Parkinson's Disease simulation).

  • Size Exclusion Chromatography Explain the use of size exclusion column chromatography for separating compounds in a mixed sample (adapted from: Parkinson's Disease simulation).

Like our full-length simulations, we have more short-form simulations coming in winter 2022.

New supplemental content and features

Educators and students benefit from a complete ecosystem of teaching and learning resources with Labster. We offer flexible content beyond simulations to enrich lab learning, from Theory Pages to Lab Manuals and so much more. This month, we’ve expanded our 3D animation library and our banks of quiz questions to help your students get even more from Labster.

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More Library of Science Animations

We have further enriched our library of 3D science animations with new videos designed to help students visualize scientific phenomena. Our new animations cover a range of topics in microbiology, biotechnology, physiology and chemistry. Each video is a stand-alone resource that instructors can easily share with students through a link in their syllabus or learning management system (LMS).

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Already a Labster user? Go to the catalog in your Labster account to access the new 3D animations now.

“We’re not just a virtual lab provider. We’ve developed a roadmap that expands into different areas.” - Mark Fuller, Product Marketing Manager

More Banks of Quiz Questions

We’ve enriched our library of supplements with additional quiz questions documents for 20 of our most popular simulations. These banks of original questions, not included in the simulations play, will enable educators to further assess students’ learning on topics covered in the simulations.

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Already a Labster user? Go to the catalog in your Labster account to access the lab supplements now.

New translations and web content accessibility

Making science accessible to students everywhere is the ultimate goal at Labster. We’re excited to tell you that we’ve made strides this month with a growing library of translations that will be available for our most popular lab simulations and through advances in our web content accessibility.

More translated simulations

We support educators and students across the world and some of our most popular simulations are already available across five languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. We seek to have 70 of our most-used virtual lab simulations available in all five languages in October.

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We are working toward a goal to provide the majority of our labs as multi-language simulations so you can look for more translations in 2022. We are also working on the translation of our supplemental content, starting with Theory Pages and Lab Manuals and other resources, which will be made available in the four additional languages for translated simulations this fall.

“Our simulations are very word dense,” says Isabel Tran, Product Marketing Manager at Labster. “Translating our work is the equivalent of proofreading, testing, quality assuring, releasing and maintaining the Lord of the Rings trilogy over three times.”

To find out more, visit our local hubs in Spanish, German, French, and Italian.

More web content-accessible simulations

We want all educators and students to easily access and use Labster simulations and education content. We’ve developed many new features to cover all aspects of the WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards. As of right now, more than half of our existing simulations can be played using keyboard navigation and screen readers. We’ve also implemented color-adjustments to make simulations accessible for students who are color blind. Every new simulation that is released will be made accessible as it is launched or shortly thereafter.

Click here to read more about accessibility at Labster.

New educator and student platform

Our new educator and student platform for my.labster.com users makes it easy for you to track your students’ progress as they operate simulations. Your new, more seamless experience includes the following enhancements:

  • Search our 200+ simulation library using filters like topic, education level and language; toggle to view content available in accessibility mode

  • Search our animated video library

  • View your students' progress 'by student' or 'by simulation, where you can see their score, their completion progress, and the time taken to play a simulation

  • Monitor their completion progress in real-time, and have access to the answers to all their quiz questions

  • Limit the number of graded attempts that students have based on your preference

Using Labster through your Learning Management System (LMS)? Look for improved integration from Labster in the near future.

What’s coming next

If our October 2021 product update is any indication, you can be confident that our team is working full throttle to exceed your expectations across all these fronts, and more. From accessing your Labster tools via any mobile device to a more seamless user experience for instructors, look for further advances in availability and accessibility and translations in the coming months. Plus, we’ll bring you more virtual labs. Look for new higher education content in general chemistry and biology, anatomy and physiology, physics. For our high school educators, we’ll release new content for biology, chemistry, physics, and earth and space sciences. 

Learn more about our October 2021 product updates and connect with us if you have any questions.

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