Science simulations train lab skills beforehand and reduce time wasted in the lab.
Wet labs don’t always go as planned. Educators have a tight window during which to shepherd students through the lab from start to finish, and only so much time to keep track of individual student needs. Enter virtual practice labs.
Virtual labs are interactive simulations that guide students through procedures, observations, and experiments, providing students access to state-of-the-art lab environments beyond normal lab hours.
“We use the simulations as pre-lab exercises, preparatory material for workshops and as reference material for coursework.” Explains Dr. Ionnasis Papaioannou, who teaches medical sciences at the University College of London ”[virtual labs] provide a method for students to actually test and assess what they have learned, and that is a big advantage.”
Virtual Pre-Labs Prepare Students in Advance
Pre-lab simulations give students a chance to practice lab skills as many times as they need to until they get the protocol right. Virtual labs are interactive, requiring students to make the right decisions in order to advance, while empowering teachers to track their progress to identify challenges before anyone steps foot in a lab.
“You expose them to the material in the virtual labs and then reinforce it once you’re in the in-person lab. That’s where they get the practice and the skill. Now we can really focus on ‘’why did you do that,’” remarks Dr. Amber Kool, who deploys Labster, an industry-leading virtual science lab solution, in her courses at the Arizona College of Nursing.
Close the Student Skill Gap
Both high schools and universities often find themselves in the difficult position of welcoming a new class that is wildly varied in their preparation level for the material ahead. This can waste critical lab time, chasing after students who are ill-prepared. Practice simulations offer educators the chance to assess and address those gaps for applied knowledge and experiences that are difficult to evaluate outside of the classroom environment.
"Giving students time in [virtual labs] to explore prior to the wet lab is invaluable.” explains Diane Sigales, who teaches Biotech at Livingston High School in New Jersey. “I can spend time with everyone because those skills were already practiced the night before.”
About Labster: Labster offers interactive, 3D virtual science labs that bring science to life. Labster helps students visualize theory, access state-of-the-art lab environments, and take their learning beyond the classroom, from the quantum realm to the surface of Mars. Expand your curriculum, target learning needs, and foster content mastery to prepare the next generation of scientists.