The S&A Academy uses Labster in its mission to deliver innovative industry-relevant professional training, certifications, and apprenticeships for students ages 16+ in the science sector.
Charlotte Hamblet, Senior Science Instructor at the S&A Academy, uses Labster to teach her students online. She uses 44 labs across different disciplines: biology, chemistry, and physics. She helped implement virtual labs at S&A Academy as a teaching aide because she’d been following Labster throughout her years as an instructor and felt it’d help students learn effectively.
The results have been that it has helped her tremendously with teaching online, and students enjoy the virtual labs!
"We do use one other type of simulation aside from Labster. They're nice, but I don't think they have that 'wow factor' and that contextualized storyline behind the simulations that Labster has."
Most used simulations:
“We do use one other type of simulation aside from Labster. They're nice, but I don't think they have that 'wow factor' and that contextualized storyline behind the simulations that Labster has.”
Connecting Labster to the curriculum
“Whatever topic we're teaching, we offer a connected Labster simulation, and then we run that alongside the formal teaching so that they get that additional learning perspective where they can put what they've just learned in the theory lessons into context. All of it has to be connected. For example, the chemical hazards simulation is a really important part of the apprenticeship, so we connect the lab to their real experiences.”
Helping students understand
“Sometimes students just don’t grasp something. Instead of continuing to try to lecture, I’ll just say, let's go through a simulation together. It's another way of demonstrating that information. And then it clicks, and they get it.”
Meeting students where they are
“Because we have such a range of backgrounds, we find the high school versions of the simulation to be a really nice introduction, especially maybe where they've not grasped the concept in the first instance. For those that have a background or understand the concepts, we give them the higher level simulations to be a little bit more of a challenge for them.”
Every simulation has a storyline
“We do use one other type of simulation aside from Labster. They're nice, but I don't think they have that 'wow factor' and that contextualized storyline behind the simulations that Labster has. In every simulation, there’s a storyline to it. Students are almost acting it out in a way. I think that the whole process of gamification really does draw learners into its wanting to have a go at these things.”
Curriculum alignment for the UK
“It's nice to see that quite a lot of the simulations do lend themselves to our curriculum in the UK. For us, that's really, really helpful. And once we established that there were quite a few that tied in, using virtual labs has worked out really well for us.”
Student data-driven discussions
“I review the data in Labster about how many questions they answer and how they perform. Then in the following session, I can look back at what they've achieved and where the gaps in learning might be. It’s quite a nice way to open discussion on how students progress with what I’m trying to teach.”
Positive student response
“The feedback's been really positive. We've had some of them that have been a little bit reluctant to try the virtual labs because they're not gamers. But, after they've warmed up to the idea and they've had a go, they actually say this is great.”
96% of students feel they gained relevant knowledge during the sims.
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