Although Guillermo Francisco Rivero had used virtual lab simulations periodically before the COVID-19 pandemic at Colegio Nazaret, the situation highlighted the importance of the flipped classroom approach and remote learning, especially when teaching science. “It is undeniable that the pandemic has been a new scenario for the entire educational community. Accounting for the engagement and cognitive development of students during these times was quite a challenge,” he said. For this, he turned to Labster.
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"Labster offered us the most impressive catalogue of science simulations. We also loved the graphics, and it was easy to implement in the classroom.”
Guillermo Francisco Rivero
Colegio Nazaret is a state-subsidized secondary school in the La Mejostilla neighbourhood belonging to the city of Cáceres (Extremadura, Spain). Colegio Nazaret is one of the first educational institutions in Spain using Labster.
Engage students and achieve higher learning outcomes, make learning science fun
Guillermo Francisco Rivero teaches biology, geology, physics, chemistry, and technology at Colegio Nazaret. He has higher university training and specialises in teaching sciences at a secondary school level and in an International Baccalaureate program. Additionally, he published several academic articles on science education, especially using simulations in a multi-agent programmable modelling environment, gamification, and virtual laboratories.
Case Study Highlights
Number of students using Labster: 100
Labster Simulations used: 40 simulations within biology, chemistry, geology, and physics
The flipped-classroom approach before and during the COVID-19 pandemic
Guillermo Francisco Rivero has been familiar with different edtech tools for quite a while. “As a teacher, I have always tried to implement innovative educational tools in my classes, for example, the flipped classroom approach, Problem Based Learning (PBL), and gamification at various levels, or the systematic use of virtual laboratories. All of which promote student autonomy and self-learning,” said Guillermo Francisco Rivero.
Although he had used virtual lab simulations periodically before the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation highlighted the importance of the flipped classroom approach and remote learning, especially when teaching science. “It is undeniable that the pandemic has been a new scenario for the entire educational community. Accounting for the engagement and cognitive development of students during these times was quite a challenge,” he said. For this, he turned to Labster.
Learning while having fun
Labster’s gamified environment enhances student engagement while learning about complex concepts. “The students achieved significant learning results without being aware that they are studying - by playing, having fun, solving tasks at their own pace,” described Guillermo Francisco Rivero. “Using Labster in my teaching is also fun for me - the teacher,” he followed. Francisco Rivero can see the students’ higher motivation as they become competitive, “they want to finish the simulation before their peers,” he added.
Better student engagement and higher academic results
According to the surveys carried out by Colegio Nazaret with their students during December 2020 - February 2021, using Labster positively affected the students’ attitudes, perceptions, and motivation towards science subjects and lab work. Moreover, the results showed that teaching with Labster enhanced students’ problem-solving, conceptual understanding, and science processing skills. After these three months of using Labster, students also demonstrated improved academic results with a slight increase in their average grades, mainly when Guillermo Francisco Rivero combined remote teaching with in-person instruction. “Both in face-to-face classes and distance learning, Labster has allowed not only to cover the required curriculum but also to explore new concepts on a more practical and in-depth level,” he followed. The students could grasp concepts well above their educational curriculum levels, for example, performing a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) - a university- level biology method.
Guillermo Francisco Rivero continues to use Labster in face-to-face teaching.
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