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Case Studies

University College London Increases Test Scores with Virtual Pre-Lab

University College London

The Integrated Medical Sciences program at University College London was looking for innovative ways to support their faculty through Hybrid Learning, when they discovered Labster’s virtual labs. With Labster, Senior Teaching Fellow Dr. Ionnasis Papaioannou was able to maximize lab time with pre-lab simulations, and ultimately increase test scores.

“We found that the addition of Labster significantly boosted final outcomes in terms of exam and coursework results, for the students that engaged with it.”

Dr. Ionnasis Papaioannou

Senior Teaching Fellow


University College London


Dr. Papaioannou prefers the pedagogy of flipped learning, where students are frontloaded with knowledge before class so that class time can be maximised around problem solving. Lab work is critical to his course, however experiential learning was confined to lab hours and Dr. Papaioannou wanted a way to flip his labs to maximize lab hours.


By adopting Labster’s virtual labs, Dr. Papaioannou was now able to prepare students with practice experience prior to setting foot in a lab. This enabled his class to make the most of the very expensive lab time available by ensuring that students had run through a simulation in advance. Labster also provided a means to review previous labs, and evaluate applied knowledge through Labster assessments.


Dr. Papaioannou conducted an evaluation trial, and the results demonstrated that students who used Labster achieved higher test scores. By bringing flipped learning to experiential lab work, UCL was able to ultimately enhance learning outcomes.

Students who completed Labster performed better on a multiple- choice trial exam than students who did not.

Faculty Interview

Dr. Ioannis Papaioannou, Senior Teaching Fellow in the Integrated Medical Sciences program at University College London, has been using Labster since 2018 as part of his flipped course.

What primary challenges do you face in teaching your course?

For our course, the big challenges are to help students become more independent and confident problem solvers and improve their self-learning efficacy. We are also looking for ways to provide more outlets for the students to showcase their individual talents and creativity.

Labster can help us by providing the students with a platform in which they can apply and test the knowledge they have acquired on their own, in order to develop their problem-solving skills and confidence.

How do you use Labster?

We use the simulations as pre-lab exercises, preparatory material for workshops and as reference material for coursework. When it comes to learning, Labster provides a method for students to actually test and assess what they have learned, and that is a big advantage for a flipped course.

How did your students respond to Labster?

Most students found Labster to be a useful addition to their learning regime, and we have seen clear evidence that Labster was effective at imparting both practical and theoretical knowledge, and that the students trusted the knowledge they got from the simulation as much as their teachers.

How would you characterize the results of your learning outcomes trial evaluation?

We found that the addition of Labster significantly boosted final outcomes in terms of exam and coursework results, for the students that engaged with it. I would recommend Labster to anyone who wants to run a flipped course and who wants to maximize their use of practical teaching time. Labster requires an investment to set up, but it can help improve learning outcomes.

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