A significant challenge for the Department of Immunology at the University of Szeged in Hungary is that they don’t have dedicated lab space for their 100+ German medical students who are studying to be doctors. The university implemented Labster two years ago into the Immunology Department curriculum. They have found that giving second-year students access to virtual labs has been a practical way for them to learn complex scientific concepts.
We have no laboratories for these students, so we had no possibility to teach the practical part. Now, with Labster, we can.
Christiana Gules is a study organizer and administrator at the University who oversees the administrative and technological aspects of implementing Labster. Read on to find out how and why students and teachers alike find Labster useful.
Labster simulations used:
No lab space
“Our head of the department who found Labster is a very open-minded, very technology and future-oriented person. She was looking for a digital solution to the lack of laboratory space. We have no laboratories for these students, so we had no possibility to teach the practical part. Now with Labster, we can.”
Benefits of a dedicated virtual space
“Labster is very practical and saves the teachers a lot of time preparing. Unlike in the physical lab, they don’t have to make sure that safety is okay, health risks are not present in the room, the chemicals are working, and everything is secure. Even if they did have a physical lab space, not every student would have the chance to try everything out.”
Virtual labs help student engagement
“We’ve found that one of the biggest challenges we see is a lack of student focus. Students spend about 12 hours daily in lectures, from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Labster is assigned for them to do it anytime over the course of a week. We’ve gotten feedback that they have an easier time focusing on the virtual labs because they’re short, just 20-40 minutes. Student attention dips after 45 minutes.”
Helpful in German
“In the beginning, they used Labster in English, but this year they used it in German, the students’ native language, and that was very helpful. The German translation is very good.”
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