We use it as a bridge between theory and practice in the lab. So we teach them during the theory part of the lessons, and then they do a simulation at home, and then they go to the lab to do the experiment.
Sander Kurvers is a teacher of Biology at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. He’s been teaching with Labster since 2020. Instructors across biology at the University of Applied Sciences teach about 140 students with Labster virtual labs.
Fontys is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands and is located in the most innovative region of our country and perhaps the whole of Europe. It is the most exciting place to be for anyone interested in technology, entrepreneurship, and creativity. Students of more than 100 nationalities study at one of their campuses
They originally used Labster as a solution for lockdown but decided that it’s continuing to be helpful in a COVID-recovering world. Sander and colleagues now use Labster to form a bridge between theory and practice.
Commonly used simulations:
Bacterial Cell Structures: An introduction to the bacterial cell
Identification of Unknown Bacteria: Help save baby Kuppelfangs from an epidemic!
Pipetting: Selecting and Using Micropipettes
The Gram Stain: Identify and differentiate bacteria
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Cell Structure: Cell theory and internal organelles
Gel Electrophoresis: Visualize and separate nucleic acids
Antibodies: Why are some blood types incompatible?
Help visualize abstract concepts
“The biggest benefit we see with Labster is that it makes the abstract clear and tangible. For example, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is hard for students to visualize. With the virtual labs, they can see how it’s done, so they’re more prepared for the in-person labs. This is the power of the virtual labs and why we still want to use them after lockdown.”
Labster sparks reflection
“The labs often align with our curriculum, but sometimes they’re a little different, which isn’t bad. This gives us the opportunity to discuss in class what’s different: the setup, the equipment, and the steps, and we can reflect on aspects of both the virtual lab and in-person.”
“The students think Labster is educational, fun, and useful for them. They can read the practical in document form, but they don’t know what it looks like in the lab. With Labster, they can see how it works in the lab and feel more prepared. They find the theoretical explanation in Labster very good. This explanation is usually available at the right time during the simulation itself (via the virtual tablet). They can also be viewed separately.”
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