This guide is designed to help educators teach with virtual labs and the Labster platform, from technical set-up to pedagogical thought-leadership. This guide has everything you need to get started fast, and expand what you think you can achieve with science simulations.
Chapter 1: Technical Setup
The Labster implementation process assists you in connecting your LMS to Labster, setting up your Course Manager instance, and adding courses to your Labster instance. Each of the recordings below covers:
- Introduction and overview of our onboarding process
- How to set up and add simulations
- Overview of Labster support (how and when to contact support)
- How to add students
- How to view your gradebook
Using your LMS or Course Manager with Labster
The following implementation recordings walk you through the initial setup of your Labster instance in your LMS. Choose your LMS access below to find your appropriate recording. If you do not see your LMS listed, choose “Labster Course Manager”.
- Labster Course Manager implementation
- Blackboard implementation
- Canvas implementation
- D2L/Brightspace implementation
- Google Classroom implementation
- Moodle implementation
Adding simulations to your LMS
Now that you've set up your instance, you can add simulations.
Chromebook and iPad App information
Labster is now supported on iPads and Chromebooks for many learning management systems (learn more here). For the best user experience on these devices, we recommend downloading the applicable native app. If you are unsure if your LMS can run on Chromebooks or iPads, please reach out to your Account Manager for confirmation.
(at this time iPads do not support Canvas, Schoology, Brightspace D2L, Sakai)
Chapter 2: Overview of Features
What is Included in my subscription - Labster is more than science simulations. Your subscription also comes with a toolbox of supplemental resources that complement in-person learning. This complete guide reviews your available supplemental resources and how to use them.
Finding content - This one-minute video explains how to search our website to find the content that fits your needs from simulations to supplementary resources
How does the Course Catalog work? - Want more about how the Course Catalog works? Easily search our catalog of over 300 simulations for the right content for your course and your students’ needs.
Assigning content - This one-minute video explains how to assign simulations and track students' progress whether you’re accessing Labster content through the Labster website or through your learning management system.
What are short simulations? - Short simulations, or “focus simulations” which run 5-20 minutes long, target one specific concept of the original lab.
What are course packages? - Course packages are curated lists of our simulations into groups and categories that will make it easier for educators to find and assign content based on teaching themes.
Introduction to the instructor dashboard - This one-minute video explains the benefits of the instructor dashboard.
Science animations library - Short 3D animations from Labster simulations. Share these YouTube video links with your students.
Chapter 3: Teaching with Labster
Teacher Resources and Tools
Measuring the success and seeing the value of your subscription.
- Labster's exclusive STEM educator community - The Labster Community Campus is designed specifically for teachers and professors, and is your space for developing your virtual simulation skills, connecting with other science educators, and gaining thought leadership opportunities. Join our educator community today.
- Create your own case study template (complete with student survey guide) - Conduct your case study to provide quantitative and qualitative success metrics.
- Customizable self-reflection worksheet - 10 thoughtful questions to reflect on your school year.
- How to Advocate for Funding for Labster in Your District or School (high school) - To help you advocate for needed resources, we’ve gathered five tips based on previous Labster teachers’ successes.
Teaching with Labster
Helpful Tips for All Teachers
- Engage students in team-based learning with virtual labs (blog post) - With team-based learning (TBL), students can be introduced to concepts at home and then can be actively engaged in learning those concepts in class.
- A teacher’s introduction to the flipped classroom (blog post) - With team-based learning (TBL), students can be introduced to concepts at home and then can be actively engaged in learning those concepts in class.
- How Labster aligns with the 5E Instructional Model - Creating engaged and excited students with the 5E instructional model.
- 5 extra credit STEM assignments to engage your students & give their grades a lift (blog post) - Extra credit assignments can be tricky because instructors wonder if it’s giving students a pass or allowing them to slack off.
- 7 tips for a successful STEM lecture (blog post) - Student engagement during lectures has notoriously been a pain point for most instructors. Short attention spans and lack of interest in coming to lectures have been noted as typical challenges instructors face.
Teaching Gen Z
- How to engage disengaged STEM Gen Z students & support their well-being (blog post) - Do you feel like your Gen Z students (born between 1997 and 2012) are more disengaged than ever in your STEM courses? This article talks about the main struggles and what STEM educators can do to help.
- 5 ways to teach STEM to Gen Zs in a pandemic-recovering world (blog post) - How does a STEM teacher focus on labs, lectures, and activities in the middle of a mental health crisis? It’s difficult, but there is hope.
- What is Active Learning?
- How Labster supports Active Learning techniques in science courses
- Active Learning tools for the STEM classroom
Chapter 4: Student Troubleshooting
How to introduce Labster to your students
Communication and transparency are key. Set expectations of what and why with these resources.
- What is Labster? video - 1:30-minute video overview of Labster described by our lovely team members.
- Welcome to Labster - Simple Student Guide video - 2-minute video overview of what to expect when using virtual simulations for the first time.
- Student and teacher testimonial videos - If you want some social proof or just looking to show your class how other students have experienced Labster, check out our testimonial playlist on our YouTube channel.
- Many educators use our Lab Safety simulation as an introduction to science simulations.
"My favorite has to be lab safety. The students can actually burn the entire lab down. This really works well as an introduction to the students and sets a good tone — that it is ok to make mistakes in these simulations. That way you will not do this in the hands-on lab. I use this in all my courses as the first lab to do."
– Community College Biotechnology Instructor
Student Help Resources
Self-service troubleshooting resources for your students. Provide these links on the first day to set your students up for success.
- Student Guide to Labster - Help get your students oriented, with this succinct overview.
- Student help center - Search our help articles for common troubleshooting answers
- Live chat - Located in the help center, our live chatbot is ready to answer students’ questions.
- Supported devices and requirements - Learn the basic requirements to run our simulations, and how to check your internet speed. You can also read up on how to check your Windows System Information and Mac System Information.
- Loading difficulties - Depending on your computer and internet speeds, the simulation might take up to five minutes to load. Otherwise, this link will help your students troubleshoot.
Chapter 5: Teacher Troubleshooting
Here are the steps listed in priority of how to address and solve troubleshooting issues.
- Step 1 - We strongly encourage you to visit the Help Center prior to contacting customer support. Easily search by keywords to find articles that can address your issue.
- Step 2 - If you cannot find your answer in the Help Center, our chatbot is available 24/7 to help, even when the team is not online! Access the chatbot at the top right corner of labster.com.
- Step 3 - If you are experiencing issues that our Help Center and chatbot cannot help solve, please contact our Customer Support by using the contact information found at the bottom of this page. Additionally, Instructors and Administrators may reach us via phone at 888-308-7056 where you can speak to a live associate Monday through Friday 6AM to 11PM EST. *This is NOT intended for student use.