BOSTON — APRIL 17, 2023 — Labster, the world's leading edtech platform for virtual labs and interactive science courseware, is rolling out a major free user experience (UX) upgrade that will improve the Labster platform for millions of students in high school and higher education institutions worldwide. The upgrade will be pushed automatically to users when they log into Labster and will impact more than 80% of Labster simulations across across all devices and LMS systems, including the Labster app for iOS and Chromebook.
With Labster, students explore interactive simulations in state-of-the-art laboratories from their digital devices. But the advanced scientific concepts and lab techniques that Labster simulations bring to life can sometimes be challenging for students who are not as well prepared. Based on extensive feedback from both users and instructors, Labster has developed a new intelligent “hint and guidance” system that will nudge students in the right direction toward successful completion of their assignments when needed. Among other features, this includes helpful new indicators and suggestions for students who appear to be stuck or struggling.
Leveraging gamification techniques has been proven to boost student enthusiasm, engagement and learning outcomes. Labster offers 300-plus titles in its catalog of STEM curriculum-aligned virtual lab simulations in fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, and physics. Labster simulations are especially useful for pre- and post-lab assignments, so science department leads can fully optimize the time students spend on-site in high-demand physical laboratories.
“Labster plays an important role in helping students complete challenging STEM courses, so it’s critical that we leverage the power of our platform to support their learning and progress through each simulation,” said Michael Bodekaer Jensen, co-founder and CEO of Labster. “Our ultimate goal is for Labster to increase STEM student retention by encouraging students on their path to becoming the next generation of scientists to change the world. Our thanks go out to the generous educators and students who helped us build this major upgrade by providing valuable feedback and ongoing testing for continuous improvement.”
Better STEM access for all
According to the National Science Board, academic institutions need to dramatically increase the proportion of students in STEM to preserve U.S. economic and innovation leadership. But women and minority students are already underrepresented in STEM education, and inherent design flaws in introductory STEM-subject courses can actually act as a barrier for minority students rather than as a springboard for success, according to a 2022 Pennsylvania State University research study led by mathematics professor Nathanial "Nate" Brown, Ph.D.
“We know that different students have different levels of comfort with online courseware,” said Jolita Kiznyte, Labster’s lead product manager for content. “That’s why we’re continuously working to improve the UX design of Labster’s gamified, interactive science simulations. It’s really important that we accommodate a diversity of user backgrounds and technical skills. These latest updates provide key hints and signals that can offer a helping hand to students where they need it while navigating the learning experience in our simulations.”
Labster has been innovating in science education for more than a decade, providing educators with the ability to digitally explore and enhance their science offerings and supplement their in-classroom activities. In 2022, Labster released five new course packages, including Basic Lab Skills, focused specifically on practical lab skills and simulations. Additionally, more than 150 of the 300-plus Labster simulations are now available in Spanish, with over 100 also in French, German, and Italian. Labster simulations can be played on a variety of the most commonly used desktop, laptop, and tablet computers available to the broadest range of students.
Getting to know (and love) Labster
Labster is dedicated to developing fully interactive virtual training simulations that are designed to enhance traditional learning outcomes by stimulating students’ natural curiosity and reinforcing the connection between science and the real world. The simulations can be used in a variety of different ways, from a full lab replacement to a supplemental learning activity. Over 5 million students in high schools and universities in 100 countries have used Labster to perform realistic experiments, learn key science concepts, and practice their skills in a risk-free learning environment. Labster’s team members are passionate about improving science learning, resulting in collaborations with over 3,000 leading educational institutions. Visit www.labster.com.
Sterling Communications for Labster