Resources and tips for online and virtual laboratory instruction
From the MSU Roadmap
- Priorities and principles for course design: In-person and blended delivery will be used for courses that are difficult to deliver in other modalities such as laboratories,field courses, studio courses and recitations.
- Hands-on/experiential pedagogies: Laboratories, simulations and studios may require additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and will implement processes to allow for reduction of risk in collaborative work and instruction.
- Strategies to meet learning expectations: Simulation experiences to create scenarios for students to practice technical, diagnostic, laboratory and exam skills.
Should a transition to remote delivery be required, here are some resources and tips:
North American Network of Science Labs Online (scroll to bottom of page and look for "project summary")
Take part of the lab online
- Many activities require students to become familiar with certain procedures and only physical practice of those processes will do. In such cases, consider whether or not there are other parts of the experience could be taken online--video demonstrations of techniques, online simulations, analysis of data, other pre- or post-lab work--and defer the physical practice parts until access is restored. The approach may suffice in the event of relatively brief disruptions.
Introduce virtual laboratories
Online resources and virtual tools might help replicate the experience of some labs, including virtual dissection, night sky apps and simulations. The possibilities vary widely by discipline. Your textbook publisher, or sites such as Merlot, may have materials that might help replace parts of your instructional laboratory during an emergency.
Provide raw data for analysis
- In cases where the activity includes both the collection of data and its analysis, consider showing how the data can be collected, then provide some raw sets of data for students to analyze. This approach is not as comprehensive as having students collect and analyze their own data, but it might keep them engaged with parts of the experience during an emergency.