Resources and tips for online and virtual laboratory instruction
Should a transition to remote delivery be required, here are some resources and tips:
- How to Quickly (and Safely) Move a Lab Course Online - The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Online Resources for Science Laboratories Remote Teaching - Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
- North American Network of Science Labs Online (scroll to the bottom of the page and look for "project summary")
Take part of the lab online
Many activities require students to become familiar with specific procedures, and only physical practice will do. In these cases, consider whether parts of the experience can move online. Some examples include video demonstrations of techniques, online simulations, data analysis, and other pre- or post-lab work. Defer the physical practice parts until access is restored. This 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, show students how to collect data. Follow up by providing some raw sets of data for students to analyze. This approach is not as comprehensive as having students collect and analyze their own data. Still, it might keep them engaged with parts of the experience during an emergency.