5 Why Using Virtual Labs for Science Courses
What is Virtual Science Lab?
- A virtual lab is an on-screen simulator that helps test ideas and observe results.
- Virtual labs are a great way for learners to practice in a safe, online environment.
- Learners use advanced technology to perform a series of experiments that yield authentic results.
Why Use Virtual Science Labs and Simulations for Teaching?
Virtual science labs and online simulations foster such skills as:
- Engagement and curiosity.
- Visualization of scientific concepts.
- Skill-building to work in real wet labs.
- Learning from mistakes.
- Visual learning.
- Engagement of kinesthetic learners online.
- Community of learners.
- Digital skills practice.
- Report-writing skill development.
Why Use Virtual Science Labs for Science Courses?
Some reasons why it is beneficial to use this educational technology in the classroom are:
- To create a true-to-life learning experience.
- To provide unique active learning opportunities for general education students.
- To achieve an understanding and appreciation of scientific principles and scientific method.
Online labs, experiments, simulations, and visualizations allow learners to interact with and review scientific concepts. Students are able to manipulate parameters and observe different results (which is not always possible in a real wet lab). Online interactive science resources expand access to science education. It is not only science students who can do experiments, but students taking general education science courses can benefit as well. The combination of skills that students are able to practice while working with online simulations give them competitive advantage in the future workplace. If faculty are inspired and curious, there is no limit to what students can learn.
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