Few labs drive home the concept of an object’s motion as effectively as this one. It also helps students understand transformation efficiency, a math skill.
Dr. McCall’s students are having great success with the lab kits, which she credits to the clear instructions that accompany each experiment. They’re also flexible–students can complete the lab at a time that works for them.
How do I get started?
Students complete Carolina distance learning labs in asynchronous video format using the provided instructions and materials. While some student comments on the Fall 2022 exit survey expressed satisfaction with this format, students also indicated that they would benefit from a live tutorial with a trained lab instructor. We suggest that your course consider starting a Virtual Learning Lab, which offers both the standards-aligned virtual curriculum and a skilled, SC-licensed instructor to work with your class at the same time. This is a great way to support both hands-on science and the online classroom. Shannon joined Carolina in 2015 with a Master’s degree in Biology and Education, specializing in the development, product selection, and marketing of college-level science online courses and products. She has more than 15 years of experience in higher education as an administrator and instructor.
What are the materials in the kit?
While many students have been able to stay at home during the pandemic, it has not always been possible for them to take a traditional lab course. In those cases, a lab kit with experiments that students can complete at home has been helpful. Lab kits are not new to the classroom, but they can sometimes be confusing for students. To help guide them through the process, instructors like Shannon McCall and Eli Meir have developed resources to explain how they work.
In a recent webinar, Shannon and Eli discussed the best practices for using remote labs in higher education. They agreed that the most important thing is to make sure that all students have access to PPE (personal protective equipment) before doing any laboratory activity. They also stressed the importance of having clear, detailed instructions for each lab to ensure that students understand precisely what they need to do and how to do it.
Having clear, detailed instructions for each lab helps to lower students’ anxiety about doing at-home science labs and increases the likelihood that they will complete their assigned work. Additionally, both Shannon and Eli recommend using introductory videos for each lab to review necessary steps and expectations for students. This helps to clarify things such as what supplies students need to bring to their labs and how they should dispose of those materials once the lab is finished.
When choosing a lab kit, it is essential to consider the amount of time that will be required to do the experiment and to select equipment that is easy for students to use at home. Depending on the type of experiment, some labs may require students to have access to certain materials, such as chemicals or microscopes. However, most labs can be completed using items that are readily available at home.
Whether you are looking for labs that are ready to ship or labs that can be adapted to at-home instruction, Carolina offers a variety of options to meet your needs. To learn more about what is available, contact us or fill out the form below to discuss your unique needs with one of our Distance Learning specialists.
What is the time required to complete the lab?
Many students find that they spend a lot of time doing the labs, but it is also clear that there are opportunities to save time. For example, by using the provided asynchronous videos, a student could complete the lab in under three hours. Another way to save time is by following the instructions in the lab kit and then watching a video tutorial on how to conduct a specific activity. In a recent webinar sponsored by OLC and Carolina Distance Learning, two biology professors discussed their experiences in converting their traditional science lab courses to online lab courses with lab kits.
What are the safety precautions?
Science labs are hazardous by nature, so safety precautions must be taken into account when conducting a lab in an online environment. In a recent blog post on the OLC website, Shannon McGurk, Director of Carolina Distance Learning (a division of Carolina Biological Supply Company), provides ten guidelines for instructors to follow to ensure their students are safe when performing labs remotely. Shannon has Master’s degrees in both Biology and Education and has extensive experience teaching lab science courses at the college level, including allied health, biology, chemistry, microbiology, human biology, physics, environmental science, and anatomy and physiology. She will be a panelist at the upcoming OLC Research Summit: Online STEM Education and Accelerate 2019. Learn more here.