“Simulated labs are booming” states Nature, International Journal of Science, in their recently published article. An article that asks interesting and important questions such as whether virtual labs really enhance learning over what a textbook can provide, whether fancy graphics are helpful or just a flashy distraction, and whether simulations really can (or should) replace real lab experience.
The article explores the current state of virtual labs, and explains how they can help institutions expand their reach, cut costs, enhance student understanding, and provide a different kind of hands-on training for future scientists.
The ideas and topics discussed in the article include:
- How real labs are actually limiting, and the virtual world is free of restrictions
- What the differences are between 2D and 3D virtual labs, and how they each affect learning and prepare students for real-life scientific investigations
- How virtual labs motivate students and immerse them in learning
- What professors using virtual labs actually think about using these innovative tools in their teaching, and what they have achieved with them
- What the students using virtual labs think
- Whether virtual labs can and should replace real labs
- How professors will soon be able to customize their own virtual labs to adapt the labs to their own needs
Hear from first-movers and experts in the field:
- Brian Woodfield, physical chemist at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, who has been developing virtual labs for decades
- Michael Bodekaer, Labster’s co-founder
- Marcia Linn, an educational psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who has been looking at virtual labs since the early days of Apple computers in the 1980s
- Kathy Perkins, director of the PhET Interactive Simulations project at Boulder
- Kambiz Hamadani, award-winning biochemist at California State University, San Marcos
- Guido Makransky, educational psychologist at the University of Copenhagen
- Robert Lue, faculty director at HarvardX, who heads the LabXchangeproject funded by the Amgen Foundation.