New In: Feature upgrades and building a community for educators

In our recent webinar, What’s New from Labster, we announced the launch of a number of new simulations, packages and feature upgrades. Briefly, here’s this month in numbers:

  • 19 new simulations
  • 5 existing simulations now adapted for VR
  • 133 simulations in total in our rapidly-growing catalog
  • 4 new simulation course packages
  • 20 simulation course packages overall

Besides launching a bunch of exciting new simulations, Labster also constantly works to improve the user experience. Here are just a few highlights of the latest features we have implemented after working with the educators who use our virtual labs.

1. Dr. One is becoming smarter!

If you have used Labster before, you would have come across Labster’s friendly in-game drone lab assistant, Dr. One. In her latest upgrade, she has acquired a few new features:

  • After a period of inactivity, Dr. One will now point the student to the instructions to encourage the student to refer back to the mission at hand.
  • She will now offer different help options if you click on her.
  • To improve Dr. One’s personalization, she can now tell you a joke, smile and give a thumbs up!

2. Updates to the Teacher Dashboard

A vast majority of teachers who use Labster attribute a successful implementation of virtual labs to the Teacher Dashboard, from the time-saving aspect of grading classes of more than 200 students to an easier method of assessment and monitoring how students get on with the simulations.

That is why upgrades to Labster’s new Teacher Dashboard are always made with teachers’ feedback in mind. Teachers can now:

  • View multiple student attempts for each simulation played
  • See the details of each attempt, including the total number and length of attempts and answers to quiz questions.
  • View course information, including course name, number of simulations, access dates, last activity date, and student survey data
  • Export the student survey data.

For more information on how you can leverage the Teacher Dashboard updates, visit our Help Centre or reach out to your Customer Success Manager for further support.

3. Translations

Approximately 30 of Labster’s most popular simulations are being translated into Japanese, Korean, and Spanish, as well as several in Chinese. More translated simulations are also expected to be available later this year, so stay tuned!

4. Inclusive teaching

In Labster’s continued effort to support inclusive teaching, we are constantly improving the accessibility of our virtual labs.

Continuing our support of diverse learners, Labster’s simulations aim to create a more immersive way of accessing information by previewing information on hovering certain objects. This allows users with a lower level of prior knowledge to get up to speed in an interactive way rather than breaking immersion into theory pages early in the simulation.

Neurodiverse users are also considered when writing quiz question responses, conversations and choosing example scenarios. For example, active steps are taken to avoid trigger words and instead use neutral, non-patronizing language.

We also actively choose to promote the visibility of different ethnicities and address gender balance. For example, in the Control of Microbial Growth simulation, the doctor discusses a patient’s case with the user by using gender-neutral pronouns in order to eliminate the opportunity for perceived power imbalances, passively demonstrate confidentiality, and to create visibility for gender neutrality. 

5. Building a community for educators

In our continued efforts to improve Labster’s user experience, we aim to create a teaching community to partner with our users more closely. As part of this new initiative, we are building the Faculty Advisor Network to foster a community of educators that can help advise Labster as well as other educators to find essential resources to teach with Labster.

If you are an experienced Labster user and are keen to join a community for educators, find more information here or let us know!

Coming soon

As we said, Labster is always working on improving the user experience – so what other features and upgrades can you expect over the upcoming months? 

Some forthcoming features include a new Quiz Editing feature, work on improving loading times of up to 20% for some key simulations, and translating more simulations in more languages. Finally, watch out for new VR options, as well as a new option to integrate with the Schoology LMS.

Stay updated!

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We Can Make Virtual Labs Work for You

“The virtual labs have proven to stimulate students' natural curiosity, knowledge retention and outcomes.”
Brian Harfe
Dr. Brian Harfe
University of Florida

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