When a virtual laboratory is done correctly, the potential for student engagement and interest can take off. However, that is where some virtual labs may falter. If teachers take the improper approach to education, or if they don’t offer interesting content, then their students may not see the value of the items that they learn in their virtual lab. Below, Mentis Sciences breaks down 5 ways to improve the quality of your virtual laboratory for teachers and students alike.
Use Technology to Complement Content, Not the Other Way Around
Interesting content is only worth as much as the avenues you provide your students to get there. Lab engagement starts with accessibility. You have valuable material to show but you have to ask yourself: what is the best way to teach this content? Online learning platforms and modern digital tools are certainly flashy, but it is key to make sure your students understand the significance of laboratory learning – otherwise the material may not stick.
Provide Tasks at All Stages of the Virtual Lab
Increase engagement by giving your students something to think about before, during, and even after your remote lab. It doesn’t even have to be anything extensive – it can be as simple as asking simple questions to stoke the flames of critical thinking. The more discussion there is, the likelier your students are to keep thinking about the material they have learned, which means a higher level of engagement.
Make Sure Everything is Connected
Virtual learning hasn’t just become a mere feature of educational institutions in recent years, it has also become a necessary fixture. That being said, virtual labs should not be used as a replacement for other instructional modes and methods of education. Before cutting students loose on laboratory activities, be sure to connect them to other pertinent content relating to your subject. By gaining an understanding of the “why” and “how” of your lab, they are more likely to internalize the processes of the virtual lab.
Use Games to Your Benefit
More often than not, students will embrace the opportunity to involve a game in their learning curriculum. Integrating education into games is one of the simplest ways to engage your students and make them excited about learning. Consider weaving some game playtime into your virtual lab to enhance the experience for your students. For example, offer a game that will help teach students lab etiquette, or use competition to your advantage with a friendly bout of lightning round lab questions.
Supplement Your Lab with Educational Resources
Laboratory content may not always come easily to students. That is why we stress the importance of utilizing other educational resources to enhance learning. Give your students easy access to items like online manuals, video guides, and digital demonstrations to fill in the gaps and round out their experience. This will not only ensure that each laboratory runs smoother, but it will also foster an environment where students can get more hands-on with relevant content.
Mentis Sciences sees the challenges that come with creating interactive hands-on activities in a virtual setting. Technology is evolving every day and we offer a wide variety of tools that will help you engage your students like never before. Contact Mentis Sciences to learn more about how our remote lab kits can assist your effort to educate and amplify engagement.