Labster: Virtual Labs for Biology and Life Sciences Teachers


Labster: Virtual Labs for Biology and Life Sciences Teachers
Labster is a next generation virtual laboratory for teaching and learning life sciences. It engages students with the wonders of biotechnology and molecular biology by gamifying biotech teaching.

In the laboratory, students get to perform experiments

 that are otherwise too expensive, time consuming, need sophisticated equipment and are unsafe to perform in the school environment. To overcome the above problems, Labster, a virtual laboratory has been introduced to enable users to perform experiments.

It also helps educators prepare students for working in a lab, give demonstrations of more abstract concepts and reduce the usage of costly traditional lab equipment. Let’s have a look at its great features.

Labster  is dedicated to developing online tools for teaching Science globally. It provides users with an online platform for teaching Biotechnology, which has been demonstrated to improve learning significantly over standard methods as well as substantially reduce costs.

3D Molecular Animations:

What happens at a molecular level in an experiment is invisible to the naked eye. Labster provides users with 3D animations along with guided explanations that helps them learn what happens at the molecular level such as,cell growth and DNA replication.

Real-World Environment:

Labster enables users to learn about careers using real-world scenarios. For instance, you can convict a murderer with PCR and Gel Electrophoresis, investigate the condition “Asian Glow” with Enzyme Kinetics experiments and develop Bioethanol from waste in a bioreactor. This feature not only makesyou aware of careers but also gives you motivation to work on what really matters.

Supplement or replace traditional lab exercises:

As we’ve already mentioned above, Labster can be used to prepare students for an experiment or virtually demonstrate an experiment in a detailed manner. It can be a pre or post lab activity or even be used in theoretical classes with no lab component.

Interactive Quiz:

Labster enables inquiry-based learning by providing students with an interactive quiz that includes instant feedback. For example, students can participate in quizzes on laboratory procedures, molecular understanding and reconstruction of the features of an ancient Greenland man based on his genetics.

Open-ended learning environment:

Though Labster involves no physical equipment, students can  freely interact with reagents and machines and conduct experiments with unexpected outcomes. In fact, making mistakes is a part of Labster’s learning program as there is no danger or cost.

Any Device, Anywhere:

Labster works on any browser, on both Windows and Mac and even works on iPad and Android tables. Anyone can access it from anywhere just by logging in to their accounts.

Curriculum Planning and Tracking Student Progress:

Labster provides you with a live teacher dashboard where you can plan your curriculum, see which students need help, which students are excelling, and which topics to focus on to improve the overall class performance.

Personalized Feedback:

Labster helps you know on which topics you’ve got the expertise and in which you lack, by reviewing this, you can enhance your learning as quickly as possible. While you’re progressing through experiments, you earn badges, awards and skills.

The above mentioned are a few of the best features of Labster. Let’s learn about few different topics and cases Labster helps you teach and learn.

CSI Case: Discover how PCR and Gel Electrophoresis can create unique genetic fingerprints, and use these DNA profiles to solve a murder case.

Chromatography case: It helps you separate the different compounds of drugsand measure their concentrations using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).

Cell lab: This helps you learn about cell structure and functions, cell anatomy, mitosis and meiosis, cellular respiration and stem cells.

Including the above mentioned cases, Labster also offers Medical Lab, Animal Lab, Bio-Engineering Lab, Immunology Lab, etc. It enables users to experienceitspower for free,registerand get access to some free cases.

In a recent study done by3rd party educational specialists in Denmark, Labster was found to be significantly more effective than traditional classroom teaching. We hope this information is useful for you to know about Labster, a great laboratory simulator which provides students with fully equipped virtual laboratory. Labster launched its lab simulation software ( “eLearning video game”) a few months back. It offers free user accounts for people signing up in the first three months. After which it will be charging for use with a fee for each new virtual cases.

A Question for you: Which engages students better, a virtual laboratory or a traditional one?

Also share with us your personal views on the use of virtual laboratories in the Educational field. The comment box awaits you. 

About the Author
Author: Santosh Bhaskar KWebsite: http://www.twitter.com/SantoshBhaskarK
Devotee of Dr. Abdul Kalam. Following his path of Creating Creative Education in India. Contributing my works in "India Vision 2020". Former EdTech Blogger/Researcher at ETR India

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