Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 2 December 20202 Dec 2020
Laboratory innovations: Delivering online science workshops during a global pandemic
- Robin Barnes, University College*
- Janelle Brown, University College*
- Susan Turland, University College
- Chris Mabin, University College
Laboratory activities are central to learning and teaching in the Applied Sciences, and these have traditionally been delivered during face-to-face sessions. Hands-on activities are important to enhance learning complex skills and knowledge. With the onset of COVID-19, the teaching team were challenged to deliver laboratory-based curriculum in an online environment. In response, a remote delivery strategy was developed to utilise biological and chemical techniques to run guided home-based experiments. Students were supplied with laboratory kits to ensure they had access to the equipment required to complete their learning. Examples of activities included: demonstrations, scientific drawings, dissections, a study of life in and around your home, and water quality testing. Student engagement within the online laboratories was positive and the results of these online sessions strengthened their sense of belonging to the course. The use of Zoom to conduct these laboratory sessions provided valuable real time staff - student - peer interactions. This presentation provides valuable insights into how to conduct innovative, interactive and engaging science laboratory experiments in a virtual environment. It discusses the positive impact the innovation had on student learning and connectedness, and opportunities for future teaching practice.