To get started, review these recent articles and video to consider general tips, procedures, pros and cons, etc.
Tips and Procedures
- How to Quickly (and Safely) Move a Lab Course Online by Heather R. Taft, Colorado State University Global (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
- Biology Teaching in the Time of COVID-19: How to Transfer to Online Learning by Jennifer Herzog, Herkimer College, and Mary Mawn, SUNY Empire State College (American Society for Microbiology)
- The session Online Course Development & Delivery: Science Labs was presented at the Online Teaching Conference in June of 2019. Four instructors with experience teaching science labs online presented their different approaches for biology, chemistry, and geology. You may view the 50-minute video archive of that session. (Links to an external site.)You may also download and open the PowerPoint presentation for that session.
- All California Community Colleges have access to Labster, a virtual lab environment, including expanded support and technical assistance for faculty. Labster has a dedicated faculty support page designed specifically for California Community Colleges.
Below is a list of scenarios for lab-based learning that faculty can use to guide them to appropriate online tools and other resources. This curated list is offered to assist faculty with selecting instructional resources that best meet their instructional needs and budget. Many of these resources include free and premium options, while others do not.
Communities for Faculty
- CVC-OEI Online Teaching Communities of Practice for Science, Oral Communication, and Math. If you are a California Community College educator and would like to join one of these communities, send a request with your college email address (used for Canvas) to Bob Nash at email@example.com and/or Logan Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Teaching Chemistry Online Facebook Group, moderated by Julie Brown, Distance Education Coordinator/Faculty at Woodland Community College.
Mastering Techniques and Concepts
- AfricanFossils.org Virtual Lab of Fossils from Lake Turkana in East Africa.
- BioInteractive Data-rich activities, case studies, high-quality videos, and interactive media for Biology.
- Complete Anatomy A 3D anatomy platform, refined over 15 years of research of anatomical papers, classic textbooks, and scan data.
- Inspark Textbook replacements, labs, lessons, simulations, and projects. Many are open-licensed.
- JoVE Free access to STEM education video library to aid remote teaching & learning.
- MorphoSource 3D Skeletal Materials from Duke University – many are open-licensed.
Applying Techniques and Concepts
Virtual Labs and Simulations
- ChemCollective General chemistry courseware (including virtual labs) free for COVID-19 impacted institutions
- PhET Interactive simulations for Science and Math from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
- LabArchives Customizable lab protocols and manuals.
- Labster Simulations and short lessons for a variety of disciplines.
- LabXchange Exposes learners to fundamental concepts and lab techniques essential to the field of biotechnology. Developed by Harvard.
- Immersive Learning Experiences Microscopy lab utilizing virtual and augmented reality
Customizable Lab Kits
- Carolina Distance Learning Kits are designed in collaboration with faculty based on course learning outcomes
- eScience Lab Customizable lab kits for Allied Health, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Forensics, Microbiology, Physics, Physical Science
- Hands-On Labs Customized lab kits for Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Forensics, Geology, GOB Chemistry (for non-chemistry majors), Microbiology, Physical Science, Physics, and Build Your Own
- Kendall Hunt Publishing Company Lab kit, manual and web resources for physical geology
Open Educational Resources
North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO) Lab activities (and a few manuals) for introductory Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses. With WICHE as its hub, NANSLO was an international consortium of online science laboratories operated by accredited institutions in the U.S. and Canada.
Textbook/Lab Manual Resources
- LibreTexts A library of OER texts including Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Spanish, Geosciences, Math, Medicine, Physics, Social Sciences, Statistics and more
- Lab Experiments for General Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology
- Entomology Lab Manual
- ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI) Discipline-specific OERs curated by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges
- OER Commons Library of textbooks, lab manuals, and other resources (use keyword “lab”)
- Humboldt State University A curated collection of OERs for a variety of disciplines curated by the HSU Library.
- Khan Academy (Links to an external site.) – brief video lessons
- LibreTexts (Links to an external site.) – Online platform offering OER texts and digital learning objects for sciences and other disciplines
- MERLOT (Links to an external site.) – A vast collection of OERs maintained by California State University. Online learning and support materials and content creation tools – Many of these resources are available free under creative commons license.)
- Explore A collection of nearly 100 live webcams
- Houston Zoo Giraffe, gorilla, elephant, leaf cutter ants, rhinos, and chimps
- San Diego Zoo’s Ape Cam
- Tucson’s Reid Park Zoocams Elephant, giraffe, grizzly bear, lemur, lion
Tools for Presenting and Critiquing
Available to All CCC Faculty
- TechConnect (Confer) Zoom A tool that enables synchronous conversations in voice and video that can be used for visual arts critiques, music, and dance performances, language practice, as well as presentations. California Community College faculty can sign up for a free Pro Zoom account through TechConnect.
- PlayPosit Supported by TechConnect, allows you to turn videos into interactive assessments.
Licensed by Many CCCs
These tools are adopted by many CCCs. Check with your local contacts to determine if you have access to them.
- Canvas StudioLinks Recording, hosting and captioning of faculty and student-generated videos. Turns one-way, passive video into two-way discussion.
- VoiceThread Asynchronous conversations in voice and video around media. The media-centric learning environment makes an exceptional option for visual arts critiques, music and dance performances, language practice, as well as presentations.
Additional Curated Resource Lists
- An evolving list of simulations, case studies, data sets, and instructional media maintained by LeighAnn Tomaswick of Kent State University