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Hege Library & Learning Technologies

For Faculty: Online Teaching

This guide provides guidance and resources for Guilford College Faculty teaching online classes.

Online Options for Lab Courses

Running Lab Activities Online

  • Identify which of your lab activities can be delivered online. For example, orientation/pre-lectures and demonstrations of techniques can be recorded virtually and delivered in Canvas. Students can be asked to familiarize themselves with procedures. Peer learning can be done asynchronously with Canvas discussion forums, or synchronously via Google Meet/Hangouts or Zoom.
  • Provide students with raw data to analyze. If your course involves data collection and analysis, consider walking your students through/demonstrating the data collection yourself, and then providing your students with data to analyze.
  • Be clear in your expectations (and be prepared to be flexible). Set clear expectations for the work, but keep in mind that students may require more flexibility and understanding as everyone gets accustomed to new ways of doing things.
  • Investigate virtual lab options. You may be able to accomplish some lab activities via online simulation. Some options for you to investigate are provided below.
  • Determine what your most essential, highest priority learning outcomes are. In laboratory courses, these often include experimentation, instrumentation, trouble-shooting, modeling, creativity, responsibility, communication, teamwork, and ethical awareness

Resources for Online Labs & Simulations

  • MERLOT Simulation Collection (California State University)
    The MERLOT collection of Open Educational Resources includes thousands of free simulations on a broad range of topics. The database is searchable by keyword, and each item in the collection provides details including material type, authorship, brief description, peer review rating, and user rating.
  • #OnlineLabSci
    Curated list of online lab lessons and resources
  • ChemCollective (joint project from NSF, Carnegie Mellon, and NSDL)
    Free, online chem lab simulations for topics including Stoichiometry, Thermochemistry, Equilibrium, Acid-Base Chemistry, Solubility, Oxidation/Reduction and Electrochemistry, Analytical Chemistry/Lab Techniques
  • PhET Interactive Simulations (University of Colorado – Boulder)
    Free online simulations and teaching activities for Physics, Chemistry, Math, Earth Science, and Biology (site has simulations for all grade levels; link takes you to simulations designed for university students)
  • LabXchange
    LabXchange brings together high-quality content from a variety of sources in the form of online learning assets, including videos, assessments, and simulations.
  • Hands On Labs
    Online science curriculum and lab kits.
  • OER Simulations and Virtual Labs
    From Colorado School of Mines, a list of Open Educational Resources for virtual labs.
  • Ward Science Virtual Lab Resource

    Ward Science is providing a comprehensive list of essential materials and resources, including free extended access to educational software and applications, free downloads and online resources for at-home learning, and hands-on science kits and materials to distribute to students for learning at home.

The information above was adapted from an informational page by Middlebury College: thank you, Middlebury, for gathering these resources!

Further Reading

Harvard's Bok Center hosts this page for Teaching and Learning with options for conducting science labs online, depending on whether the focus is learning techniques & their application to specific experimental situations, interpreting experimental data, or project-based lab research.

Dartmouth's Teach Remotely site includes a page on Remote Lab Activities and Experiments, as well as a link to the POD Online Science Simulations and Laboratory Resources.

Inside Higher Ed: How to Rethink Science Lab Classes.

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Wake Forest hosts this page on adapting labs and studios for remote learning.

From EDUCAUSE, 7 Things You Should Know About Virtual Labs

Receiving Project Performances - Music, Theatre, etc.

Some student projects culminate in some type of presentation, such as a speech, demonstration, or performance. In the online context, these presentations usually need to be transmitted over the internet in a digital format, either synchronously or asynchronously.

Asynchronous Tools

If the learning objectives for the assignment can be met with a recorded (asynchronous) presentation, invite students to record their presentation in an appropriate format. Depending on the particulars of the assignment, you might ask students to record audio only, an audio voiceover to a slideshow, a video, or some variation on these formats. Students can then upload the recording using the Assignments tool in Canvas.

  • Encourage them to consider ADA compliance (such as captioning) for their presentations.

Synchronous Tools

If the learning objectives for the assignment are best met with a real-time (synchronous) presentation, Google Meet/Hangouts or Zoom are the tools currently supported institutionally. The audio and video fidelity of a video conference transmission will not be as good as a direct personal experience in a face-to-face context, especially for the subtleties of a musical or dramatic performance, but may be the best we can achieve online.

The information above was adapted from Pepperdine College's Center for Teaching Excellence: thank you Pepperdine for making this information available.