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Virtual Labs Case Studies

PhET Labs

PhET Labs conducts research on both the design and use of interactive simulations to better understand:

  • Which characteristics make these tools effective for learning and why?
  • How students engage and interact with these tools to learn, and what influences this process?
  • When, how, and why these tools are effective in a variety of learning environments?

Over One Hundred Million Simulations Delivered: A Case Study of the PhET Interactive Simulations
Raina Khatri, Charles Henderson, Renee Cole and Jeffrey Froyd

National Instruments (NI) Courseware

MIT Students Use LabVIEW and CompactRIO to Design and Implement a Dynamic Output Feedback Controller.

Students Choose (NI) LabVIEW for Signal Processing

A Hybrid Method for Signal Processing Education

Biology Labs Online

Designing and Implementing Virtual Courseware to Promote Inquiry-based Learning
Robert A. Desharnais`, California State University, Los Angeles CA
Melvin Lipman, American Physiological Society, Bethesda, MD

The Biology Labs On-Line Project: Producing Educational Simulations That Promote Active Learning
Jeffrey Bell, California State University

Article on Strategies for Success Teaching with Virtual Labs:

Learning by Doing with Biology Labs Online
Robert A. Desharnais`, California State University, Los Angeles CA

Using SmartScience in the Classroom – Higher education:

Judith Westerik found Smart Science® online labs in 2006 when searching for labs to accompany an online course she was creating for the University of New England. She began using them right away. She also has an appointment as Professor of Biochemistry at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Judith's approach to teaching students may be a bit different than most instructors because all of her students eventually earn a 100% grade on the eight lab reports they complete for her online course. In today's jargon, she insists that they learn to mastery. She reviews each report as it is submitted and writes comments on the report in the instructor's space. The students revise their reports until Prof. Westerik gives them at least an OK rating.

Prof. Westerik received her B.S. from the University of Southern Louisiana (now part of the University of Louisiana) and her M.S. and PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She did her postdoctoral work at the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada under a fellowship from the Medical Research Council of Canada. She does research in proteins and enzymology.

During the time Prof. Westerik has run the biology course for UNE, she has graded 4,210 lab reports, most recently on the following Smart Science labs.

  • Yeast Metabolism
  • Enzymes
  • Photosynthesis
  • Osmosis
  • Mitosis
  • Meiosis
  • Corn Genetics
  • Cell Respiration

Enthalpy of Neutralization

Rate of Iron-Tin Reaction

Steven Summers - Physical Science Lab

Cell Metabolism

Westerik, Judith - biology II

Virtual Labs Collaborative & Accessibility Platform (VLCAP)

The Virtual Laboratory and Interactive Screen Experiments

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