As part of the CSU Enrollment Bottleneck Solutions initiative, programs such as Proven Course Redesign, Promising Practices, CourseMatch and Virtual Labs are supported through the involvement in a number of communities of practice focused on various aspects of effective course redesign with technology. The goal of the CSU community of practice is to get like-minded faculty, staff, and administrators using a common virtual platform to share experiences, support and collaborate on new technologies and trends in teaching online and adopting virtual labs in the science teaching and learning.

Professional Learning Community on Virtual Labs

Faculty across the CSU are supported through the involvement in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) focused on adoption of virtual labs in STEM discipline and natural sciences. All STEM faculty in the CSU are encouraged to participate in these monthly teaching webinars on the use and adoption of virtual labs in the curricular.

Find out more at the Virtual Labs PLC webpage.

Virtual Labs Community/Discussion Forum

Join the Virtual Labs in the CSU community at MERLOT Voices. MERLOT Voices is a free online communications network that allows the Virtual Labs community to connect with each other 24/7 to discuss issues online, blog, and chat and to post, share, exchange, and comment on virtual labs.

Professional Learning Community (PLC): To date, approximately 100 CSU faculty have participated in the PLC, which meets biweekly using Collaborate as a platform for synchronous online presentations, engaging in real-time discussions, and collaborations. The meetings cover different topics such as Quality Online Learning and Teaching, Learner Analytics, Universal Design for Learning, Academic Integrity, Documenting Impact, Virtual Labs, and etc. Click for information on PLC cirriculum and resources and to join the discussion.

Course Redesign faculty within their speciality cohorts participate in several e-academies on the Science disciplines organized and conducted throughout the year by the Academic Technology Services at the Chancellor's Office. To date, e-academies workshops have been organized in all the Sciences: These are group of faculty in the same discipline throughout CSU organized with the goal of sharing best practices in teaching their discipline and collaborating in teaching and research.

  • e-academy in Physics.
  • e-academy in Chemistry
  • e-academy in Biology
  • e-academy in Earth/Environmental Sciences
  • e-academy in Engineering
  • e-academy in Math

To find out more about the e-academies workshops and to locate and join your discipline group, visit:

The CSU video Bottleneck Course Solutions includes testimonials from several instructors involved in the Proven Course Redesign program. The video was created as the midway point in the program and the instructors are reflecting on the process and benefits of course redesign with technology.


ADD Free Virtual Labs You're Using or Authored Into MERLOT

Are you using free Virtual Lab materials you found on the web in your teaching or your learning? Have you posted free Virtual Labs online that are open for others to use? We invite you to catalog these Virtual Labs you use or authored in MERLOT. Your colleagues and students around the world will thank you!


First: Become a member of MERLOT (It will take about 2 minutes and it’s FREE).

Second: Log in to MERLOT and click to Submit a Material. (It will take about 4 minutes the first time and step-by-step instructions for contributing materials to MERLOT are available).

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