What Is Virtual Laboratory? Why Is It Gaining Popularity These Days?
Science has forged ahead globally in the 21st century by inculcating inventions in day to day life. The focus of different countries now stresses efforts to boast the analytical as well as productive abilities in science among the population from a young age. STEM education, an acronym of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is being taught through the virtual lab. The computer and the internet have come handy in achieving this goal.
What is a Virtual Laboratory?
Virtual labs are different from the conservative classroom teaching method. It is deeply engaging. Imagine a computer game in which a click is enough to go through. The virtual labs' concept is comparable but better. The learner uses software programsto pursue instructions, manipulate models, and use computers and the internet. It is controlled learning. Information is mentally assembled, and queries answered a thorough understanding of the concept. Virtual lab plays an important role in teaching and achieving science objectives.
Virtual lab an on-screen simulator or calculator used by the learner to examine ideas and monitor results. Theoretical knowledge is developed into skill — the laboratory apparatus work similarly as in a real setting. The operation of the experiments gets authentic results. The learning objective is through deductive learning.
The learner is well inclined towards virtual labs. They appreciate instant feedback, flexibility to access, and repeatability of the content. The software keeps learner-focused. The performance improves. They look forward to the learning experience. Take for example the physical chemistry lab. It can at times be hazardous to handle chemicals leading to a conceptual gap. The virtual lab overcomes this constraint.
Virtual lab not confined to science and chemistry.
Virtual labs are confined to science and chemical reactions. The learner can plot and replotuntil the correct results are obtained. There is no wastage of paper. The learner observes a connection between varying variables. The hints displayed on-screen appear very approachable and a repeat of the studies is undertaken with a positive attitude.
Organization of the Virtual Lab!
The computer and software uploaded in the lab are based on the object-oriented file system and lab system programs. The object-oriented file system has experimental units called objects. The alternative representations in the experiment are called hyper objects. VLab program is meant for organizing, accessing as well as manipulating the above-cited objects.
Characteristics of Virtual Lab!
Virtual lab learning is acquiring popularity in all spheres but specifically revolutionizing STEM education.
3-dimensional or 2D experimentation
The learning is interactive
The complex academic concept is grasped
Repeated practice is possible
Replicate classroom teaching
The learner moves at his pace
Educator track the progress
Advantages of Virtual Lab!
The benefits of incorporating virtual chemistry lab and of other science subjects in the curriculum are many.
Safeness:The safety of learners is of paramount importance. For instance, in virtual chemistry lab, the potentially harmful chemical compounds are not physically handled. Life is not endangered.
Individual differences addressed: Learner learning is self-paced. The same or fresh experiments can be practiced multiple times. Time is not a limiting factor. Difficult concepts are understood well.
Time pliability: The learner can practice and learn concepts in school and at home. Time is not a constraint. Time-consuming experiments are learnt in a shorter time.
Computer-based software: The virtual lab can be approached and practiced at whichever location they are stationed.
Educator involved: The E-learning platform is available to the educator. They can assess the progress of the learner. Feedbacks on progress is shared with the learner. Students get immediate feedback, and errors are rectified.
Cost-effective: This learning framework is a great cost-effective alternative to various other costly physical laboratories.
Researches did by Bretz, Fay, Bruck, and towns 2010 and 2013, Johnstone and Al-Shuali 2001, found that science through virtual lab learning is beneficial for students. The learner develops an in-depth understanding of science, concepts are clarified, and misconceptions removed. The learner's abilities in design, evaluation, and problem-solving develops.
Mental make-up of curiosity and positivity increases. The test scores get better. Real-life science situations investigations are inculcated in attitude. Guido Malransky, an educational psychologist, stated that boring topics might distract learners by 3D experience.
Prospects of Virtual Labs!
Labster forecast that personalized Sims adaptable to educator’s requirement will be the next stage in development. Labster, in collaboration with Google Daydream, has also developed 30 3D lab simulation meant for courses. Several universities are following their footsteps. Virtual labs are gaining popularity as institutions attempt to extend their reach and make courses economical. At the same time, the learner's understanding is not compromised.
The future scientist is in the best training. Arizona State University is serving students through an online biology degree course, which is based on simulation and not actual lab work. The array of courses by different institutions are relying on present on the mix-and-match system. It is a combination of lectures and lab simulations. It is too early to predict if virtual labs will replace classroom learning. Virtual labs will be strategically used for the time being. A virtual lab is better than no lab at all.
Modern STEM learning lays stress on inquiry-based learning through virtual labs. This way learner attains critical thinking, innovative as well as team working skills; this mental makeup is valued in the present job market.
About Alam Khwarizm!
We, Alam Khwarizm established, award-winning and reputed educational company manufacturing and supplying educational and e-learning software. Based in Jeddah, our network extends to the Middle East. Our educational portfolio is vast, and we supply need-based products and services.
Yenka is a virtual lab offering genuine, credible, and time-tested e-learning opportunities. Our other reliable software for science, mathematics and other analytical subjects include Sumdog, and Eureka. Once contacted, we cater to your educational needs in the most customized manner possible.