Online Learning Update

April 30, 2014

Online labs evolve: enhancing instruction, improving access and saving costs through digital lab experiences

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

By Matt Zalaznick, University Business

Schools are partnering to give more students remote access to expensive lab equipment. The North American Network for Science Lab Online, or NANSLO, has a lab in the Denver area and another in British Columbia that provide access to community colleges in their regions and as far away as Alaska. The organization, part of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, is now developing a third lab in Great Falls, Mont., to serve another three institutions in neighboring states. Using a mix of software and hardware, students in chemistry, physics and biology courses are able to remotely control microscopes, spectrometers and a piece of equipment known as an air track, says Sue Schmidt, NANSLO’s project coordinator. “Basically, the students are doing exactly what they would do in a science lab,” Schmidt says. “They’re collecting real data, they’re looking at real slides and they are manipulating the equipment.”

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