All You Need to Know About Virtual Labs

Virtual labs are considered one of the most important techniques of e-learning, as they enable both teachers and students to achieve the educational process’ goals. This is done by facilitating the application of the practical side of the curriculum at any time and place, and without any form of restrictions.

And technology applications in the field of education have varied widely during the past few years. And development rates have accelerated in the field of e-learning in response to the digital transformation that we are witnessing in various areas of life now.

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Virtual labs have saved a lot of time and effort. Also they removed many obstacles that were faced by both student and teacher to conduct experiments. As they facilitated the conducting of experiments outside the real labs.

In this article, we will shine a light on the importance of virtual labs and how to benefit from them and their uses, as well as some of the negatives that may result from the use of virtual laboratories.

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An Introduction to Virtual Labs and How to Use Them in Modern Education

 

Virtual labs are one of the technological innovations among the modern educational methods. In virtual labs, the computer is used to provide a 3D virtual environment for the science lab, enabling the student to coexist and interact and deal with it, so that the student feels as he/she coexists, interacts, and deals with a real science lab in all its dimensions.

Consequently, the student can use the Internet and computer in any place and time to perform experiments. Also, he will be able to access information in various materials and disciplines, which develops his skills and helps him to keep abreast of daily developments in the field of education.

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Given the radical change in the educational techniques and methods around the world and the use of digital devices in a wide range within the educational system, it became necessary that educational institutions keep pace with this transformation and seek to obtain the greatest benefit from virtual labs to help students to compete in the labour market and research fields. 

It is clear to us that the digital age will make room only for those who can keep up with it, which enables them to adapt to its applications in all aspects of life.

The way to benefit from virtual labs in modern education is by linking the theoretical aspect in the lecture, to the practical aspect in the laboratory. And the best way to achieve the most benefit is to use them in teaching analytical thinking skills, in addition to using them in assessing student performance and achievement, which is significantly reflected in the improvement of the learning process.

Virtual labs is the optimum solutions in times of crisis

You may have wondered one day, what will happen with schools and universities if the Corona pandemic continues? What if they have not been able to return naturally? What will happen to the practical curriculum?!
Here comes the role of virtual science laboratories, which fully simulate the real laboratories needed for science students and facilitate the study process, as it is an interactive environment that aims to conduct and implement experiments in a way that simulate the real experience as it is a field for laboratory experimentation.
For example, after the closure of schools and universities, and the reliance on distance education via the Internet, virtual  labs may be the best choice to cover the practical part of the study. 

24 Advantage of Virtual Labs

1- Help solve the problem of limited resources and funding for experiments.

2- Protect students from the dangers they face while conducting some dangerous laboratory experiments. It eliminates the need to deal with toxic or radioactive chemicals and other hazards such as electrical connections, etc. Subsequently, it is an effective way to avoid laboratory accidents

3- Ability to display very accurate phenomena and results that may not be measurable using simple laboratory tools and that require complex and expensive equipment.

4- Help the teacher cover all aspects of the course curriculum with practical applications and help the student understand all the points of the course curriculum; which is difficult to provide in the case of limited equipment and funding.

5- Provide the synchronization between the process of explaining the theoretical ideas and practical application, just as real laboratory experiments are linked to theoretical lectures.

6- Help students and teachers study and prepare laboratory experiments at any time and place.

7- The student is able to conduct the same experiment several times according his/her ability to absorb the information. This is generally difficult to provide in a real laboratory in the case of limited material and and the lack of equipment in proportion to the numbers of students.

8- The student is given the opportunity to control the inputs of the experiment, change the different transactions, and observe the changes in the results without the existence of a supervisor and without being exposed to any risks.

9- Provide cooperation and interaction between the students and between the teachers and students.

10- The ability to record all the results electronically, which helps in analyzing them using the latest software programs and sharing the results and analysis with others.

المعامل الافتراضية

11- Help the teacher to evaluate students electronically and easily to guide them and follow their progress in conducting experiments.

12- Save time and effort for researchers by eliminating the need to move between different laboratories.

13- Provide a comprehensive overview for the learner about the hazardous experiments which are not safe in the real world, thus providing him/her with a greater absorption of the course.

14- Help educational institutions save money.

15- Add entertainment while conducting the experiment, which helps attract the students’ attention.

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16 – Motivate students to conduct laboratory experiments.

17 – They satisfy the scientific passion of students, allowing them to access the various experiments easily regardless of time or place.

18 – Increase the understanding of scientific courses in physics, chemistry and biology; and Increase student achievement.

19 – Eliminate boredom, as it provides fun during the experiments.

20 – The virtual labs will increase the scientific research rates because it saves time and effort and enables researchers to use their time more effectively.

21 – The virtual labs will enable students to use modern technology and enable them to follow the tremendous progress of the information revolution.

22 – Students will be able to use the scientific method of problem-solving.

23 – Developing teaching and learning methods that will lead to the effectiveness of the educational process.

24 – Increased communication between students and each other on the Internet, which helps with the exchange of ideas and experiences.

3 Hindrances Facing Virtual Labs

1- For virtual labs to be able to function successfully and to fully simulate the different phenomena in 3D, they require computer devices with up-to-date specifications.

2- To rightly design virtual labs and the experiments content, it needs a skillful team of professionals. This team consists of programmers, teachers, and psychology experts.

3- One downfall of using virtual labs is that they limits the various forms of direct interactions between the students and their teachers, and between the students and one another, where their communication becomes an electronic one most of the times.

Virtual labs

Finally, the virtual labs are one of the most important applications of e-learning. As it provides a virtual learning and teaching environment that aims to develop practical skills of the students. And since they are available through the Internet, the student can conduct many experiments without being restricted to a specific location or specific times as It is the case when using real laboratories.

Join 25,000+ science lovers in PraxiLabs. You can create your free account to try our virtual labs and enjoy our free simulations from here.  

 

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About Mostafa Elhashash

Mostafa Elhashash graduated from the faculty of science at Ainshams University. Now he is working as a content creator at PraxiLabs. In addition to his work in the digital marketing field, Mostafa also has a great passion for scientific research and science communication.

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