Online services have an impact on many aspects of life, including education. The instances of online learning and hybrid classes continue to grow. A study by Allen, Seaman and Garrett found that almost 55% of all educational institutions offer at least one blended course while 64% offer at least one online course (Allen, et al, 2007, p. 7). Students have become comfortable with online education, and adding virtual labs to the expanding online and blended curriculum is helping schools meet the student demands for classes.
Virtual biology laboratories are computer simulations that contain digital models of the instructions, procedures, experiment manipulatives, and data collection functions of a physical biology lab. Web-based biology labs are widely available, with a number of simulations being offered at no charge.
The simulations cover a wide variety of topics that are customarily studied in biology labs, such as cell structure and reproduction, genetics, DNA, evolution, microorganisms, plants, and animal organ systems. A quality lab simulator will contain a large selection of lab experiments that guid...
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Finkelstein, N. D., Perkins, K. K., Adams, W., Kohl, P., & Podolefsky, N. (2004). Can Computer Simulations Replace Real Equipment in Undergraduate Laboratories? American Institute of Physics, 101-104.
Huang, C. (2004, June). Virtual Labs: E-Learning for Tomorrow. PLoS Biology, 2, 734-735. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0020157
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