Using Virtual Laboratories as Preparation to a Practical Laboratory Course: Preliminary Empirical Investigation
AbstractVirtual laboratories are a specific kind of e-learning application. They allow students of natural sciences to conduct experiments in a highly-interactive almost photorealistic virtual environment built into the computer as simulation engine. Goal of virtual laboratories is to train the studentâ€™s procedural knowledge that is needed for conducting experiments in a real laboratory environment. Students can train themselves comfortably in a secure environment using the computer and without wasting precious resources such as substances and devices. Despite the existence of virtual laboratories for a while now, there exist to the best of our knowledge so far no empirical study that investigates the actual impact of using virtual laboratories as preparation to a practical laboratory course. In this paper, we present the design and results of a preliminary study conducted using the virtual laboratory GenLab for genetics and genetic engineering. While one group of students (n=18) did receive a training using GenLab prior to real laboratory experimentation, the others did not (n=14). We have measured the task performance for two typical experiments in genetics of different complexity. In addition, we have recorded the studentsâ€™ own assessment of the experiment complexity and comprehensibility. The results show that there is a statistically significant difference for the more complex experiment task, while it has not been observed for the less complex one.
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How to Cite
SCHERP, Ansgar; MEIER, Jutta. Using Virtual Laboratories as Preparation to a Practical Laboratory Course: Preliminary Empirical Investigation. International SERIES on Information Systems and Management in Creative eMedia (CreMedia), [S.l.], n. 2013/2, p. 16-20, aug. 2013. ISSN 2341-5576. Available at: <http://www.ambientmediaassociation.org/Journal/index.php/series/article/view/44>. Date accessed: 23 jan. 2020.
Virtual Laboratories, Summative Evaluation, E-learning, Genetics, Genetic Engineering
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