AU SMARTLABS: The new initiative in making in-house virtual labs for the students of Adamas University in this ‘New Normal’ | Adamas University

#AU4Change

AU SMARTLABS: The new initiative in making in-house virtual labs for the students of Adamas University in this ‘New Normal’

Why are virtual labs essential for the “New Normal”?

Coronavirus (COVID‐19) disease is an emerging situation that brought challenges to all sectors, including academia and research since 2020. In different lab based papers/practical, undergraduate and postgraduate students have been affected significantly due to the recent laboratory closures. Experiments have been suspended for long causing extreme stress to the students. In this crisis situation, virtual laboratory would be a powerful educational tool that can enable students to conduct experiments at the comfort of their home. An excellent opportunity to engage students with technology and in parallel to avoid unforeseen disruptions, as happened recently due to pandemic. Virtual labs are simulated learning environments that allow students to complete laboratory experiments online and explore concepts and theories without stepping into a physical science laboratory. Students can try out lab techniques for the first time and become more familiar with different lab equipment that might otherwise be inaccessible. Through interactive videos and animations, students can explore the practical experiments in virtual mode.

 

Advantages in making Virtual Labs:

  • Student will be able to conduct the same experiment several times in virtual mode according his/her ability to absorb the information even he/she is absent due to some unavoidable circumstances.
  • Virtual labs can be used to help you as a teacher explain complex theoretical concepts. A visual, immersive experience can make it easier for students to get to grips with complex concepts, such as the composition of DNA.
  • Help the faculties to cover all aspects of the course curriculum with practical applications and help the student understand all the points of the course curriculum.
  • Help students and teachers study and prepare laboratory experiments at any time and place.
  • Help the teacher to evaluate students electronically and easily to guide them and follow their progress in conducting experiments.

What we are doing in Adamas University?

Adamas University has already implemented AU SmartLabs since 2020. SmartLab’s virtual lab simulations allow students to work through real-life case stories, interact with lab equipment, perform experiments and learn with theory and quiz questions.

Figure 1: Mode vs Interaction availability diagram

The SmartLabs creation is done by login to WordPress which is an open-source content management system (CMS) written in PHP and paired with a MySQL database. Every new content can be added to it through a H5P plugin mode.

We can design the entire virtual lab contents by incorporating following components sequentially:

  • Course Presentation:

This component can be used for making slides. Course presentations contain slides where one can add various multimedia- and interactive elements to engage the learner.

  • Interactive Video:

This component can be used for making videos which can have interactive content. Interactive video content type allows one to add interactions on top of video clips. Interactions such as images, elaborating text, links and quizzes pop up while the learner watches the video. We can upload a video file (preferably in WebM format and 480p resolution) into H5P for creating interactive videos.

  • MCQ interaction:

This component can be used for creating Multiple Questions which will popup while a video or presentation is running. Multiple Choice questions can have a single or multiple correct options per question.

  • Branching scenario:

Branching can be used for creating dilemma-based learning, where the result or the outcome will be dependent on the choices which were taken by the user. It is used to make learning materials that branch to different paths based on user’s answers/choice.

Figure 2: In the branching scenario, each path can take the user to a different timeline or can later be merged or looped to the original timeline.

 

  • Fill in the Blanks interaction:

This component can be used for making slides. Course presentations contain slides where one can add various multimedia- and interactive elements to engage the learner.

 

  • Image hotspot interaction:

This component can be used for making videos which can have interactive content. Interactive video content type allows one to add interactions on top of video clips. Interactions such as images, elaborating text, links and quizzes pop up while the learner watches the video. We can upload a video file (preferably in WebM format and 480p resolution) into H5P for creating interactive videos.

 

By implementing SmartLabs we aim to:

  • Refresh students’ knowledge before teaching new material
  • Provide a pre-lab exercise
  • Provide lab work to courses with no existing lab component
  • Facilitate online learning
  • Deliver a post-lab exercise

Important links for SmartLabs content creation:

ComponentsLinks
 Course Presentation  interactionhttps://h5p.org/tutorial-course-presentation
Interactive video interactionhttps://h5p.org/tutorial-interactive-video
Branching Scenariohttps://h5p.org/tutorial-branching-scenario
MCQ interactionhttps://h5p.org/tutorial-multichoice-question
Single choice set interactionhttps://h5p.org/documentation/content-author-guide/tutorials-for-authors/single-choice-set

Drag the words

 

https://h5p.org/documentation/content-author-guide/tutorials-for-authors/drag-the-words
Image hotspot interactionhttps://h5p.org/tutorial-image-hotspots
Summary interactionhttps://h5p.org/tutorial-summary
Fill in the Blanks interactionhttps://h5p.org/tutorial-fill-in-the-blanks
Dialog cards interactionhttps://h5p.org/tutorial-dialog-cards
Drag and drop interactionhttps://h5p.org/tutorial-drag-and-drop-question

Below is the one example of SmartLab has been prepared by Dr. Rajib Majumder from School of Life Science & Biotechnology, Adamas University

Experiment 1: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and data interpretation:

http://ivideo.adamasuniversity.ac.in/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=h5p_embed&id=105

Visited 214 times, 1 Visit today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 + 4 =