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California CCs Adopt Labster for Virtual Lab Work

virtual lab

With nearly all campuses transitioning to online learning during the COVID-19 outbreak, California's community colleges will let students continue their science lab-based education by giving them access to virtual laboratories. The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office has signed a deal with Labster, to provide 2.1 million students in the state with access to 130 virtual lab simulations through the rest of the year.

Using the labs, students perform experiments, learn science concepts and practice skills in what the company calls a "risk-free learning environment."

Labster will provide a means to continue delivering "STEM course instruction to students," said Vice Chancellor of Communications Paul Feist, in a statement. "Our goal is to allow students to gain access to realistic labs that enable them to perform experiments and achieve desired learning outcomes."

The company said it was working with the community college instructors to help them integrate virtual labs into their courses. Already, people in 80 percent of the 115 colleges in the system have contacted Labster to begin setting up access for students, primarily for biology, chemistry and physics. They'll have access to course maps that guide them to the best simulations for given lessons and "various teacher training resources." The program integrates with the learning management system in use (Instructure Canvas).

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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