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My inquiry eFolio for ETEC 533

  • Writer's pictureDr. Sarah McLean

Getting feedback on my writing...

One thing that I frequently encourage my students to do is get feedback on their writing prior to submitting an assignment. I will frequently have this set-up as peer review in my class or have them outline their ideas and submit them. Being in ETEC 533 I am now playing the role of "student" and am getting some feedback on my upcoming "framing issues" paper. I'm interested in looking at virtual labs and how they can be used to support learning in undergraduate science education. Take a look at my outline below:

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many courses in higher education into a fully online format, to what extent can laboratory skills be taught in a virtual environment? The issue that I have selected for the annotated bibliography assignment is virtual labs in higher education. More specifically, my research question is “To what extent can virtual labs enhance the wet laboratory experience in undergraduate molecular biology courses?”. I am interested in this particular topic because I think that the pandemic has given insight into some of the affordances of virtual learning that are not achievable in a traditional face-to-face classroom. While many laboratory courses are now fully online out of necessity, I think there is an opportunity to evaluate the potential of blended labs in undergraduate science education. I have previously evaluated aspects of this topic a few years ago, but I am curious about whether the narrative regarding virtual labs has changed in light of the pandemic. I am currently using the keywords "virtual + labs + undergraduate" and am looking in Google Scholar. As of right now, I have limited my resources to those published in 2017 (or later), but I'm wondering if there is much evidence available about the use of virtual labs during the pandemic, or whether this is too premature. I plan to also use ERIC. I have begun compiling a list of resources that I will use for my annotated bibliography, including:

  1. Bactol, K., Rimmer, A., Laursen, A. E., & de Araujo, C. (2018). Examination of Student and

Institutional Perceptions of Virtual Laboratories to Evaluate Their Significance in an Undergraduate Biology Curriculum. WCE-2018, 53.

I think that including student perspectives on virtual labs is important to the overall student experience, but I do not think they should be the sole metric with which to evaluate the efficacy of the tech. I am interested to see how students responded to virtual labs.

  1. Lynch, T., & Ghergulescu, I. (2017, March). Review of virtual labs as the emerging technologies

for teaching STEM subjects. In INTED2017 Proc. 11th Int. Technol. Educ. Dev. Conf. 6-8 March Valencia Spain (pp. 6082-6091).

This paper gives a nice overview of the state of the field. This paper is also pre-pandemic which should provide some interesting perspective.

  1. Perez, S., Massey-Allard, J., Butler, D., Ives, J., Bonn, D., Yee, N., & Roll, I. (2017, June).

Identifying productive inquiry in virtual labs using sequence mining. In International conference on artificial intelligence in education (pp. 287-298). Springer, Cham.

This paper focuses on inquiry as a skill in virtual labs- I think this will be an interesting avenue to research as I think inquiry and critical thinking skills can be taught in an online environment.

  1. Reeves, S. M., & Crippen, K. J. (2020). Virtual Laboratories in Undergraduate Science and

Engineering Courses: a Systematic Review, 2009–2019. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 1-15.

This systematic review will provide me with a solid foundation of knowledge plus will provide me with further primary literature articles to investigate.

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