"Lab-in-a-Cube" Hands-On Lab Learning with an Automatic Feedback
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State University of New York
Innovative Instructional Technology Grants
AbstractDespite of the increasing demand of online education, online STEM's education is still limited by the lack of realistic lab experience. Visually, virtual lab has become more and more realistic nowadays; however, many crucial lab components such as tactile skills, decision-making for preparation and execution of the lab are still missing. Tactile skill such as pipetting up and dispensing an accurate volume of chemicals without introducing unnecessary air bubbles cannot be practiced online currently. Existing virtual labs only allow simulation of the process with computer mouse clicking. Also, to familiarize students with the sequential steps in a protocol, current virtual labs only require user to click through the steps without any active decision made by the users. Hence, using the concept of "gamification", our proposed solution addresses these two issues by adding a hardware component that can interact with a software to provide feedback and suggestion to users. Similar to video game playing, users can find out how well they perform via the feedback and suggestions in the software without any actual expensive equipment. Our "Lab-in-a-Cube" hardware will act as a remote controller that incorporate key shapes and buttons of real lab tools (e.g., micropipette, pipette guns, flasks and timers) to allow students gain realistic hands-on experience even at the comfort of their own home.
DescriptionProject Outcome: The “Lab-in-a-Cube” hardware tool works to improve students’ hands-on laboratory skills. It can be used in the classroom to provide feedback to students’ individual performance. It is even useful in large classroom settings, and it can be used as an online learning tool at a much cheaper price than typical expensive lab tools and equipment.
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