The virtual lab is recommended for any of the following biology courses:
Different Options for Implementing the Lab
The following recommendations are based on a 50-minute class period. Adjustments can be made according to different schedules. (See Teaching Tips for additional classroom implementation strategies.)
Option 1. The virtual lab activity requires two class periods to complete both tutorials and the first two laboratory experiments; generate both graphs using Excel or Google Doc spreadsheets; and complete the data analysis for Experiment 2.
Option 2. Have students complete the two tutorials the night before as homework, then use one class period to complete all three laboratory experiments, eliminating the student-generated graphing activities and data analyses.
Option 3. The virtual lab activity requires three class periods to complete both tutorials and all three laboratory experiments, and generate graphs using Excel or Google Doc spreadsheets. More advanced students can complete all the data analyses for each experiment in class or as homework.
Option 4. Have students complete the two tutorials the night before as homework, then use two class periods to complete the first two laboratory experiments, including generating both graphs using Excel or Google Doc spreadsheets and completing the data analyses for each experiment. The third lab experiment can be completed as homework the third night along with the final quiz.
Option 5. An additional classroom strategy for this virtual lab is to complete a "jigsaw type" activity. Assign each experiment in the virtual lab (Experiment 1, 2, or 3) to different groups of students, including the procedure, graphing, statistical analysis, and quiz. Next, each group reports its results to another group or to the class through a poster session or presentation. Common themes and key concepts are then discussed as a class, and finally, the teacher administers the Final Quiz from the virtual lab as an assessment.
For all these options, consider having the students work in pairs. The students will finish the lab more quickly, and working together may encourage higher-level conversations between students about the lab concepts.
Click here for additional tips from teachers who have used this lab.