Posted on July 31, 2013 by Hands-On Labs
By Geralyn Caplan, Associate Professor of Biology, Owensboro Community & Technical College
I am looking at an e-mail from my IT department telling me that BlackBoard will be closed just days before finals and the only thing I can think of is how much I hate technology. That is a surprising statement to come from someone that teaches as much on-line as I do. Really, it is more of a love-hate relationship.
I am not a techno-nerd although my department chair refers to me as the Technology Guru. I do not think that says a lot about our department. It also sends family members into fits of giggles because they have heard me swear at my computer. That is basically my curriculum vitae; I use technology, but I am sometimes not a fan.
Even though I use technology a lot, I also always feel as if I am behind the technology curve. New programs come up so fast that I cannot keep up. This has gotten me thinking that if I cannot keep up, then what about the people that are truly frightened by the direction that education is going. Recently, I have been working on classes for my doctorate, which most of the faculty in that division do not use BlackBoard or any other type of learning platform. How do you convince faculty members to dive in and take advantage of the technology available to them? Also, how do you teach people to create engaging modules for their students? Continue reading
Filed under: Ask the instructor, Community college, edtech, online | Tagged: blackboard, distance education, edtech, IT, LMS, online education, online learning | 5 Comments »
Posted on May 9, 2013 by Hands-On Labs
Based on a white paper By Linda and Dr. Peter Jeschofnig, Co-Founders of Hands-On Labs & IEDSE (The Institute for Excellence in Distance Science Education)
Online science instructors who are willing to invest initial time and energy into creating a thorough syllabus will save themselves innumerable headaches throughout the semester. An online course syllabus, regardless of the type of course being taught, needs to be very explicit and cover every aspect of the course. It should provide clear and complete explanations about how the course will be conducted and assessed plus explicitly state what is expected of the students. It should be posted as soon as possible prior to the beginning of the semester for those eager students who want to get a head start and for students to determine if the course is right for them before the refund/census drop date. It should remain posted throughout the semester so student can refer back to it when needed and as an arbitrator of disputes. Here are the five essential elements to include in an online science lab syllabus: Continue reading
Filed under: education, laboratory, online, science, science education | Tagged: alternative learning, distance education, distance learning, elearning, eLearning Toolbox, how to write a syllabus, online lab, online learning, online science, online syllabus, scied, Science Education, Science online, science syllabus, syllabus | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 8, 2013 by Hands-On Labs
By David Ellis, Lecturer in Technology Education, Southern Cross University
Ever tried to assemble a flat packed piece of furniture without the pictures? How about successfully landing a passenger aircraft without stepping into the cockpit? In higher education, the nature of specific disciplines requires academics to impart procedural knowledge as well as the declarative knowledge to their students. In addition, the economic packaging of learning materials in distance education lends to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ static approach that doesn’t address the differing student learning styles (McLoughlin, 1999). The challenge for a growing number of academics is not only trying to match teaching and learning styles, but to deliver this within the constraints of a digital environment via distance education. Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: CamStudio, camtasia, distance education, elearning, elearning tools, Jing, online education, procedural knowledge, SketchUp | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 11, 2013 by Hands-On Labs
By Kristy Kemp, Science Instructor, Kirtland Community College
Kirtland Community College’s district is the largest in Michigan, totaling 2,500 square miles and consisting of all or part of nine counties. Our main campus is located close to the geographic center of the college’s district in rural Northern Michigan, but we have two extension campuses in our northwest (Kirtland-Gaylord) and southeast (Kirtland-West Branch) regions. Until recently, students attending those extension campuses for programs requiring a science course with a lab only had two choices: enroll in our completely online science course or drive great distances to main campus for a face-to-face science course. Many of those students were experienced and comfortable taking online courses, but there was still a population of students scared or uncomfortable with taking an online science course. Continue reading
Filed under: Community college, LabPaq, science education | Tagged: distance education, elearning, flipped classroom, flipping the classroom, Hands-On Labs, Kirsty Kemp, Kirtland Community College, LabPaq, labs, online education, Science Education, science elearning | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 5, 2013 by Hands-On Labs
By Dr. James W. Brown
When I was the Dean of Science, Engineering, Health Science, and Human Performance at Ocean County College I learned about the wonders of using Hands-On Labs’ LabPaqs to allow us to teach laboratory-based science courses totally online using “wet labs” that could be shipped almost anywhere in the world. Additionally, SoftChalk LLC, allowed us to produce online courses far beyond anything we had produced before by adding interactivity to nearly every page of content. This changed our boring “death by outline and PowerPoint” approach into one in which we provided highly interactive content pages that were a work of art filled with learning exercises and games. We needed to produce both nursing courses and science courses to fulfill a $458,000 grant from the venerable Robert Wood Johnson Foundation which allowed us to produce a One Day per Week Nursing Program (now called the One Site/One Line Nursing Program). This program allowed students to attend clinical training one day per week while the didactic portion was delivered online. This opened up nursing to a whole new group of students who were limited by time, family commitments, work, or distance. It was an instant success and students from a much wider geographical area began coming to OCC to get their associate degree RN. This online education model addressed the hospital RN shortage crisis and has become a national model. Continue reading
Filed under: edtech, hands-on labs, LabPaq, science education | Tagged: distance education, Dr. James Brown, edtech, elearning, elearning tools, game based learning, Hands-On Labs, LabPaq, ocean county college, Science Education, softchalk, softchalk cloud | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 21, 2013 by Hands-On Labs
By Peter Jeschofnig, Ph.D., Institute for Excellence in Distance Science Education
When teaching on-campus classes, I involved my environmental science and environmental chemistry students in semester-long environmental monitoring projects like water chemistry, stream discharge, and aquatic invertebrate monitoring. I was not surprised to find that they were much more enthused about these hands-on, experiential projects than their standard lab experimentation.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could get online students involved in similar activities? Well, with some planning, we can. Due to safety and equipment considerations, the activities cannot be exactly the same as I did with on-campus students, but there are related discovery activities that can contribute to the increase in students’ enthusiasm level beyond that of performing only traditional lab experiments.
Citizen scientists are volunteers who participate in science research by collecting and/or analyzing data for a specific science project. The concept of citizen science is quite old; and by the above definition, Charles Darwin was a citizen scientist. The Audubon Society has been using the concept for more than 100 years by getting average citizens involved in their annual bird counts. Today, numerous projects exist where citizen scientists are needed and this may be an excellent way to get online students involved in actual science projects.
Filed under: science, science education | Tagged: budburst, citizen science, distance education, edtech, elearning, elearning tools, galaxy zoo, NAsa, Science Education, science elearning, scientific american, student engagement, zooniverse | 3 Comments »
Posted on January 8, 2013 by Hands-On Labs
By Jill Nugent, PhD student, Texas Tech University
“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge” ~Carl Sagan
In the landscape of online higher education, faculty seek to engage students in learning science content and process skills and also aim to foster science literacy for all students. Citizen science can provide a great modality to facilitate student engagement and student learning in science.
In addition, the online science lab course can be a natural fit for implementing citizen science programs into the existing curriculum, and citizen science programs offer an excellent option for open-ended lab and field investigations.
Since citizen science projects typically involve real-world issues, questioning, making observations, investigating, monitoring, recording evidence, and more, they can help to model the true nature of science and can immerse students in the exciting process of science.
Below are helpful websites that provide information on existing citizen science projects that can easily be implemented into the online science lab experience:
Some more additional exemplary resources for further reading on citizen science include the following publications:
Filed under: science education | Tagged: citizen science, cornell university, distance education, edtech, elearning, elearning tools, journey north, science elearning, scistarter | 3 Comments »