Online Labs (OLabs) for School Lab Experiments – Interactive Simulations
Keywords : Simulations, Assessment, Scaffolding, Multimedia, Collaboration
The Online Labs is an educational initiative pioneered by CREATE @ Amrita, the Center for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education at Amrita University in partnership with CDAC, Mumbai; under a research grant from the Department of Information Technology, Government of India. The lab hosts experiments in Physical and Chemical sciences for the students of classes 9 and 10 with content aligned to the NCERT/CBSE curriculum.
The Online Labs is based on the idea that lab experiments can be taught using the Internet, more efficiently and less expensively. The labs can also be made available to students with no access to physical labs or where equipment are not available owing to being scarce or costly. This helps them compete with students in better schools and bridges the digital divide and geographical distances. The experiments can be accessed anytime and anywhere, overcoming the constraints on time felt when having access to the physical lab for only a short period of time.
The 'learning-enabled assessment' through the Online Labs, facilitates in the assessment of; the procedural and manipulative skills of the experiment, the concepts and understanding of the experiment and a student's reporting and interpreting skills.
The development of online labs includes the study and use of mathematical techniques to demonstrate the various complex functions in diverse areas of science. The labs make use of cutting edge simulation technology to create real world lab environments. Thorough study and research is done by research personnel's for better understanding of the experimental procedures. Real lab scenarios are captured through live demonstration of the experiment so as to assimilate information on the procedures and lab equipment. Visualisation and development of the graphical symbols are done based on realistic situations and compared with the respective real equipment. Simulations are made interactive using various authoring tools, thus recreating and simulating a real lab environment.
The Online Labs (OLabs) for School Lab Experiments are hosted at www.olabs.co.in