Using Virtual Laboratories as Interactive Textbooks: Studies on Blended Learning in Biotechnology Classrooms

Hemalatha Sasidharakurup, Rakhi Radhamani, Dhanush Kumar, Nijin Nizar, Krishnashree Achuthan, Shyam Diwakar
2015 EAI Endorsed Transactions on e-Learning  
Virtual laboratories, an ICT-based initiative, is a new venture that is becoming more prevalent in universities for improving classroom education. With geographically remote and economically constrained institutes in India as the focus, we developed web-based virtual labs for virtualizing the wet-lab techniques and experiments with the aid of graphics favoured animations, mathematical simulators and remote triggered experimentations. In this paper, we analysed perceived usefulness of
more » ... gy virtual labs amongst student groups and its role in improving the student's performance when introduced as a learning tool in a blended classroom scenario. A pedagogical survey, via workshops and online feedback, was carried out among 600 university-level students and 100 remote users of various Indian universities. Comparing learning groups on usage of blended learning approach against a control group (traditional classroom methods) and an experimental group (teacher-mediated virtual labs), our studies indicate augmented academic performance among students in blended environments. Findings also indicated usage of remotely-triggered labs aided enhancing interaction-based lab education enabling anytime-anywhere student participation scenarios.
doi:10.4108/el.2.6.e4 fatcat:gzdgobl4mba7xfno23b3teaepq