Effective Use of the Virtual Laboratory in Online Science Courses

To better understand the effects of online science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses on student learning and engagement, we collected and analyzed quantitative and qualitative data from students and faculty regarding their perceptions of online learning and their experiences with distance education. Throughout this three-year National Science Foundation–funded study, we uncovered some useful information regarding strategies that faculty may utilize to create and enhance online STEM laboratory experiences and didactic courses that focus on teaching laboratory techniques. This article will illustrate the use of virtual laboratories as an effective pedagogical strategy in online STEM courses.

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