Virtual Biology Labs Changing The Face Of Biology Education

Tuesday 2 August 2022, 5:15PM
By Premium SEO NZ

As any good educator would tell you, the best way to ensure that students truly learn is to get them to engage meaningfully with the content. It is not enough for students to simply memorise concepts or read a few pages of a textbook – particularly at the university level, where it is assumed that what students are learning will ultimately need to be practically implemented in their future careers. Rather, in order for information to be fully understood, students must take an active role in the learning process, and witness first-hand how theoretical concepts play out in the real world.

This is particularly true in a subject like biology, where students are exposed to oftentimes complex concepts that might not always be easy to grasp until their practical relevance is observed. It’s one thing to learn the terminology and process of, for example, photosynthesis, but such knowledge only truly becomes meaningful to most students once they can apply the theory to how plants actually grow in real life.

For biology lecturers, then, it is vital to promote interest and practicality across whatever topic they might be teaching – be it genetics, the interconnectedness of an ecosystem, or anatomy. In the past, lecturers would often provide such practicality by allowing students to view slides under a microscope, or physically cut through or handle an actual heart, lung, or so forth. However, such options are not always available, depending on an institution’s resources or if students are taking courses remotely.

Thanks to developments in modern technology, online biology labs are now possible. Through virtual simulations, these online labs allow students to practically work through and understand various biological concepts. Lecturers can also harness modern technology’s capacity for the likes of gamification, 3D rendering, and data collection to further enhance their lessons and solidify students’ understanding.