Virtual laboratory simulations can be used to provide students with an introduction to the laboratories; further they allow students to have safe and 24 h access to learn laboratories skills. The Labster simulations contain theoretical questions which must be correctly answered before the user can progress to the next stage. Further supplementary theory is available throughout the simulation. Following pilot studies last year; we now report on 2 cohorts of students who used the Labster simulations within core modules.
We have used thes Labster simulations in a core level 4 Biochemistry module (207 students used out of 350 on the module) and level 5 Molecular Biology and Genetics module (26 students of 68 registered on the module copleted a survey).
Students completed surveys with Likert type responses to determine how the students felt that the virtual simulations had enhanced their theoretical knowledge and prepared them for practical classes.
Labster simulations have been favourably reported on by students in both level 4 and 5. However a challenge remains to encourage all students to complete the simulations. Participation was greater in the level 4 module where the Labster Learning Outcomes aligned more closely to the module Learning Outcomes.