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Resources for physics, chemistry and biology

Page history last edited by Catherine Weldon 7 years, 5 months ago



The NANSLO team welcomes input from instructors, courseware developers, and those interested in the evolution of online teaching and learning.



If you wish to share a resource with the NANSLO team, please send the URL, title and description to cweldon@wiche.edu.


The following resources are of particular interest:

Use of remote labs where equipment is manipulated via the web for biology, chemistry, and physics in first year science courses.

Academic research illustrating evidence of student outcomes using remote labs.

Articles regarding articulation and transferability of such courses between colleges and universities. 


New resources are added at the top of each table.



Online versus Traditional Learning: A Comparison Study of Colorado Community College Science Classes


Research on Retention, Outcomes, Perception and Evaluation of RWSL.


Report Title and Link Abstract or notes
Online versus Traditional Learning: A Comparison Study of Colorado Community College Science Classes
This study conducted by the Colorado Department of Higher Education compares students enrolled at the Colorado Community College System in traditional and online science courses. The second part of the study tracks these same students into a four year institution and compares academic performance in science courses. 
Remote Laboratory Research: Evidence for Effectiveness LabShare literature review.
An Assessment of In-Person and Remotely Operated Laboratories

"The results from this study indicated no significant difference in the educational outcomes between students who performed the in-person or the remote experiment"

Factors that impact learning outcomes in Remote Laboratories Sent to me by Euan Lindsay, Curtin University of Technology, Australia in response to my request for their research on RWSL and learning outcomes.
Derivation of Suitability Metrics for Remote Access Mode Experiments
Euan recommended this report for further understanding of key points in considering the usefulness of RWSL in certain settings.
A Research Study to Evaluate a Remote Web-Based Science Laboratory at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Jilian Lang conducted this research with twelve first year physics students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University as a pilot study to evaluate remote web-based science lab technology using the RWSL being developed at NIC. 
ReLOAD: Real Laboratories Operated at a Distance .. a review [of] studies that have made direct comparisons between remote and hands-on labs, and analyze the important similarities and differences by considering the students’ physical and psychological experiences.

Does the lack of hands-on experience in a remotely delivered laboratory course affect student learning?

For purchase article. Research aims to answer the question, "Does the Lack of Hands-On Experience in a Remotely Delivered Laboratory Course Affect Student Learning?"

Effects of Laboratory Access Modes Upon Learning Outcomes A recent comparative study at the University of Melbourne allocated a cohort of third year students to one of three separate access modes – proximal, web-based remote, or simulation – to perform the same laboratory class. A range of tools were used to measure the students' learning outcomes, and differences in learning outcomes were found between the three groups. This paper details one of the tools used to measure these differences, and reports on the variation of outcomes between the three groups.
A practical approach for managing online remote experiments:


See page 10 of "A Practical Approach to Managing Online Experiments" for student perceptions.

A model for evaluating the effectiveness of remote engineering laboratories and simulations in education For purchase article. This report presents a study examining versions of remote vs. hands-on labs and suggests that student learning is equal between both modalities.
NIC Research Papers Review of Literature on Remote and Web-based Science Labs
Discussion Paper on Remote & Web-based Science Labs
Guidelines for Laboratory Courses within the BC Transfer System
A Research Study to Evaluate a Remote Web-based Science Laboratory



More papers and links to labs

PhET Interactive Simulations


The University of Colorado is leading the way in simulation and learning. See their research on learning

The Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education

Instrument Network Goals

  • Provide Students with access to research-level instrumentation
  • Allow for remote calibration and operation of instruments via the Internet
  • Produce research-quality data
  • Enable high sample throughput and Internet-based data archiving and retrieval
Internet School Experimental System iSES  
iLough-Lab at Loughborough University

Housed within the Chemical Engineering Department.

See Publications link for articles.

Virtual Labs (India) The Virtual Labs. See the 12 institutions participating in this nationwide project.
Remotely Controlled Laboratories - RCLs

Click English icon and RCLs menu.

Select an experiment, then click “Laboratories” and “Start experiment." Experiments are controllable without any registration.

BugScope The Bugscope project provides free interactive access to a scanning electron microscope (SEM) so that students anywhere in the world can explore the microscopic world of insects. This educational outreach program from the Beckman Institute's Imaging Technology Group at the University of Illinois supports K-16 classrooms worldwide.


Innovative Solutions for Online Learning

(read "About Remote Labs")


Mission: To promote world knowledge of science and engineering by leveraging the power of the Internet to increase accessibility and reduce barriers to education


(register to access the remote labs yourself!)

The Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) Center was established at the Penn State College of Engineering in September 2008 through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education program.
Australia’s Labshare Government sponsored project to develop a technical infrastructure and a sustainable organizational strategy that will supports ongoing sharing of remote laboratory facilities and resources.
NANSLO - BC Innovation Goes International A presentation given at the ETUG 2011 conference in Nelson, BC.
 RWSL Promotional Videos North Island RWSL Promotional Videos

Web-based Associate of Science

Program Development Project
Chapter 9 of Moving the Laboratory Online, edited by Devon a. Cancilla and Simon P. Albon
Overview of technical equipment used in RWSL experiments.  
Experimenting from a Distance:
Remotely Controlled Laboratory (RCL)
Department of Physics, Technical University of Kaiserslautern,
Remote laboratories extending access to science and engineering curricular a Publication of The Open University
LiLa (Library of Labs) Eight European institutions and three companies collaborate in the sharing of remote and virtual labs. This link is to their research offerings. Explore and view their PPT introductionfor background.
A Practical Approach to Managing Online Experiments Berlin Institute of Technology, LiLa partner. Page 10 Student Evaluation of Remote Lab.
TU Berlin's Remote Farm After reading "A Practical Approach", explore the Berlin site.
A Sloan Consortium webinar on Remote Access to Scientific Instrumentation and Online Labs for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)
Good webinar. There are slides indicating that student ratings of the course is high. Students repeated more experiments using the robotic labs. No examples of the robotics at work, however.
Hands-on, simulated, and remote laboratories: A comparative literature review "We observe that the boundaries among the three labs are blurred in the sense that most laboratories are mediated by computers, and that the psychology of presence may be as important as technology." 
Constructing reality: A study of remote, hands-on, and simulated laboratories "These knowledge scores were as high or higher (depending on topic) after performing remote and simulated laboratories versus performing hands-on laboratories."
Initial Design and Development of an Integrated Laboratory Network: A New Approach for the Use of Instrumentation in the Undergraduate Curriculum 

Remote Instrumentation for the Teaching Laboratory

An Assessment of In-Person and Remotely Operated Laboratories "The results from this study indicated no significant difference in the educational outcomes between students who performed the in-person or the remote experiment." 
Lessons Learned from 10 Years Experience with Remote Laboratories Describes experiences with remotely-operated robotics and electronics labs in Australia.
Remote Instrumentation

An early MIT paper outlining considerations

in use of remote instrumentation in undergraduate


iLabs Around the World
MIT's iLabs partner sites
The VISIR project – an Open Source Software Initiative for Distributed Online Laboratories Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in
Review of Literature on Remote and Web-based Science Labs
 for BCCampus Articulation and Transfer of Remote and Web-based Science Lab Curriculum Project
Comparing student performance: online versus blended versus face-to-face
Larson, D., & Sung, C-H. (2009). Comparing student performance: Online versus blended versus face-to-face.
Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(1), 31-42, April 2009.
Comparison of Student and Instructor Perceptions of Best Practices
in Online Technology Courses

Batts, D. (2008). Comparison of student and instructor perceptions of best practices in online technology
courses. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4, 477-489. Retrieved from






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