Friday, 30 September 2022 06:35

Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Labs

By  Amanda Taylor

Excelling as a student involves constant improvement as a learner through the help of modern tools, such as virtual labs, among many others.

A virtual lab is an extension of internet learning where people can conduct practical exercises. Using this form of laboratory, students can engage in experimental learning activities without the expenses and restrictions of a physical lab.

The experience gained from practicalizing a theory that you have read about or been taught is invaluable. Find out everything you need to know about virtual labs in this article by an expert in education and a top paper writer from a professional academic writing service where students can buy essays and get help with all kinds of assignments.

What Is a Virtual Lab?

A virtual lab is a collaborative online platform or software that serves as a remote laboratory for experiments and practicalizing theory. As the name suggests, virtual labs let you perform and participate in experiments virtually.

Virtual labs are an efficient and cost-effective substitute for physical labs. They have a variety of uses, and they are meant for more than just students. Companies and organizations looking to polish the technological skills of their staff can opt for virtual training labs at a cheaper rate. 

With the help of an animated lab, students can explore complex concepts at a deeper level. They can experiment multiple times, before and after the concept or theory has been taught to them.

Benefits of Virtual Labs

Virtual labs make life easier and more comfortable for students and teachers alike. That’s why more and more schools and universities have begun using this tool. Here are five benefits of using virtual labs in the classroom.

Cost-effectiveness

Virtual labs are a lot cheaper than physical laboratories, but you still have to pay for access to advanced tools. They are profitable alternatives to physical labs when considering the cost of specimens and equipment, their limitations, and how you can get much more for less with virtual labs. 

A single platform can cater to the entire school’s needs without taking up massive resources for its development and maintenance. Virtual learning labs enable educational institutions and students to save money they would have spent on transportation and lab equipment.

Accessibility

One of the best parts of a virtual lab is that it is always accessible to both teachers and students. Since they are accessed online, they are a lot like paper writing services both students and educators can use to improve either their learning or teaching. A good writing service is easy to find by reading reviews on a reliable essay service review platform.

Teachers can use virtual labs to prepare for classes, set quizzes, and prepare exams that the virtual lab can automatically grade.

With 24/7 virtual labs, students can do the following:

  • Learn outside of the school curriculum;
  • Get pre-lab experience;
  • Go over an experiment;
  • Fill knowledge gaps;
  • Understand complex concepts even better.

They can also use pricey resources that most educational institutions cannot afford.

Convenience

The convenience that comes with virtual labs is unmatched. You can carry out delicate experiments from the comfort of your home without getting your hands dirty or, much worse, damaging an expensive piece of equipment.

Virtual labs also provide safety, which is needed for conducting dangerous experiments without the risk of exposure to the danger they pose. The convenience of modifying the inputs and actions utilized in the experiment without worrying about any potentially harmful impacts is one of the perks of virtual labs.

Easy to use

Virtual labs are easy to navigate, even for tech novices. A steady internet connection is all you need. Some virtual labs come with a how-to guide on how to run them, some in the form of videos. If you still do not find these how-tos satisfactory, they offer 24/7 online customer care assistance.

Virtual laboratories make it easier for students to electronically report their findings and share them with their classmates or teachers to exchange experiences. It is also easier for teachers to follow up with and evaluate students online.

Another benefit of a virtual lab is that it is simple to switch from being a science lab to a computer lab that teachers or students can utilize for other courses.

Drawbacks of Using Virtual Labs

As terrific as they are, virtual labs do have a few drawbacks, which can have harmful effects on the academic performance of students if overused or used without supervision. These are some of the problems facing virtual labs.

Lesser in-person interaction

Being a virtual space, virtual labs can significantly reduce in-person interaction between peers and teachers. This lack of social interaction may result in poor communication skills between students, anxiety, and in some cases, depression. 

Humans are naturally social beings, and taking away communal relations, especially among young adults and teenagers, can mess with their confidence and self-esteem. Lack of in-person interaction also makes it harder to enforce rules and instructions. 

Lack of restriction

Due to their accessibility, the virtual lab is prone to misuse. Students will become insensitive to failure and risk in a real-life environment because the experiment in the virtual lab can be repeated as often as desired.

Also, students might no longer appreciate working in a traditional lab because they can always access a virtual one. Full sensory exposure in a physical lab can teach students vital lessons like odd sounds and smells, experimental errors, broken machinery, etc. Still, most students will want to avoid these experiences because they have unrestricted access to virtual labs.

Lack of discipline

Discipline is one of the pros of traditional labs because the students can be held accountable. Since virtual labs eliminate the accountability structure, using them can lead to a lack of self-discipline among young students.

The Bottom Line

Experts created virtual labs with a definite learning goal in mind which is to make tedious processes seamless. Despite its drawbacks, virtual labs can positively impact students, improve their academic interest and revolutionize experimental science. It is a great tool all educators should take advantage of and utilize in their classrooms.

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