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Remote Learning Strategies

Here and there: A novel hybrid remote/in-person college-level science lab model at a small primarily undergraduate institution

Journal of College Science Teaching—May/June 2024 (Volume 53, Issue 3)

By Matthew Lundquist and Ann Aguanno

Moving to remote, online learning to meet local and national health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic posed a challenge for college science courses due to the interactive nature of laboratories. We developed and implemented a remote/in-person lab partner model where in-person students were paired with remote students in college natural science courses during the 2020-2021 academic year. The goal was to provide an opportunity for students to attend lab in-person and provide an interactive lab experience for students who elected to attend remotely. Students in each course completed a questionnaire assessing their perception of their learning. Learning outcomes were assessed and compared between in-person and remote modalities in a general biology course (General Biology II). In-person students perceived that attending in-person increased their learning but having remote partners hindered their learning. Conversely, remote students perceived that attending remotely hindered their learning overall, but having in-person partners enhanced their experience. In General Biology II, we found that learning outcomes were not significantly different between in-person and remote students. Although the data suggests the model was not successful in its initial iteration, we provide a workable technique for offering a remote laboratory option in science classes, making them more inclusive and accessible.

Distance Learning Labs Technology Postsecondary

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