While online learning platforms are extremely effective, a virtual laboratory is a great way to enhance any eLearning course, whether you’re a professor or a trainer. As a result, you may increase student interest, strengthen the memory of previously acquired information, and facilitate content mastery. In this blog, we’ll briefly examine virtual laboratories, what they are, how they might be used in the classroom or workplace, and the advantages they can provide students.
Why Do We Need Virtual Training Labs?
Cloud-based, interactive training environments are what we call “virtual training laboratories,’ a common example of this is virtual science labs or environmental science virtual labs. They’re a great tool for giving employees real-world experience. Everyone with an internet connection and a browser may access a virtual training lab, a duplicate of a training computer hosted in the cloud. Virtual training labs are increasingly being employed to provide students with the hands-on experience they need to effectively learn a software or SaaS application.
Since it is accessible online, training companies may reach a larger audience using virtual training laboratories. It also equips educators with virtual training tools that may improve upon the educational value of traditional classroom instruction.
Virtual training laboratories are a sensible investment since more than two-thirds (68%) of Millennials find engaging educational experiences with interaction and hands-on practice desirable.
Virtual training laboratories give students practical experience in a realistic setting while still interacting with the teacher. These virtual training laboratories are essential to prepare students for the challenges they will face in the real world.
How Might A Virtual Laboratory Be Used During Training?
Computer programming courses often use simulation software to help students understand programming fundamentals. Learners may quickly create, modify, and execute programs without leaving the confines of the eLearning environment thanks to the virtual training laboratories’ in-built compilers and code editors embedded in HTML pages.
Such resources are also useful for web developers and designers. Companies may make substantial updates or build brand-new features in a secure online space, try them out, get feedback, and then roll out the update to the public. Clients and product efficacy are protected against any hiccups in this manner.
Besides aerospace and automotive, mechanical engineering and building construction also use virtual laboratories for instructional purposes. Junior workers, who may require more training, or new employees, who may need onboarding before becoming comfortable taking on real tasks, may benefit greatly from simulations.
Classifications of Virtual Labs
Virtual labs are not uniform, and their functions, composition, and applications vary considerably.
In general, a virtual lab in contemporary academia may be categorized as follows:
- Labs – These virtual platforms imitate physical laboratories on a computer screen. The main difference between the online experience and the real lab is that the interaction is restricted to a two-dimensional setting.
- Simulations – Simulations provide students with the option to experience another universe remotely.
- VR spaces– Virtual reality or virtual reality lessons provide a more immersive environment than simulators.
7 Benefits of Virtual Labs In eLearning
Everything you’ve read should have given you a good understanding of how virtual laboratories might enhance educational results. Let’s go more into how they may improve the efficacy of eLearning.
1. Participating in realistic simulations
Students may see the workings of anything like an industrial machine via a simulation of that equipment’s use in the real world. Students may practice for real-world situations before really having to deal with them. That’s crucial if you have limited resources at your disposal or a lab where students can try things out for themselves, like virtual science experiments.
2. Clarifying difficult ideas
You could have a knack for simplifying seemingly incomprehensible ideas, but theory will never replace practical experience. Students may better comprehend the material if you provide them with access to a virtual lab that illustrates the ideas in question. They may investigate a wide range of chemical processes, dissect the DNA molecule, learn how black holes are generated, see into massive pieces of equipment, and more.
3. A secure classroom environment
With a virtual lab, you better prepare your students or staff for high-stakes business situations. Without risking injury to themselves or others, they may try out scientific experiments, tamper with heavy machinery, conduct virtual surgery, and participate in any other high-risk operation. They may make blunders without fear of reprimand until they no longer make any.
4. Reducing moral concerns
At many research facilities, animal experiments are standard practice. Using animals in research raises several moral concerns. For example, if you’re a biology teacher, using a virtual lab may assist you in avoiding any moral dilemmas that could arise. Certain animals, for instance, are able to recover from injuries and re-enter the wild. There are innumerable animals whose lives may be saved if only future veterinarians were taught how to undertake surgical procedures.
5. Unlimited duration to learn
There are times when students need access to offline resources like physical laboratories. In contrast, your eLearning resources ensure that the course contents are always accessible to the student. Experiments and other processes may be performed whenever a virtual lab is available.
Your students will succeed in their training with no trouble if given an unrestricted amount of time to go through realistic simulations. They are free to try new things, practice different abilities as often as they want, make errors, and grow from their experiences until they have mastered everything.
6. Increased drive and commitment
Sometimes it might be difficult to inspire and captivate your pupils or staff. For this purpose, design a classroom in which students are encouraged to participate actively via discussion and group projects. A passive one, in which they cannot relate to practical applications, might be quite discouraging.
One method to do this is to include gaming components in your virtual classroom platform. This encourages healthy rivalry among students and spurs them on to greater efforts as they want to move up the rankings.
The incorporation of a digital laboratory has the potential to increase interest and participation exponentially.
7. Improved knowledge retention
Which is more effective for learning: reading about a process or engaging in that process yourself? The second option, naturally. That is exactly why we have virtual laboratories. You may simulate any procedure before really having to deal with it. That’s the best way to improve your abilities, learn the material, and remember everything.
Having virtual classroom technology at your convenience could further boost your student’s ability to remember what they’ve learned. You can see where they’re succeeding and falling short in real-time, allowing you to fill any knowledge gaps.
Virtual laboratories are exceptional digital tools that save money and increase student productivity exponentially. In addition, they enable students to participate in schoolwork from any place and effortlessly blend the comfort and simplicity of modern technologies. Although virtual labs still require significant enhancements to duplicate labs, it is safe to claim they are indeed here to stay.