Innovative Science Labs at The American Women's College
Learn more about how TAWC students experience online labs.
At-home lab kits and online virtual labs provide our adult learners with valuable learning experiences that are both affordable and effective.
While this might seem to be a challenge when it comes to learning scientific concepts traditionally learned in “hands-on, wet-lab” settings, TAWC overcomes this challenge by utilizing different laboratory mechanisms throughout its courses primarily: virtual (simulation) labs and home kits. Each of these lab mechanisms has its strengths and in each course for each lesson the right type of experience has been selected for the particular concept to be taught. These approaches, home kit and virtual, provide robust learning. Details on each can be found below.
Home Kit Laboratory Experiences
Home laboratory kits offer hands-on experiences to students taking science courses online. The kits are mailed directly to a student’s preferred address prior to the start of the course. They include everything the student will need in order to execute the lab (chemicals, equipment, etc) and are comparable to what you would see/do in a “regular” college science classroom. Moreover, one advantage to learning lab skills through the use of home kits is that students are able to work independently and everyone gets a chance to experience the experiment (as opposed to being required to work in groups in many traditional classrooms due to lack of supplies or equipment).
Virtual (Simulation) Laboratories
TAWC utilizes a variety of laboratory simulations in different courses. In conjunction with Labster, a company based in Copenhagen, we have developed a custom series of virtual labs to teach challenging laboratory procedures and help students understand complex, abstract concepts. In these virtual science labs, students use their computer to conduct experiments within a simulated laboratory. Among the many benefits, the virtual world allows students to stop and review at any time, to pause and come back at a later time, and to view detailed chemical structures in ways that are impossible to the naked eye or even with the typical light microscope available in traditional lab classrooms.