Authentic Laboratory Experiences for All Students, Including Those with Special Needs, in College Level Non-Major’s On-line Biology – “Moving Mountains in Digital, Blended and Online Learning”
Workshop Session 1
Higher education institutions have questioned on-line teaching of laboratory based science courses as meeting the objectives of degree requirements. Of special interest is how these classes can be made available to special needs learners. This workshop will discuss concerns, solutions, and engage participants in an authentic on-line laboratory exercise.
Primary Audience: Instructors, academic counselors, administrators, IT personnel interested in providing “authentic (non-virtual) on-line instruction in science laboratory based course presentation.
Session Outcomes: Participants will discuss issues and concerns of offering authentic laboratory experiences which meet institutional standards for college level transfer courses in science classes; AND, participants will experience, from a student’s perspective, firsthand a sample of how the laboratory materials are presented and completed in an on-line format.
Session Take-Aways: Participants will actually experience authentic laboratory instruction in the on-line format and take away information and materials that can be used to provide this type of instruction at their institutions.
Workshop 90 minute Session
DISCUSSION: How do we actively engage ALL learners, including those with special needs, in successfully completing institutional District Learning Objectives (DLOs) and Course Learning Objectives (CLOs) in a fully-on-line learning Environment?
Measurable Learning Outcomes (LOs): Explicit Participant Learning Outcomes
1. Participants will explore specific issues related to presenting authentic (hands-on as opposed to virtual) laboratory experiences to on-line students registered in a college transfer level, laboratory based, biology class. Measured by completion of specific laboratory related exercises.
2. Participants will investigate ADA (WCAG 2.0) compliance for lecture and laboratory presentations in the online format of a college transfer level, laboratory based biology class. Measured by participant identification of barriers to specific needs students.
3. Participants will actively take part in performing authentic laboratory exercised in an on-line laboratory based biology class. Measured by completion of laboratory post-lab questions.
4. Participants will explore techniques to removing barriers to online learning for special needs populations. Measured by identification of specific techniques to enable learners with special needs.
FORMAT OF WORKSHOP
10 Minutes - Introductory Presentation: History at Mt. San Jacinto College
Approximately 16 years ago, the concept of teaching online science courses to non-science majors was discussed with the biological science faculty at Mt. San Jacinto College, a publically funded two year college in the California Community College system.
Faculty Attitudes - “Over my dead body!” You cannot teach a biology lab on-line.
Course Rigor (course credit transferability - labs required) Can student lecture and laboratory learning outcomes be achieved?
Presentation Format - Is the on-line laboratory experience on par with the on-campus experience?
10 Minutes - Participant (Interactivity) Collaboration: Questions on Issues and Concerns at Institutions Represented by Participants
Discussion among participants and presenter to identify issues and concerns about on-line laboratories which they have or which they think may be crucial to the implementation of this
10 Minutes – Demonstration of Research Methods and Statistical Analysis Comparing On-line and On-campus student success in meeting Laboratory Course Learning Objectives (CLO).
Process: Today’s Fully Online Course Looks Like…
Eight week classes (two start periods: first half semester, second half semester) - includes 6-8
sections offered each term with additional two in summer semester
Lecture materials presented with PowerPoint, video, and instructor-developed materials
Course outline is: twelve examinations, six group discussions, and four scientific article
Laboratory: eighteen laboratory experiences, sixteen require eScience laboratory kit,
two virtual experiences require no supplies
Discuss: Research Methodology
Student performance information gathered, Student Outcome
No statistically significant differences (.05) between an online or
on-campus science course when it comes to the completion of Student Learning Objectives*
Data Gathering Continues:
Qualitative are very positive
Quantitative still being analyzed
45 Minutes - Innovation: Apply and Practice Concept, Authentic Laboratory Experience Jigsaw Teams
Divide participants into 4 member “lab partner groups”.
Work through different “jigsaw” pieces of an actual lab experiment.
15 Minutes - Team Reflection:
Teams present findings and reflect on practical application in their own instructional context.