How Can I Teach Biology Online Using Lab Kits?

Participants will have the opportunity to hear from 3 subject matter experts with over 30 years of combined experience teaching biology lab courses online. Each of the panelists has experience designing biology kits for their students to use at home with safe, rigorous experiments mirroring those done in the traditional lab setting. Some of the topics the panelists will be focusing on include: 

  • As an instructor who is new to teaching biology online, I am uncomfortable with the idea of students doing labs in their homes without my supervision. I am worried about safety and academic integrity. Can you tell us how you address these?
  • I’ve been a biology professor for 20 years. I do not believe you can teach a course with an “at-home” lab that is equivalent to the lab I teach face to face. I am present in my lab to answer questions as they come up and guide students through proper techniques. How can this be done when students are at a distance?
  • How do I know that my students will get the kits before the class ends? 
  • Can I control what labs my students will do?
  • What if the student gets the wrong stuff or runs out of one of their supplies?
  • I don’t even know where to begin. What do you recommend?

Intended Audience:
Deans, Department Chairs, Instructors, Instructional Designers, Online Learning Directors interested in putting their Biology Lab courses online without losing important hands-on lab component.

Speaker Bio
No photo available.
Jessica Brown
Professor at Central Carolina Community College
Cindy Bunker, DVM
Professor at Liberty University
Dr. Cindy Bunker serves as an Associate Professor and Instructional Mentor at Liberty University. She is a graduate of Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining Liberty University in 2009, Dr. Bunker was a practicing veterinarian for 19 years. In her current role, Dr. Bunker works primarily with students in online science courses for non-science majors. She also trains and mentors faculty in online instruction. She is a previous department chair for the College of General Studies within Liberty University. In this role, Dr. Bunker initiated and oversaw the development of multiple online science courses, including several with a lab component. She recently led a group of online students on a study abroad trip to Ecuador/Galapagos Islands for BIOL101 credit and is a strong proponent of hands-on-learning for online students.
Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter, M.A.T., Ph.D.
Professor at Southern New Hampshire University
Kelly is a Technical Program Facilitator and Faculty member at Southern New Hampshire University who works with students, faculty, academic administrators, instructional designers, and other stakeholders to support and promote continued improvement of the overall online student experience, as well as online course and program quality. She has also worked with vendors and subject matter experts in the development and updating of online science labs. Kelly has worked as an online instructor and in a faculty role supporting, mentoring, and teaching online students in the natural sciences, including the biological sciences, for the last 9+ years. Kelly holds a B.S. in Environmental Biology and Ecology and a B.S. in Zoology from California State University, Long Beach, an M.A.T. in Science (7-12) from Western Governors University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from the University of California, Riverside.