Knowledgebase

Online Chemistry Labs | FAQ for instructors

We welcome your questions and would like to hear suggestions on ways we can improve the quality of your experience with our products. Here are some of the most frequent questions that we receive from instructors.

 

How many and what type of online labs are available?

There are approximately 20-25 labs available. The first three are designed to show students how to use our virtual environment, how to install and use a spreadsheet program, and how to perform typical error analyses and statistical operations. The available labs are listed here.

A single term of general chemistry cannot use all the available labs. For instance, 10-week terms might use 5-7 total labs, and 15 week terms might use 7-10.  Our first 3 labs are introductory, intended to bring students up-to-speed in the necessary skills for the rest of the labs. In subsequent terms, some of these introductory labs can be made available to help students who did not take the first term in the sequence. Here are sample schedules for courses using our labs.

Are these labs only for use in fully on-line courses?

The labs have been used in several different modes:
  1. As fully on-line labs for a stand-alone web-based course
  2. As supplements to, or replacements for, some on-campus labs
  3. As pre-labs for on-campus labs
  4. As enhancements to lectures and homework assignments

We can provide versions of the labs and sample curricula that are tailored to any of these approaches.

What is the academic level of the experiments?

We have a full sequence of labs aimed at lower-level college general chemistry. These experiments have been used for non-science general chemistry and for science (and chemistry) major courses at colleges and universities. The labs are also appropriate  for Advanced Placement high school chemistry courses. Lab components and guided discussion sections can be tailored to be appropriate to the desired level.

Can the experiments be tailored for a particular course offering?

Yes. When courses have significant enrollments, we will work with instructors on  request to customize the experimental and discussion sections.

What is the typical charge to access the labs, and how are lab fees paid?

Most colleges or universities will prefer the student fee model, where students pay for access individually via Paypal. For access to the full suite of labs over an academic year, student fees would total about $60, depending on class size, timing, and some other details. Lesser fees are applied when a smaller set of labs is selected, decreasing to $20 for access to 5 labs. We understand that a student fee model is not appropriate at all venues, such as high schools. Note the following discussion on site licenses.

For a school that will use the "site license" approach in which students will not pay individually, how is enrollment handled?

Two methods are available:

1. Schools may prepay for a site license, and instructor's students are provided with a course access code to distribute to students. Each student registers on our website choosing a unique and secure username/password. Students must provide an official school email address to be verified in our system (non-campus addresses, such as Yahoo, HotMail, AOL, or Gmail are not permitted because they do not allow authentication of registered students' identities).

2. Alternately, instructors can provide a list of student usernames to pre-register. An active username/password list will be generated and sent to the instructor. This method works best for high schools, or schools without a secure email system. If preferred for privacy, this registration process can be accomplished without use of any individual identifying information.

 

If these FAQs do not address your issue, please contact us directly. We will respond within 24 hours.