Knowledgebase

Online Chemistry Laboratories | Modes of Use

Online Chem Labs are not aimed only at fully online courses. Our virtual labs have been used in these and also in hybrid or conventional classes. Some modes of use include:

   1. Online lab content for fully online courses
   2. Supplements to, or replacements for, one or more on-campus labs
   3. Pre-labs for on-campus labs
   4. Enhancements to lectures and homework assignments

We can work with you to provide labs and sample curricula that are tailored to any of the above approaches. Below are a few different ways that our virtual labs have helped students, educators and administrators all at once.

  • Some instructors have substituted several on-campus "wet" labs with our virtual labs to alleviate enrollment demands on existing equipment sets. They are sometimes surprised to find the virtual lab experience and outcomes to be superior to those for conventional labs. Some instrumentation that we can help avoid overloading include absorption spectrophotometers and calorimeters.
  • Another approach has involved dividing one class into two groups and having these groups alternate between on-campus and virtual experiments during part or all of the term.
  • Some of our virtual labs introduce students to equipment which is not available in general chemistry courses -- either because of cost, difficulty of operation, or the time-consuming nature of the actual experiment. Examples include simplified NMR and electroplating experiments. Most campuses do not have access to nuclear reactors for neutron activation analysis, although the experimental description and calculations are reasonable for beginning chemistry students. And while even graduate students in organic chemistry no longer perform their own carbon-hydrogen combustion analyses, this experiment is probably the most direct and useful way to teach empirical formulae.