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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Lessons Learned From the Sloan C/Online Learning Consortium Online Science Laboratory Mastery Series

James W Brown (American Military University and City University of New York, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 1:30pm
Technology and Emerging Learning Environments
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Theory/Conceptual Framework
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Oceanic 3
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 7

The presentation will highlight the key lessons learned and best practices from the first Sloan C/OLC Online Science Learning Mastery Series (Spring 2014)

Extended Abstract

The presentation will highlight the key lessons learned and best practices identified during the first Sloan C/OLC Online Science Learning Mastery Series (Spring 2014)

In the spring of 2014, Dr. Jim Brown designed and moderated the first Sloan C/OLC Online Science Laboratory Mastery Series. It featured state-of-the-art methodology for teaching science totally online including the laboratory component. Lessons learned, including the pros and cons of providing laboratory experiences via virtual laboratories versus by "wet labs" that students can perform in their own homes (and in the case of deployed military, wherever home may be) will be highlighted. Online science education is becoming more prevalent as an approach to reaching students who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend class. At the conclusion of the Mastery Series, participants were able to integrate their knowledge and skills to transform their current or future online science laboratory courses into a creative, engaging, and highly motivated learning community that will attract new online learners.

The 5Es instructional model of science, Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend (or Elaborate), and Evaluate will be discussed. This model can be employed in teaching and learning in online science laboratories to foster Faculty-Student Engagement. It begins by piquing the student's interest and getting them personally involved in the lesson. Next, in the exploration stage the students have the opportunity to become directly involved with scientific phenomena and materials. Then, learners begin to communicate and explain what they have learned followed by expanding or extending the concepts they have learned. Finally both students and teachers evaluate and assess the learning via project and problem-based learning products, models, performance tasks, journals and/or lab reports.

The different modes of delivering online science laboratories and the different strategies involved in face-to-face, hybrid, virtual or remote "wet labs" will be explored. The features of many of the commercially available online labs will be discussed such as Hands-On Labs, Inc. Lab Paq and Lab Bridge, eScience Labs, McGraw-Hill LearnSmart Labs and their Glencoe Biology Virtual Laboratory Simulations, and others. Numerous examples of different styles of learning will be demonstrated such as the strategic use of short videos to illustrate key laboratory techniques, use of peer coaching, virtual lab partners, students photographing or making their own videos to demonstrate that they performed the laboratory, online field trips, gaming, use of social media for building community, tips on finding and engaging "lurkers," and using interactive multimedia and the latest in instructional technology.

Lastly the assessment process will be discussed. The importance of formative assessment during the laboratory will be stressed as well as summative assessment to complete the overall evaluation of the online laboratory. Factors that are relevant for course transfer, student success and accreditation will be addressed.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Jim Brown teaches totally online for a number of colleges and Universities including the American Military University, CUNY, Kean University, Gwynedd Mercy University, Colorado Christian University, Unitek College and others. He is a pioneer in creating online courses and has developed over 65 online courses in science, health sciences and public Health. He was recently designated one of the "Top 40 Innovators in Education" by the Center for Digital Education.
He is a former Assistant Commissioner of Health for the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services overseeing the Division of Public Health and Environmental laboratories and former President of the New Jersey Public Health Association and served on the governing council of the American Public Health Association. He was a Director of Microbiology for Roche and a Vice-President of Celsis Laboratory Group. In academia he was a former assistant dean and assistant professor at New Jersey City University and an academic dean for Ocean County College.
He has won numerous awards for developing and teaching courses online. Dr. Brown has been honored by both houses of the US Congress as well as both houses of the NJ Legislature.