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The Basics of Laboratory Design | Origin: EL116

This is a general discussion forum for the following learning topic:

The Asynchronous, Self-Directed Learning Model --> The Basics of Laboratory Design

Post what you've learned about this topic and how you intend to apply it. Feel free to post questions and comments too.

Having taken several online college courses, I have to agree that time management is very important. Setting intermittent checkpoints is a great way to encourage students to stay on time with their tasks. Using discussion boards is a very good way to get feedback from students and their progress on their tasks and to see if anyone will need additional help or clarification. Gamification is also a great way to motivate the student to be productive and to set "goals" or "levels" for completion of a task or assignment.

I believe that it is important for instructors to consider feedback and check points along the way to gauge the progress and understanding of online learners. This is why time management and planning is essential for developing asynchronous courses and encouraging self-directed learnng.

In science classes, lab is 40% of the grade.  I like the idea of digital scavenger hunts.  It may be necessary for districts to invest in virtual labs.  Creating content at the secondary level that is meaningful can be complicated, expecially if you are required to produce 1 lab per week.

I learned that students still need to be engaged and be able to communicate with each other on an asychnonous platform. Posting the data for labs aftewards is also helpful. 


feedback should include critics BUT also advice and assistance in understanding materials

I simulation strategy that I plan to use this fall with my classes is to host a virtual hackathon. I'll have a few challenges for my students to complete and then use peer evaluation to choose the best solution to each challenge.


Instructors should include learnig outcome questions in every task possible to assess understanding and mastery

I learned how important are awards and recognitions to engage the sutents in a course.


Labs need to assess skill yet be friendly to the environment in which their taught.

Commuincation is the key to the best outcomes.

Thought this was interesting: It is important to reward and recognize their successful course behavior.

Time managment is essential in learning. The learning responsibility is tranferred to the student in an asynchronous environmnt and it may be concerning to educators.  A balance can be achieved by using tools such discussion forrms, refelctive summaries, etc. The are several best practices to engage the student, and if these fail actions such explicit instructions, work drafts, goals, deadlines may be helpful as well. An engaged student will result in positive outcomes.


checking in on students throughout the course is key with online learning. 


If you do not havecheck points os some other point of accountability you will tend to lose that 20% or so that will only complete assignments if they know they are being watched or held accountable.

Students that do not have time management skills with find self-paced courses very challenging. Enrolling in this type of course requires self-discipline and motivation. Virtual labs are a replacement for in person labs. 


It is important to keep students engaged. Some students get bored very easily or lose interest when they feel they are not receving adequate attention. Instructors/teachers must try to ensure that all students are getting what they need out of the class. 


Students engangement is so important especially for an online class, inserting videos or scavenger hunts is a great way to keep students engaged.


I will be implementing a reward system with certificates or badges. Also, I will need to look at other options for an LMS for my program since the current one has its limitations. Especially when it comes to structure and ease of use of the materials and resources. Maybe even creating my own teacher website. Lastly, I love that they gave a checklist for best practices and time management. These will be invaluable when it comes to creating next year's courses.


The resource of 7 Principles of Good Undergraduate Education address many of the issues with time management and feelings of isolation or lack of motivation that may be associated with asynchronous learning.  Issuing certificates to students when they complete the modules is a good suggestion for imrpoving student participation.  Providing clear directions for assignments with examples and a rubric, along with a list or calendar of assignment due dates may alleviate some of the issues related to student procrastination.  Contacting students directly when deadlines are not met, is another instructor to student communication opportunity that can support student engagement and success in the course.

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