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Improving biotech education through gamified laboratory simulations



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Mads T. Bonde & Morten O.A. Sommer
are at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center
for Biosustainability, Technical University of
Denmark, and the Department of Systems
Biology, Technical University of Denmark;
Mette V. Larsen & Hanne Jarmer are at the
Center for Biological Sequence Analysis,
Department of Systems Biology, Technical
University of Denmark; Guido Makransky is
at the Department of Psychology, University
of Southern Denmark; Jakob Wandall is at
NordicMetrics, Denmark; and Mikkel Morsing
is at the Department of Biology, University
of Copenhagen, Denmark. Hanne Jarmer
and Morten O.A. Sommer have shared
senior authorship.
e-mail:,, or
Improving biotech education through gamified
laboratory simulations
Mads T Bonde, Guido Makransky, Jakob Wandall, Mette V Larsen, Mikkel Morsing, Hanne Jarmer &
Morten O A Sommer
Gamified laboratory simulations motivate students and improve learning outcomes compared with traditional
teaching methods.
large proportion of high school and college
students indicate that they have little inter-
est in science, and many students graduate with
marginal science competencies1,2. It has been
suggested that this results from an exaggerated
focus on memorizing facts, listening passively
to lectures and performing ‘cookbook’ labora-
tory exercises in science education, rather than
stimulating students’ natural curiosity, and
highlighting the intricate connection between
science and “real world problems”3. Although
several studies have challenged the effective-
ness of traditional teaching methods4–8, these
methods continue to dominate science educa-
tion. This is not only problematic for students
but is a major challenge for the biotech indus-
try, which depends on highly educated gradu-
ates with up-to-date knowledge and skills.
A recent report published by the US
National Research Council regarding the use
of computer games and simulations in edu-
cation analyzed all available studies and con-
cluded that “simulations and games have great
potential to improve science learning in ele-
mentary, secondary and undergraduate science
classrooms”2. Moreover, the US Department of
Education’s National Education Technology
Plan states, “The challenge for our education
system is to leverage the learning sciences and
modern technology to create engaging, rel-
evant and personalized learning experiences
for all learners that mirror students’ daily lives
and the reality of their futures9.
Because laboratory experiments can be
expensive, time consuming and occasionally
constrained by safety concerns, laboratory
courses as an adjunct to classroom lectures
are often the first classes to be removed from
a curriculum. This is unfortunate because sev-
eral theoretical science courses benefit from
an experimental counterpart. Particularly
within biotech, new techniques and methods
are constantly enhancing and replacing exist-
ing research practices, and these developments
soon become essential knowledge for biotech
professionals. Nevertheless, the latest equip-
ment and consumables are often prohibitively
expensive, making it almost impossible for
universities and schools to provide students
with access to updated equipment such as next-
generation DNA sequencing machines.
In response to this need, several simulations
have been developed for science education,
most of which focus on symbolic represen-
tations of experiments wherein students
can alter parameters and simulate different
outcomes. De Jong et al.10 recently reviewed
studies comparing physical and simulated
laboratory education and concluded that both
physical and virtual laboratories “can achieve
similar objectives such as exploring the nature
of science, developing teamwork abilities,
cultivating interest in science, promoting con-
ceptual understanding and developing inquiry
skills.” Although physical laboratories are
required for students to develop practical labo-
ratory skills, virtual laboratories offer several
other advantages, including allowing students
to explore unobservable phenomena, enabling
learners to conduct a number of experiments
in a short period of time and providing adap-
tive guidance11. However, most simulations
are primarily focused on accurately imitating
physical phenomena and not on optimizing
student learning12.
A recent literature review identified only a
few studies that compared traditional class-
room teaching with the use of simulations
in biotech teaching between 2001 and 2010
(refs. 13–15). One study reported an increase
in students’ usage of accurate explanations after
using a bioinformatics simulation15, and oth-
ers reported a significant increase in test scores
using a simulation based on cell theory14.
Similarly, a learning effect was demonstrated
using the simulation MyDNA, a program that
involves a two-dimensional representation
of gel electrophoresis wherein students can
alter voltage and gel concentrations and then
observe the differential speed of DNA frag-
Educational games are increasingly being
used for learning biotech. Sadler et al.17
reported the implementation of a three-
dimensional (3D) biotech educational game
(Mission Biotech), wherein gaming features
were highlighted. A high learning outcome,
particularly with lower-level students, was
observed. Research regarding the effective-
ness of games for science education is only
beginning to emerge2, and to our knowledge
no prior research studies performed to assess
npg © 201 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
the effectiveness of gamified simulations for
enhancing biotech education have included a
scientific design with control groups.
We hypothesized that combining gamifica-
tion elements with simulations may provide an
opportunity for even greater gains in learning
effectiveness and motivation of biotech stu-
dents. We developed and tested an advanced
laboratory simulation platform based on math-
ematical algorithms supporting open-ended
investigations and combined this with gamifi-
cation elements such as an immersive 3D uni-
verse, storytelling, conversations with fictional
characters and a scoring system. We then set
out to assess the effect on learning effectiveness
and motivation to investigate whether gami-
fied laboratory simulations may be an afford-
able opportunity for providing state-of-the-art
training in biotech.
Development of a gamified biotech
laboratory simulation
Ten gamified laboratory simulations have
been developed, two of which were tested: a
crime-scene lab and a genetic engineering lab
( (Fig. 1). In
the crime-scene case, students start by explor-
ing a crime scene that reveals an engaging story
and then proceed to analyze blood samples
from the scene using PCR and gel electro-
phoresis. Through scientific inquiry, students
ultimately provide conclusive evidence to con-
vict the perpetrator. Interactive 3D animations
of microscopic events pause while students
answer questions and identify elements and
processes in animations. If a student convicts
an innocent suspect, he or she experiences con-
sequences of not adhering to scientific meth-
ods through a critical virtual newspaper article
received during the gamified simulation. In the
genetic engineering case, students embark on
a mission to produce medicine and test it on a
virtual mouse through molecular cloning, fer-
mentation and animal experiments.
In developing these simulations, one of our
key priorities was providing a realistic and
immersive laboratory environment and 3D
animations. We chose these because previous
studies have demonstrated increased learning
effectiveness among students who use highly
realistic animations and because their use is
supported by cognitive theories of multime-
dia learning and picture comprehension18–20.
Simulations were designed for an inquiry-
based approach in which students must deduce
and apply necessary actions by acquiring
knowledge from integrated text and figures.
Inquiry-based methods have been found dif-
ficult to successfully implement in classical
teaching with a single teacher and numerous
students21–23. However, computer-based labo-
ratory simulations may offer a framework for
an effective and feasible solution.
A combination of learning and assessment
methods, as described in recent research24,
was integrated into the simulation through
built-in, multiple-choice test items triggered
by specific actions. In the simulation, students
were asked to select a response until the cor-
rect answer was identified, and they were sub-
sequently presented with an explanation of why
the answer was correct. Immediate feedback
inspires students to reflect on their choices
of specific laboratory procedures, thereby
improving their understanding of the under-
lying theory. Furthermore, to increase students’
understanding of molecular details invisible to
the human eye, 3D animations were integrated
to demonstrate what happens at the molecu-
lar level as a direct consequence of laboratory
actions performed by students.
Motivation and self-efficacy
Recent studies indicate noncognitive skills
such as motivation and conscientiousness as
crucial factors in the efficient development of
cognitive skills in science learning25–27. Many
students have a general perception of science
as being boring and disconnected from the real
world. For instance, approximately 50% of the
students surveyed in physics classes found the
subject “boring” or “very boring”28. We wanted
to investigate whether gamified laboratory
simulations could stimulate a higher degree of
motivation for studying biotech. We set up a
program to assess the genetic engineering lab
in an online AP Biology class at the Stanford
University Online High School (Stanford, CA,
USA). We immediately followed the comple-
tion of the labs by an online questionnaire on
motivation and interest. Forty out of 41 stu-
dents found the laboratory simulation “inter-
esting and relevant subject matter” and 23 out
of 41 found it “more motivating than classroom
or home wet labs.
We conducted a larger study of the more
advanced crime-scene lab with 149 students
from two biology classes at Archbishop
Williams High School (Braintree, MA, USA)
and in an introductory college-level life science
course at the Technical University of Denmark
(DTU). A high level of motivation was mea-
sured, as 97% of 149 students found it interest-
ing to use the simulation; 86% indicated that
the laboratory simulation was more interest-
ing compared with ordinary exercises; and 97%
felt that the course content was more interest-
ing when working with gamified simulations
(Fig. 2). Furthermore, 89% of users indicated
that they learned something by using the gami-
fied simulation, which indicates a high level of
perceived learning and self-efficacy. Further
studies in which students experience repeated
use of simulations are needed to investigate
how motivation and interest are affected when
students become accustomed to using simula-
tions in learning.
We also conducted a study on 57 students
from four Danish high schools. Forty-four
percent of the students agreed or completely
agreed with the statement, “I consider
pursuing an education within biotechnol-
ogy or other biological subject to a greater
extent, after having used the gamified labora-
tory simulator.This indicates that gamified
laboratory simulations may provide a pow-
erful case for initiatives to increase students’
engagement and motivation for further studies
and careers within biotech. Large-scale longi-
tudinal studies measuring the actual study and
career choices of students exposed to gamified
laboratory simulations compared with a con-
trol group would be valuable to guide future
Figure 1 Screenshots from the gamified laboratory simulation tested in this study (Labster, (left, center). Students
used the simulations from regular computers at home (in the case of testing at Stanford University Online High School) or in class (right).
npg © 201 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Improved learning outcomes
To assess the learning effectiveness of the
gamified simulation compared with tradi-
tional teaching, we conducted a study test-
ing the crime-scene case in an introductory,
college-level, life science course with 91 stu-
dents at DTU. All participants answered a
pre-test consisting of 40 multiple-choice ques-
tions intended to fit an item response theory
educational measurement model29,30. Students
were then divided into two groups (alphabeti-
cally by first name). In the first lesson, Group
A received a traditional lecture including a
group excercise, and Group B performed the
crime-scene simulation. Following the first les-
son, all students were administered a mid-test
comprising the same questions. In the second
lesson, students switched conditions: Group
A performed the laboratory simulation, and
Group B received the lecture. After the sec-
ond lesson, all students were administered
the test again as a post-test. Students took the
test for the fourth time 40 days later as a reten-
tion test. Test results were analyzed by fitting
the data to the two parameter logistic (2PL)
item response theory model that describes, in
probabilistic terms, the relationship between
an individual’s response to a test item and his or
her standing on the construct being measured
by the test31,32. Of 40 items used on the test, 38
items fitted the 2PL model, indicating that the
test was suitable for measurement of student
skills. By comparing test results of the pre-test,
mid-test, post-test and retention tests for each
student on the 38 items, learning outcomes of
each session could be assessed.
Students’ scores improved by 1.48 standard
deviation (s.d.) units from a mean Z score of
<1.37 to 0.11 after the laboratory simulation
but only by 0.84 s.d. units from <1.20 to <0.36
after traditional teaching at the mid-test sam-
pling point (Fig. 3). The results demonstrate
that using the laboratory simulation led to
significantly improved learning outcomes
(76% higher score) compared with traditional
teaching (t (89) = <4.37, P < 0.0005). Effects
of combining the simulation with traditional
teaching were assessed with the post-test,
and the measured learning outcomes were
greater than any one of the methods alone
(t (90) = <7.49, P < 0.0005; see Fig. 3b).
Students who used the simulation first had
a 4.2% greater gain in measured learning out-
comes compared with those who received tra-
ditional teaching first; however, this difference
was not statistically significant (comparison
of post-tests, t (89) = <0.383, P = 0.702). This
finding was consistent with those of previous
studies16, indicating flexibility in the order of
methods used and in integration possibili-
ties for simulations. For instance, simulations
could be used as a homework assignment as
a pre-laboratory or post-laboratory activity in
combination with traditional teaching. In fact,
the traditional teaching increased learning
outcomes by only 14% after students had com-
pleted the gamified simulation, which suggests
that traditional teaching was almost redundant
after the gamified simulation. However, the
combination may have the strongest impact,
particularly on long-term retention, because
practicing new skills only once can lead to
rapid deterioration of acquired competencies11.
To t e st t he d ur a b i li t y, we ad m i n i st e r e d a f o l l ow -
up test 40 days after the sessions, and learning
was found to be well retained; no significant
difference was observed between scores on the
Figure 3 Measurement of learning outcomes from 91 students. (a) Test outcome of groups A and B receiving the laboratory simulation (Labster) and
lecture including group exercise (Lecture) in the opposite order. (b) Increase in learning outcomes observed after students attended a session with a
lecture including group exercise (Lecture), laboratory simulation (Labster) and both methods combined. *Students t-test, t (89) = <4.37, P < 0.0005;
**t (90) = <7.49, P < 0.0005.
Lecture & LabsterLabster
Δ Z score
Z score
Lecture 40 days
40 days
Gr. A
Gr. B
Figure 2 Survey results from 149 s tudents from Stanford Univ ersi ty Online High School, Archbishop
Williams High School and the Technical University of Denmark after using the gamified laboratory
simulation crime-scene lab.
It is a good idea to use Labster before
using a real laboratory
I would like Labster to be used more in
Labster can be a good supplement to
regular teaching
I learned something by using Labster
Labster is more motivating than ordinary
It makes course content more interesting
to work with practical examples
The experience with Labster inspired me to
work with laboratory analyses
It was interesting to use Labster
Completely agree Mostly agree
Mostly disagree Completely disagree Students
npg © 201 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
post-test and the follow-up test (t (87) = 0.641,
P = 0.523).
Gamified laboratory simulations as an
integral part of future biotech education?
This study indicates that a gamified labora-
tory simulation can significantly increase
both learning outcomes and motivation levels
when compared with, and particularly when
combined with, traditional teaching. Further
research is urgently needed to investigate
whether our results can be extrapolated to a
general tendency of the effectiveness of gami-
fied simulations. If our results represent a gen-
eral tendency, increased focus in this area could
provide an important opportunity to address
some of the current challenges that science
education is facing and ultimately to enhance
science education.
Currently, simulations and games are used
only sporadically in biotech education, per-
haps because educational institutions still are
more focused on delivering instructions than
producing learning outcomes33. Other sectors
have successfully integrated simulations as a
well-established part of training. For instance,
flight simulators have been successfully used for
decades in training sessions of aspiring pilots,
and combining simulations with real airplane-
flying experience has proven to be more effec-
tive with regard to both time and resources34.
Particularly within biotech education, gamified
simulations can benefit students by provid-
ing simulated access to exercises that would
otherwise require expensive equipment and
hazardous techniques that most educational
institutions are unable to offer. To fully explore
and deploy the potential of gamified simula-
tions in biotech education, policymakers, end
users such as school districts and universities,
researchers and companies must work together
to develop, research and assess new gamified
simulations to reap benefits of modern technol-
ogy for the improvement of science education.
We would like to acknowledge H.J. Genee,
P. Rugbjerg, J. Serritslev, A. Laustsen, D. Møller,
L. Holst, S. Heilmann, O. Filtenborg, E.B. Hansen,
S. Molin, O.D. Madsen, B. Nauntofte, R. Frandsen,
O. Thastrup, H.H.Wang, P. Falholt, J. Vind,
J.T. Andersen, T. Damhus, B.T. Simonsen,
C.B. Jorgensen, C.V.S. Bruun, K. Spohr, P. Gibson,
J. Keasling, G.M. Church, J. Nielsen and B. Palsson
for fruitful discussions, support and advice. We
would also like to thank the Labster team for co-
development of the gamified laboratory simulations,
H. Bonde, G. Nixon and E. Earls for critical reading
of the manuscript, as well as K. Failor and M. Huang
for collaboration regarding the tests at Stanford
University OHS and Archbishop Williams High
School. We would like to acknowledge the student
organization Biotech Academy at DTU for its role in
disseminating science education and awareness to the
young. This research was funded by the Novo Nordisk
Foundation and the Danish Market Development
Fund, and the development of the laboratory
simulations has been supported by The Danish
Ministry of Science, the Danish Market Development
Fund, The Lundbeck Foundation, The Danish Film
Institute, Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S.
The authors declare competing financial interests:
details are available in the online version of the paper
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... Virtual lab simulations are being increasingly used to enhance the development of professional skills in various fields, such as healthcare [1] and education, including courses in chemistry [2,3], biotechnology [4], and medical genetics [5]. Virtual learning simulations have also been applied to organs [6,7] virtual dissections [8], and in human patient simulators [9]. ...
... An increasing body of evidence suggests that virtual laboratory simulations enhance learning outcomes by increasing students' motivation and self-efficacy. Specifically, gamified laboratory simulations may facilitate better learning outcomes as compared to traditional teaching [4]. In preparing students for microbiology physical laboratory activities, virtual laboratory simulations are reportedly as efficient as face-to-face tutorials [12]. ...
... Our findings revealed a significant increase in self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation compared with traditional learning. These results are consistent with the previous findings [4,12]. Therefore, it is evident that the SB-VLS approach is more effective than traditional learning in developing students' self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation toward molecular biology. ...
Full-text available
The use of virtual laboratory simulations in various disciplines, which provide important educational benefits, has increased. Several studies show that laboratory activities, including scenario-based virtual laboratory simulation (SB-VLS), stimulate cognitive and non-cognitive skills. However, the effects of the SB-VLS when integrated into molecular biology courses, on the development of cognitive skills, such as scientific report writing skills, remain unexplored. A pre-post-test, randomized, quasi-experimental design was used. Thirty-five female students were randomly assigned to experimental or control groups. The control group (n = 17) attended a traditional lecture and video lab demonstration (VLD), while the experimental group (n = 18) participated in SB-VLS on molecular cloning. Findings revealed statistically significant differences, with large effects sizes in the SB-VLS group between pre- and post-test in intrinsic motivation (2.9 vs 3.86, p = 0 . 042 , Cohen’s d = 4.17), self-efficacy (3.31 vs 3.85, p = 0 . 002 , Cohen’s d = 1.071), and knowledge gain scales (50.93 vs 75.93, p = 0 . 001 , Cohen’s d = 1.46). Moreover, between-group effect sizes of the experimental and control groups were also large for intrinsic motivation ( dppc2 = 1.441), self-efficacy ( dppc2 = 0.766), and knowledge ( dppc2 = 1.147), indicating that the effect of the SB-VLS was significant, which may be due to the activities and techniques used in SB-VLS to develop learning outcomes. Additionally, the SB-VLS group had statistically better lab report scores as compared to the control group (3.92 vs . 4.72, p < 0 . 0001 ). Collectively, our data show that SB-VLS is an innovative teaching strategy and an effective tool for developing non-cognitive and cognitive skills, especially scientific report writing skills.
... Multitude VLs have been created to provide online education at different levels and fields/topics. For example, ABCmouse provides a learning-simulated environment for children aged from 2 to 8 (ABCmouse, 2021), LABSTER has successfully been used by students in high school (Bonde et al., 2014) as well as in early university levels (Dyrberg et al., 2017), ASPEN HYSYS (AsperTech, 2017), SuperPro (I. Inc., 2017) or SimaPro (SimaPro, 2021) are other examples of software used by university students as well as professionals in the (bio) chemical engineering field. ...
... Although, the students' perspective in the final evaluation of the VLs have been amply studied (i.e. (Ebner and Holzinger, 2003;Bonde et al., 2014;Al-Khalifa, 2017;Dyrberg et al., 2017)), the early stages of the development of VLs have not been sufficiently analyzed. Furthermore, traditionally, students have not participated actively as designer partners in the design process of an educational tool (including educational VLs) (Rudduck and McIntyre, 2007). ...
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The integration of online platforms in (bio)chemical engineering education has increasingly become a matter of fact at all educational levels. Examples such as virtual laboratories in tertiary education have shown their benefits, such as the decreased cost and resources needed as well as providing a safer environment for practical experimentation. However, students or stakeholders are not usually involved in developing the virtual laboratory, even if, when given the opportunity, they can provide valuable feedback for improvement and acquire ownership over the platform. Hence, when proposing a novel educational process virtual laboratory that targets teaching bioprocess modeling to undergraduate students, the best approach is to involve the students in the development as its future users. To this end, in this work, four co-participatory design experiences are presented that show the journey from a paper prototype to an online educational virtual laboratory ( ). Qualitative and quantitative data have been collected in two different universities through surveys, semi-structured interviews, and informal conversations among the students and the developer. The students’ perspectives were found to provide valuable feedback about the platform’s content, usability, and functionality. For example, interest in adding bioprocess-related coding activities, or suggesting to change the platform name, were opinions collected and carefully considered. These suggestions can be easily integrated since the software is at the early stages of the virtual laboratory prototype. Although the usability and functionality features of the platform are under continuous advancement, this work’s findings show that the students are interested in contributing to the virtual laboratory’s development. Therefore, it opens the door to modifications and improvements, which are strongly based on the users’/students’ perceptions and perspectives as the virtual laboratory’s co-designers. Although the primary target of the BioVL prototype is to teach bioprocessing modelling, several advanced tools such as virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) are being considered to be included at a future stage. Furthermore, the educational strategy proposed in this work can be replicated by those who want to develop other virtual laboratories.
... Research from Technical University Denmark found that learners performance on VR-based knowledge tests increased considerably over time, but remained unchanged by the traditional training with a pre-recorded video of the respective simulation on a laptop (Bodekaer, 2015). Research from Stanford University found that learners recall more when using virtual teaching methods than with traditional methods, resulting in a 76% increase in learning effectiveness (Bonde et al., 2014). ...
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Existing XR simulations use pre-configured scenarios in which the trainee always experiences the same training, without any variation or personalization to suit the needs or background and behaviour of the trainee. This research intends to contribute to the existing knowledge in the field of AI-driven narrative exploring how training simulators could evolve towards an interactive and dynamic narrative experience, by integrating Artificial Intelligence in an Extended Reality training simulator. In particular, the simulator uses a Content-Based recommender system to recommend training scenarios to the user. Although customization can be achieved in many ways, this project focuses on in-game input data: user interaction with virtual objects, decisions made by the user, and metadata associated with the training scenario.
... Encouragingly, evidence from a recent meta-analysis of simulation-based learning in higher education suggests that this approach may not only be suitable for ERL but may be a positive evolution of life science education in general due to effectiveness in facilitating learning of complex skills and flexibility in supporting different types of learners through various technologies and scaffolding (Chernikova et al., 2020;Díaz-Guio et al., 2021). However, even within the scope of simulation literature for life science education, there appears to be more focus on using gamification and virtual tools for the development of practical and experimental skills (Bonde et al., 2014;Stahre Wästberg et al., 2019;Yap et al., 2021), rather than the development of a scientific troubleshooting mindset akin to the decision-making simulations more commonly scene in medical education (Meguerdichian et al., 2021). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented disruptions to higher education by forcing campuses to close, thus shifting teaching and learning (T&L) activities to emergency remote learning (ERL). Higher learning institutions (HLI) in Malaysia were not spared, whereby ERL has become the dominant mode of T&L since March 2020. The field of life sciences faces additional challenges in ERL that remain underexplored, especially in the context of HLI in Malaysia, which is highly centralized and with limited institutional autonomy. Using equity theory as a framework and qualitative data gathered through interviews and focus group discussions, this paper aims to understand the impact of ERL by outlining the challenges faced and innovations devised to circumvent these in the development of practical skills and conducting research projects, which are seen as critical aspects of life sciences programs. Finally, we discuss ways to improve equity and quality of life science education by raising critical questions as the world continues to grapple with new waves of pandemic uncertainty.
... Sharing of resources between different organisations and institutions can be effectively done and international projects can be handled with ease. Possibility of expanding virtual lab experiments in order to meet the requirement is a great relief and large community of students can benefit from such, there might be concerns regarding the effectiveness and realism of these labs, which has been taken care by [51], they have provided with the tools in order to overcome such challenges. These are some of the tangible and intangible benefits of a virtual lab with reference to a physical one where a student is able to gain, access to knowledge, learn a technical skill though a few clicks on their phones, tablets and computers when technology has stepped to its breach, it will play a key role in educating university students in these disruptive crises. ...
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Practical work plays a vital role in effective teaching with better learning outcomes hence gaining practical skills in the laboratory in a pharmacy course is of utmost importance. Design; development, analysis and synthesis are the main part of pharma chemistry. The process of imparting quality education and laboratory skills comes up with challenges such as improper disposal of laboratory waste either of chemical, biological or radioactive nature is tedious and needs to be regulated by the regulatory agencies and this is expensive. Not having to meet the regulations, such practices pose severe threat to aquatic environment and bring environmental hazard. Other challenge being mutations of microorganisms which leads to the outbreak of pandemics which results in lockdown of educational institutions which in turn affects the practical skills of students. Laboratory is a place where students aligns his scientific knowledge and apply in real practice right from drug discovery to development of new molecule. In order to overcome all the above challenges, technological advancements can be made use of one such is "Virtual Labs" these are computer operated, designed based on the cognitive approaches without physical contact conducted by simulations and are student centric. Students or researches can learn from QSAR studies, molecular modelling, and various spectroscopic studies to general chemistry which are conducted by a single virtual lab.
... Students display variation in terms of their willingness, readiness, and self-efficacy beliefs when it comes to testing new, technology-assisted learning environments, and this can potentially moderate their cognitive processes [50]. However, empirical studies and meta-analyses have shown that low-immersion simulations result in better cognitive outcomes and attitudes towards learning, than traditional teaching methods [65][66][67]. As AR enables the user to see the real world, it supplements reality instead of completely replacing it, thus providing a realistic learning experience for students [68]. ...
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An essential feature of pharmacy education is the teaching of theoretical knowledge with the support of practical work in the laboratory. When properly utilized, laboratory activities have the potential to enhance students’ achievement, conceptual understanding, and positive attitudes towards learning. In this pilot study, an augmented reality (AR) environment was designed and introduced for teaching laboratory skills in pharmacy education at the university level. The AR environment was used by pharmacy students (n = 36), featuring gate questions, information screens, Quick Response codes, think-aloud questions, and instant feedback. The environment was utilized with smart glasses and mobile devices with the aim of comparing the support to students’ performance. User experience was evaluated through self-efficacy beliefs and anxiety towards the technology. As a result, students found the environment a useful supplement to traditional laboratory teaching. Smart glasses and mobile devices were both accepted with great positivity but neither being clearly preferred over the other. Smart glasses were noted to provide sufficient feedback in the right stages of work. In contrast, mobile devices promoted the learning process more than the smart glasses. The self-efficacy results for mobile device use were higher, especially related to device handling and operating the AR environment. The pilot study gives educators valuable insights on the usability of AR technology in guiding laboratory tasks, although future work should involve larger and more diverse samples, as well as different learning tasks.
... VR initiates the learning process by requiring students to apply more than one sense, which increases their attention and helps them entirely focus on learning goals (Üstün 2022). VR can also provide cost-effective learning methods in a safe environment (Bonde et al. 2014). For instance, medical students can practice several surgical scenarios created by VR technology and gain knowledge and skill in a safe virtual operating room environment. ...
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This study aims to fill a gap in current research on virtual reality (VR) by developing a valid and reliable educational VR acceptance scale based on the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model to measure the level of students’ acceptance and use of VR systems. In three phases, the reliability and validity studies of the scale were performed with a total sample of 440 second, third, and fourth-year undergraduate students studying at various faculties in the 2021–2022 academic year. The face validity and content validity of the scale were examined by obtaining expert opinions. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was carried out with the first group of samples (n = 186) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was carried out with the second group of samples (n = 219). After conducting EFA, the scale had four factors with 18 items, explaining 67.62 percent of the total variance. According to CFA, the construct of the 4-factor with 21 items scale had a good fit with the data. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and test–retest methods reliability coefficient of scale that were calculated to determine the reliability of the measurements were found to be .88 and .89, respectively. The discriminatory power of the items was examined by comparing the participants’ bottom 27 percent and top 27 percent and calculating adjusted item-total correlations. The findings revealed that the educational UTAUT-based virtual reality acceptance scale was a valid and reliable instrument to measure students’ acceptance and use of VR systems.
... Η ΕΠ έχει βρει πεδίο εφαρμογής στα περισσότερα γνωστικά αντικείμενα και βαθμίδες της εκπαίδευσης, ενώ έχει χρησιμοποιηθεί με θετικά αποτελέσματα σε τομείς, όπως τα Μαθηματικά και η Ιατρική (Vaughan et al., 2016), κάτι που δεν είναι τυχαίο. Πολλές μελέτες για τις εκπαιδευτικές εφαρμογές της ΕΠ παραθέτουν θετικά ευρήματα, όπως αυξημένη εμπλοκή με το γνωστικό υλικό (Bonde et al., 2014• Cheung et al., 2013• Thisgaard & Makransky, 2017, διασκέδαση (Ferracani et al., 2014), αυξημένα κίνητρα για μάθηση και διατήρηση των γνώσεων (Huang et al., 2010). Ακόμη, σύμφωνα με τους Hew και Cheung (2010) τα εικονικά περιβάλλοντα επηρεάζουν τη διάθεση, τα μαθησιακά αποτελέσματα και την κοινωνική αλληλεπίδραση των χρηστών. ...
... Η ΕΠ έχει βρει πεδίο εφαρμογής στα περισσότερα γνωστικά αντικείμενα και βαθμίδες της εκπαίδευσης, ενώ έχει χρησιμοποιηθεί με θετικά αποτελέσματα σε τομείς, όπως τα Μαθηματικά και η Ιατρική (Vaughan et al., 2016), κάτι που δεν είναι τυχαίο. Πολλές μελέτες για τις εκπαιδευτικές εφαρμογές της ΕΠ παραθέτουν θετικά ευρήματα, όπως αυξημένη εμπλοκή με το γνωστικό υλικό (Bonde et al., 2014• Cheung et al., 2013• Thisgaard & Makransky, 2017, διασκέδαση (Ferracani et al., 2014), αυξημένα κίνητρα για μάθηση και διατήρηση των γνώσεων (Huang et al., 2010). Ακόμη, σύμφωνα με τους Hew και Cheung (2010) τα εικονικά περιβάλλοντα επηρεάζουν τη διάθεση, τα μαθησιακά αποτελέσματα και την κοινωνική αλληλεπίδραση των χρηστών. ...
Facing up to the global challenges of designing climate-resilient biotech crops involves a great deal of out-of-the-box thinking. Extended reality is coming of age in digital agricultural biotechnology. Here, we seek to stimulate technological innovation by empowering future innovators, researchers, academics, and startups to think and partner creatively.
Laboratory experiences as a part of most U.S. high school science curricula have been taken for granted for decades, but they have rarely been carefully examined. What do they contribute to science learning? What can they contribute to science learning? What is the current status of labs in our nation's high schools as a context for learning science? This book looks at a range of questions about how laboratory experiences fit into U.S. high schools: What is effective laboratory teaching? What does research tell us about learning in high school science labs? How should student learning in laboratory experiences be assessed? Do all student have access to laboratory experiences? What changes need to be made to improve laboratory experiences for high school students? How can school organization contribute to effective laboratory teaching? With increased attention to the U.S. education system and student outcomes, no part of the high school curriculum should escape scrutiny. This timely book investigates factors that influence a high school laboratory experience, looking closely at what currently takes place and what the goals of those experiences are and should be. Science educators, school administrators, policy makers, and parents will all benefit from a better understanding of the need for laboratory experiences to be an integral part of the science curriculum and how that can be accomplished. © 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
For hundreds of years verbal messages - such as lectures and printed lessons - have been the primary means of explaining ideas to learners. In Multimedia Learning Richard Mayer explores ways of going beyond the purely verbal by combining words and pictures for effective teaching. Multimedia encyclopedias have become the latest addition to students' reference tools, and the world wide web is full of messages that combine words and pictures. Do these forms of presentation help learners? If so, what is the best way to design multimedia messages for optimal learning? Drawing upon 10 years of research, the author provides seven principles for the design of multimedia messages and a cognitive theory of multimedia learning. In short, this book summarizes research aimed at realizing the promise of multimedia learning - that is, the potential of using words and pictures together to promote human understanding.
Although much has been written about the ineffectiveness of schools in imparting cognitive skills, there is little reliable knowledge by which to judge such claims. While the typical school-effectiveness study focuses on variation in educational outcomes between organizational units, there have been few studies which compared "school" and "non-school" populations. The purpose of this paper is to assess the contribution of formal schooling to cognitive development. Using data from the sophomore cohort of the High School and Beyond project, we compare patterns of cognitive development for graduates and dropouts over a two-year interval. With the effects of social background, sophomore test performance, and prior academic adjustment controlled, the average difference in cognitive test performance that may be attributed to the effect of staying in school is about one-tenth of a standard deviation. Moreover, dropping out of school has its most severe negative effects on disadvantaged students.
Simulations provide opportunities for people to learn and to develop skills for situations that are expensive, time-consuming, or dangerous. Careful design can support their learning by tailoring the features of situations to their levels of skill, allowing repeated attempts, and providing timely feedback. The same environments provide opportunities for assessing people's capabilities to act in these situations. This article describes an assessment design framework that can help projects develop effective simulation-based assessments. It reviews the rationale and terminology of the "evidence-centered" assessment design framework, discusses how it aligns with the principles of simulation design, and illustrates ideas with examples from engineering and medicine. Advice is offered for designing a new simulation-based assessment and for adapting an existing simulation system for assessment purposes.
This article compares the impact on academic achievement of graduating from the academic, general, or vocational tracks or dropping out of high school, using data from the High School and Beyond Sophomore Cohort Base Year (1980) and First Follow-up (1982) surveys. The authors found that (1) the performance of students in all three tracks, whether or not they graduated, increased from the first to the second tests, (2) students in the academic track had the highest scores in the tenth-grade test and maintained them in the twelfth-grade test, (3) students in the general track began with and maintained higher test scores than did students in the vocational track, (4) graduates from the lower "adjacent" tracks scored higher than did the dropouts from the higher tracks, and (5) students who eventually graduated started with an achievement advantage over those who dropped out.
Science and technology plays a crucial role in resolving the economic, social and environmental problems that make current development paths unsustainable, but they are not sufficient to ensure economic growth, competitiveness and job creation. R&D and other S&T activities are not possible without human resources. If the R&D expenditure target of 3 % of GDP is to be achieved, ensuring there are sufficient human resources for research is a preliminary step in the right direction.
In recent years, multimedia learning, or learning from words and images, has developed into a coherent discipline with a significant research base. The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning is unique in offering a comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of research and theory in the field, with a focus on computer-based learning. Since the first edition appeared in 2005, it has shaped the field and become the primary reference work for multimedia learning. Multimedia environments, including online presentations, e-courses, interactive lessons, simulation games, slideshows, and even textbooks, play a crucial role in education. This revised second edition incorporates the latest developments in multimedia learning and contains new chapters on topics such as drawing, video, feedback, working memory, learner control, and intelligent tutoring systems. It examines research-based principles to determine the most effective methods of multimedia instruction and considers research findings in the context of cognitive theory to explain how these methods work.