A Primer for Transitioning to Online Science Labs: “Identifying Potential Types of Guidance for Supporting Student Inquiry when Using Virtual and Remote Labs in Science”

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Biological Sciences


This paper is in response to the manuscript entitled “Identifying potential types of guidance for supporting student inquiry when using virtual and remote labs in science: a literature review” (Zacharia et al., Identifying potential types of guidance for supporting student inquiry when using virtual and remote labs in science: A literature review. Educational Technology Research and Development, 63(2), 257–302, 2015) from a design perspective. The review article identified specific types of guidance to support all forms of inquiry in online labs within the computer supported inquiry learning (CoSIL) environments. During the sudden shift to digital educators and students faced challenges due to lack of preparation to cultivate skills for teaching and learning in the online format. Educators developing and delivering instructions require a range of tools to operationalize the inquiry process in online science labs. Application of the tools provided in this review will support educators venturing into designing online science labs for engaging learners in scientific inquiry. This review have immense impact on how instructors can provide guidance to support learners’ inquiry in online science labs. The limitations include further investigation and modification of several tools that the review provided for implementation in future. Further research is needed to design and facilitate model CoSIL environment for online science labs to support and sustain the process of inquiry learning. This review has significant implication in providing comprehensive information amidst traversing crisis in context to shifting to online labs for supporting inquiry phases as documented in the CoSIL research.



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Educational Technology Research and Development


At the time of publication, Suparna Chatterjee was affiliated with New Mexico State University.

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