Moving to Lt is the best way to update your LabTutor course.
Professor Andrew Subudhi's team at The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS), transitioned their human physiology course from LabTutor to our online learning platform, Lt.
Lt is the simplest option for replacing or updating LabTutor, so the move was easy and streamlined. Andrew explains how moving from LabTutor to Lt has paid off for the teaching team, their workload, and their students...
My name's Andy Subudhi. I'm the department chair and professor of human physiology and nutrition at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
#1: Lt comes with the same course content as LabTutor...and more
Making the switch from LabTutor to Lt was fast and very simple because Lt already includes updated and improved versions of all of the course content that was in LabTutor. We were able to just use Lt straight away - we didn't have to transition much material from LabTutor at all, because it was all already in Lt. Plus, Lt has updated images and videos and extra content and collections that LabTutor doesn't have.
#2: Lt is easier and faster to use than LabTutor
One thing I really like about Lt is that it is much quicker to modify and customize your work. It is so much easier to do than it was in LabTutor and then having to upload things. Now we can very easily create or edit in the program, make modifications, customize it to us, and deliver it over a number of different sections of classes with relative ease.
Compared to LabTutor, Lt's editing features are really useful for us to quickly edit a lab. In general, Lt has improved functionality and modern features and functions which makes it easy to create, tweak and update the course material compared to LabTutor. Overall, we do feel like there has been a big saving of time.
#3: Lt is quick to set up and get going
Time efficiency is critical for us because we all have so many things going on and we need to set up labs quickly and get them going. The lessons and labs that Lt comes with are all excellent quality so we didn't have to do extra work. I think we all recognized instantly that "Hey, much of the background work that we have to do to prep the labs is already done for us." Even some of the pressures of grading can be alleviated or helped with the Lt platform.
#4: Lt makes it easier to manage student accounts
As a former user of LabTutor one problem that we had was just maintaining a server constantly. It was more difficult to get students uploaded quickly and get their information into LabTutor and deliver on that platform. Where here, with Lt, I feel like we are much more efficient with how we handle the management of students and the delivery of the content. It is a lot more modern and normal.
#5: Lt is scalable when you need to grow, fast
Thanks to the modern functionality of Lt we've been able to scale up and manage the expansion of our course quickly and easily. We grew from a very small university to a medium-size university very quickly, so we needed a platform that would help us scale up. In the past it was just me on my own setting up demos - we didn't even have a physical lab! LabTutor worked OK for that. But then, all of a sudden, we built a lab and quickly went from basically no physical lab, to offering a lab to 500 students a year. We had been using LabTutor for some of our classes, but it wasn't easy scalable. The jump was just too big for us to develop a learning platform on our own, in that time so we were excited to find out about Lt and what it could offer.
#6: Lt easily connects to your existing PowerLabs and teaching hardware
We wanted to continue to give students the opportunity to use PowerLabs and other research-grade equipment. It is important to us that they get hands-on practical experience with something that they may actually be using as professionals. When we replaced LabTutor with Lt, there were no problems with Lt connecting to our existing PowerLabs. We didn't need to go to a big expense to change our hardware and it was a very easy, simple change over.
#7: Lt helps provide an engaging lab experience to a large number of students
At UCCS we have a large number of students that go through our human physiology class in their sophomore year - around 500 students each year. All of them come through the lab. We needed a learning platform that we could use to give them hands-on experience in their labs, and that is where we find Lt invaluable.
We break students into lab groups of about 24, and we have eight Lt stations set up in the lab. Students work in small groups of 2 or 3 at each Lt station. Their instructions are all in Lt so they can log in and start working on the lab straight away, at the pace that is right for their group. It means that our lab instructors can give a more engaging experience to a much larger number of students because they aren't caught up dealing with technical questions and issues about equipment.
#8: Lt helps students prepare for learning in class
Lt is online so students have access to material before they come to the lab. We require them to do some pre-lab material such as reading and then some pre-lab quizzes as well. We can check it has been done. It's really useful and the students have found that to be beneficial because it means when they actually do arrive in the lab for their actual lab section, they're better prepared.
#9: Lt helps create consistency across your curriculum
Working online with Lt makes it easier for the team to make sure we are providing a consistent curriculum across all of our sections, no matter who is teaching. With Lt being online and easy to access and manage it means that teaching assistants, lecturers, and instructors can come in, they can get up to speed quickly on the Lt platform and the hands-on day-to-day stuff is standardized.
That's huge because now I know that what students get in class A is the same as in B and C. We sometimes have 20 sections running in a semester and I know that students are getting the same across all the sections. That's huge for me and that's a big change from before, where things could be different from day to day, just depending on how it went.
#10: Lt helps your team to collaborate and share the workload
Our team are able to work together to share the workload of creating and managing our labs because Lt is online. In the past and with LabTutor, the work was very intensive on individual faculty members to physically go in and set up, and get things going, and create things. That's changed because Lt is cloud-based and we can share our work now. It feels more collaborative and has resulted in large time savings for individuals.
Personally, I don't spend as much time preparing labs! That's the biggest thing that I see. In the past it was me and probably one other person that would spend an inordinate amount of time in the labs, getting things set up, trying to do something all by ourselves. Now a lot of the administrative end of setting up a lab and managing the lab has been taken off of an individual's shoulders because, with Lt being accessible online, the wider teaching team can pitch in to help. Those of us who were used to the old way of doing everything by yourself and taking hours to do it have seen a huge benefit in terms of workload since moving to Lt!
Andy Subudhi, Ph.D., is the Department Chair and Professor of Human Physiology and Nutrition at UCCS.
His research focuses on cerebrovascular, cardiopulmonary, and neuromuscular adaptations to high altitude in collaboration with the University of Colorado Altitude Research Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus.