Educator Insights: Using Lt’s online labs to increase student engagement during the pandemic

Dr Dawn Livingstone is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.

Over the last year, Dawn and Dr Celine Caquineau have collaborated with a team of course organizers to redevelop the delivery of practical classes in Biomedical Sciences, using Lt as a foundation for digital delivery.

Here Dawn reflects how students and staff responded to Lt as a learning medium.

Student satisfaction

Dawn found that student satisfaction scores were overwhelmingly positive.

"Most courses had a student satisfaction rating of 80 percent and some even had 100 percent!"

"This feedback is absolutely fantastic considering that this is a pandemic-hit cohort of students. Of course, they recognized that the social lab elements were missing due to lockdown rules, but overall students found the Lt experience hugely valuable. ”

Student engagement 

“What we found is that Lt really encouraged reflective learning. Students were thinking much more about what they were doing rather than just simply following a recipe sheet with the goal of leaving the lab as soon as possible! Many students commented that they felt like they were having a virtual lab activity instead of just sitting through another lecture."

"An added benefit is that students can choose where to do their lab and do it in their own time, suited to them. And of course, they can revisit the lab materials in Lt anytime they want.”



Related: What’s it like to use Lt as a student? “Great fun…the hands-on side of it really accelerates the learning” »

Staff feedback

“Our user experience from staff was largely very positive. The majority of staff found the Lt platform easy and intuitive to use."

"For me personally, I felt like I was putting together an experience rather than just collating information and this was definitely reflected in the student feedback!”

Staff time

“The Lt experience has made us realize that we do not have to be constrained by lab space and lab availability. Lt allowed us to accommodate a larger number of students within a lab session and we also had much more flexibility in how we design and deliver our online learning materials.

We were also able to get a lot of information about student performance and feedback within Lt; student assessment was an efficient process! ”

Related: Discover the Lt Human Physiology Collection »

Dr Dawn Livingstone,
Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences,
University of Edinburgh.
Dawn has been running the Junior Honours program in pharmacology for several years; she also teaches various aspects of endocrinology in a number of undergraduate courses, and has a research interest that spans these disciplines.

You can view Dawn's full talk at Lt Brain Trust for Europe here.

Related: Teaching practical lab-based courses during COVID-19


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