Hand-on Science Labs Upgrade Online Learning

Provided by Ocean County College

Since 2006, Ocean County College has been designing lab-based biology, chemistry, and physics distance learning courses to include the full complement of offerings in its college catalog, thus making it possible to earn an associate in science degree entirely online.

“Aside from a pedagogically rigorous course construction, the key to the success of our distance learning science courses is the use of Hands-On Learning’s Cloud (Denver Colorado) a virtual platform that serves as a valuable resource for the labs that HOL produces,” said Marc J. LaBella, Associate Professor of Biology, e-Learning. According to LaBella, the Cloud removes the limitation on what learners can access in terms of support materials and is fully integrated into Ocean County College’s existing learning management system, Canvas.

The HOL Cloud works in conjunction with the unique laboratory kits that Ocean County College employs in these courses, the content of which is aligned pedagogically with laboratory exercises performed in face-to-face classes. “These kits provide the same reinforcement as a traditional brick and mortar lab, and in many cases, allows learners to experience these labs on a much deeper level. Essentially, our learners have access to lab equipment and specimens at any time, as opposed to once a week (or just once), as in traditional face-to-face laboratories,” LaBella explained.

“These kits and supporting Cloud materials are constantly being updated by professionals in the sciences, so we are confident that our learners are receiving a pedagogically sound lab experience,” added LaBella.

For information on Ocean Online, visit www.ocean.edu or call 1-866-660-2108.