1. What is Remote Lab? 
  2. Supporting Technologies
  3. Making it work
  4. Case Studies / Examples
  5. Other Useful Links

What is Remote Lab?

For some types of labs, it may be possible to facilitate them remotely in a similar way to how they would be facilitated face-to-face. This is most applicable to software-based labs or ones where software can be used to remotely control physical equipment. In all cases, it is advisable that the instructions be pre-recorded and made available to students in advance to allow the maximum amount of time to be devoted to the actual activity.

With a software-based lab, students work on their own computer and Collaborate or Zoom is used to allow the student to share their screen when asking questions or explaining their work. In order to reduce distraction to the wider cohort, breakouts should be used when working with individual students.

The method for a remotely controlled lab would depend on the mechanism for remote control but would be even more dependant on a pre-recorded introduction because the students are likely to be undertaking the activity over a more extended period than would be the case in a face-to-face situation. In this case, a mechanism for support should be agreed with the students, such as a scheduled Collaborate or Zoom drop-in or a Q&A discussion board on Blackboard.
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Supporting Technologies

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Making it work

  • Read the general teaching activity considerations for advice relevant to all approaches
  • Make sure that the progress of all students is checked because it isn’t possible to use the same cues as in a face-to-face situation, such as looking over their shoulder or checking body language
  • Ensure that students have access to the required software in advance of the session and provide clear instructions beforehand
  • Consider whether students can support each other with some of the technical aspects of the lab

Case studies/examples

Other useful links

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This model is part of Practice

Students developing practical skills through experimentation and experience.

Other models in this learning activity type: Live practical and Simulated practice

Other Learning activity types