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Online Course Development Delivery Science Labs

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Online Course Development  Delivery Science Labs


Bob Nash: Alright folks, my name is Bob Nash. I am
the Dean of Academic Affairs with the California Virtual Campus Online
Education Initiative. And today we’re here to talk about something very
important to us and our students. How we develop and deliver online science labs
fully online. Right now we have several colleges doing online science … fully
online science labs in several different ways which we’ll learn about. But still
there’s a scarcity of this course that satisfies GE requirements for UC and CSU
statewide. In fact, if you go to CVC.edu and use the Finish Faster tool, as many
students do, to find the course they cannot find online at their home college,
we find that there are three bottleneck courses that are most searched for.
Public speaking online, math online, and online science labs. And for students who …
who really find it extremely difficult to come to a campus for
whatever life reasons, or those who cannot leave home and want to finish
their degrees in any reasonable amount of time, this is very important. So to
increase the inventory of these courses … quality courses … statewide for these
students, will help increase completion and speed to completion. And I will just
introduce them by name first and then I’ll make a few remarks and we’ll go
back and one by one they’ll speak to you. But we have Crystal Jenkins
from Santa Ana College, Kelly Ruppert here from Coastline College, Roy Mason at
the end from San Jacinto College, and Tanya Murray also from Coastline … have
been teaching online science for several years and they have some tips and
strategies they’re going to share with you. But first let me give you some
background that should help… help you digest this conversation. First to
confirm two years ago, the Chancellor of the CSU system did confirm for all of us
that a course, be it online science labs or others, that is fully vetted through
its community college curriculum committee is transferable. It can be on-site, hybrid, or online – it is fully transferable. That was a question many
years ago, it is no longer a question. These courses are transferable. Secondly,
I’d like to remind you that there are alternative ways to account attendance
and compute FTEs for science labs that Title 5 allows us. We don’t have to
count butts in seats positive attendance for these fully-online distance labs. And
these are links in the presentation that you can go to and get the original
documents. Secondly for our guidance in developing these courses, I recommend
that you go to the CID descriptors that have been prepared for us. There are not
a lot of them in the science lab area but there are a few … for instance, geology
is up there. You can see a CID descriptor for geology and it reads a lot
like a course outline and it describes many of the things they’re looking to
see in a transferable geology course for GE credit. CID is part of the transfer
model curriculum that produces our ADTs. And lastly, the guiding notes for general
ed also offers some guidance for those developing online science labs. And if
you go to that document you’ll see must be associated with a lecture component,
either concurrently or a separate course. Course outline must clearly distinguish
the lab parts of that. Lab manuals are required and and yet there is no
explicit description for or against hands-on so that opens the door for
virtual labs which will be discussed today. I want to also send you to this
resource the Statewide Academic Senate recently surveyed a number of science
instructors statewide asking this question: Whether or not you teach online
science labs. If you teach it, how do you do it? If you’d like to teach it, how do
you think it might be done effectively? And those survey results are very
informative and I consider that this might help you as you develop
courses and deliver them, as well. Keep in mind these will be accepted for transfer
among the UCs and CSUs, but some of the private colleges have their own
articulation issues so your counselors need to be involved in this and
they’ll they’ll know where the bumps in the road are. And lastly, this is the
beginning of this conversation, not the end. We’re going to create an online
space, a community of practice, for those instructors who are either teaching
online science labs now or thinking of doing that. Faculty to faculty sharing …
we’ve created a portal and if you … there’s a sheet going around … Kate Jordahl has a sheet going around. Give us your name and college email
address and we can in the sense enroll you in that and you can begin sharing
and discussions … sharing resources, best practices, questions, answers … and I’m
going to solicit these folks to be in there, too, to continue the conversation.
Alright, now each of our panelists will have five minutes to present just some
summary nuggets of wisdom, tips, and strategies. That’s going to take about 20
minutes and then we’re going to open it up for questions and comments from you
the audience, back and forth, alright. First up, Crystal Jenkins, Santa Ana
College.
Crystal Jenkins: Okay, so tell me if you can’t hear me and I’ll try and speak a little
bit louder.
Bob Nash: Just put it close to your mouth. Crystal Jenkins: Close to my mouth … (there you go) Okay, so I teach
a GE chemistry course chemistry in the community at Santa Ana College and it
consists of both an online lecture and an online lab. And so, what I wanted to
share with you are just some bits of information that I think faculty should
know before they consider teaching a chemistry course online.
So my first nugget of information was that it takes time. We tell students all
the time that online classes sometimes take more time than face-to-face classes.
I want to let the faculty know that, too. That I have found in teaching chemistry
online that it requires a lot more time on my part than it does if I were to
teach that same class in person. And I’ve kind of figured that it’s possibly due
to the fact that I now am interacting with students one-on-one instead of 1 to
30. So I want you to be aware that it does take a lot of time for the grading,
for the online discussions, for even preparing the material that you’re going
to present online, and especially if the class has an online lab. Now consider the
time that you spend one-on-one with each student in completing
their labs because they have questions that have to be addressed individually,
also. Okay my second nugget was discussion board topics. Students since
the first time I taught the class … they’re all like, well, the discussion
board topics really have nothing to do with what we are learning in the class.
You know we have to have these discussion boards so that there’s some
interaction between you and the other students, too. So make them relevant. Try
and find things that you think your students are going to be interested in
talking about. And it takes some time, you have to teach the class maybe several
semesters before you come up with ideal discussion topics. It’s kind of like a
hit and miss type of thing. After three or four years of doing this now I think
I have about six or seven really good discussion topics that get the class
going as they’re building this online community.
The third nugget is, I think the online hands-on experience for the experiments is great. That’s the one part of the class that the students tell me
every semester they really enjoy. Doing the experiments at home, that gets them
even considering maybe science is something they want to get involved with
as a major. And it’s not only them, when they’re doing these experiments in home …
at least fifty percent of my students every semester say, oh, my daughter did it
and she loved it, oh, my son watched me and now they want to…I’ve got to go out
and buy more things for them to do, too. Okay, so there’s some other
advantages … pros that come along with being able to do it
hands-on, but if that student intends to take any other chemistry courses, now
they at least have some basic knowledge about glassware, making measurements,
using significant figures. They had this in their hands and they felt it, so
there’s an advantage to having hands-on experience in the lab, too. We use the eScience lab kit for our hands-on lab experience in our class. Okay, number four
tell me if I’m running out of time, I’m trying to speak quickly. I’m good.
Alright, so my fourth nugget is student verification and identification … it’s
difficult but it’s possible. So that was one of the issues that we
have with any online class, right? How do I know that it’s actually my student
doing the work? How do I know that it’s actually my student taking the test? How
do I keep my student from cheating on their exams, right? Those are always
concerns. So in my class, I have designed the class knowing that my students are
going to use their books and materials during their quizzes. So I don’t have
exams throughout the semester … I have quizzes and they’re module quizzes. The
class is eight weeks, the students take seven quizzes. And in the instructions I
tell them, get your books, get your materials. Be prepared for this quiz, you
have 30 minutes to finish it. Knowing that they are going to use the materials
for the quiz. And so on those quizzes, I don’t do verification. It can be done,
but I don’t because of how the quizzes are set up and they are roughly 10% of
their course grade. But, my final exam is verified, and my final exam the students
have about 60 minutes for a 50-question exam which is verified by Proctorio
online. Students have to show their ID, they are watched by webcam, they are
listened through their microphone, and Proctorio watches their eye movements
and their head movements and lets me know if the student has done things that are
cheating so I can go back and look later. Alright okay, so those are my pieces of
wisdom.
Bob Nash: Proctorio, yes actually and there among the … if you’re a consortium college with
CVC-OEI, it’s among our ecosystem products for consortium members and
there’s a discount through the College Buys Foundation, as well, for any
California Community College to use that tool. Alright, thank you. Hold your
questions, we’re going to get those at the end. Now, next up Kelly Rupert from
Coastline geology.
Kelly Rupert: Right, yes … yeah. Hello, I do teach a geology lab and lectures
for Coastline Community and I’m gonna actually piggyback off something Crystal
said which is … the first one, is it’s very wise to plan your
assignments, quizzes, exercises very carefully. So when I first started
teaching the labs I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to grade and monitor.
So I’ve come up with a way to … what the students do is they’ll do their lab in
their lab manual. And they actually get like a rock kit and a bunch of
topographic maps and all sorts of things that they’re interacting with just like
they would do in a standard lab class. I think it’s a little easier than maybe
chemistry would have for things like that. And they do their assignment just
like they would do in a normal traditional lab and then what they’re
with their graded on is actually a quiz where I ask them questions that they can
only answer if they completed that assignment correctly. And I didn’t want
to have to grade the answer granite … you know 25 times by hand, that seems silly,
so what I do is I give them lots of entries like it’ll say you know sample
4, this was a … and then they type it in. And so I go through and there’s you know
ten possible answers … granite all caps, granite’s all lower case, granite with
a capital G, you know … any possible combination that they could have done to
make that answer still correct. And so that really cuts down on my grading time
and then I always have a few questions for each lab that is just a free
response and then I hand-grade those. So they’re still getting some interaction
and feedback from me, but I spend my time wisely on those and let the technology
grade granite 14,000 times for the next ten years. And, along with that they get
initial feedback, right, so you can put things in right away where they know
right away if they got that answer right or wrong and I’ll talk more about why
that’s important in a second. So that’s my first one … that’s what I wanted to say
about that. The second one is to choose your course materials carefully. So at
least for geology, I would not be able just to take a standard lab book and
make that into a class that I think would be okay for my geology students.
The science I teach is extremely visual and so the lab manual that I’ve chosen,
and I was lucky enough to actually get to work on, has a ton of supplementary
materials … have a lot of videos, there are frequently asked questions where
professors were interviewed with the topics that are very commonly
misunderstood and the instructors are standing up
there talking about you know how you know magma cooling works or whatever
the topic might be that tends to be pretty confusing. And so I have a lot of
supplementary material. So they have the presentation in the lab manual plus a
lot of visuals that go along with that. And that’s only accomplished by picking
something that offers that. It’s just very time-consuming to do that on your
own … especially with having to close caption everything and to keep things
compliant and so I’m very lucky to have a manual that’s very good at supporting
that. The one trade-off for that is that it can be kind of expensive … the students
have to pay for all of that but there was a lot of time that went into
developing that and I think is really the only way you can do a class like
that. Otherwise they’re gonna spend the gas money to get to class, right? So
they’re gonna be spending in an access code instead. So that would be my second
one, the third one is to plan to check your email a lot and grade
submissions quickly. And so I have the added challenge of … I teach this class in
a regular distance learning class, but I also teach it to military students. And
so they oftentimes are gone for a couple weeks at a time and then they have to
kind of do like a summer school approach where they’re doing lots of lessons very
quickly. So on top of the challenge … I can’t always set firm dates for stuff. I
have to be more flexible than I think other classes have to do. I do need to
respond to them very quickly. I don’t want them waiting even 12 hours for an
answer back, so I check my email when I … right before I go to bed at midnight. I
check it first thing in the morning, I check it several times through the day. A
lot of times I don’t have to answer anything back right away but when I get
those emails coming in I feel it’s very important for me to answer back quickly
because if you’re in an actual lab … you have a three-hour lab … they get the
answers immediately. They get stuck at home … there’s nothing they can do until
you answer them back. And so I think the commitment to teaching an online lab is
that you have to be willing to interact with your email … through discussion
boards, whatever … very very quickly and be available for that. And I think that’s
what I wanted to say at least initially. Bob Nash: Very good, thank you. Tanya or Kelly … Tanya
later. But right now, Roy Mason.
Roy Mason: Well thank you, is that on? (yes, it is) Okay good, it was about 16 plus years ago that our vice
president came to the Biology Department and said we have this exciting new
challenge for you … our institution, Mount San Jacinto College, wants a fully online
transferable associate degree and your non-majors biology class has been chosen
as the course that we’re gonna offer for this laboratory science credit. And of
course being the good faculty we all said, over our dead bodies …
there’s no way in H that you’re gonna have an online laboratory course. So
after we were promised some new materials and some cute computers … I
still I still have the old laptop that’s … and it is still running that … that I got for
doing this … we said, alright, we’ll try it. So that was how we started this
whole thing. It was… it started as we want it to be college transferable. And I just
brought a couple of our things along here, you guys have all seen these
IGETC requirements and the CSU transfer requirements. And every one of
these requirements has that science inquiry requirement. You gotta have a lab
course and so we actually sat down and said, okay we’ve had lab courses forever
we gotta to put them online so how are we gonna do that? And of course we start
out by just saying, okay, we’re gonna take what we do on campus and we’re
gonna put it online. And that did not work … it was just a total failure. So it
was good for our faculty to sit down and say, what are our expectations of
the students doing laboratories? … the laboratories we have on campus for a non
major, as well as what those laboratories were gonna be online. And so what we
came up with that is that idea, it’s scientific inquiry – you gotta use
the scientific method. That’s what … that’s what separates our classes from all the
rest of the courses that you see on these transfer sheets. And so that was
what we as a science faculty said, it’s got to be something that gives them
actual scientific inquiry, asking the … formulating the question, asking the
questions, formulating the hypothesis, observing
the interactions that are going on, getting results, and then
looking at … drawing conclusions about what those hypotheses were. And so
that’s what we started out with. We wanted to make sure it was going to be
transferable and this was long before anything was being talked about. So we
went to our neighboring institutions, we went to our faculty members at UCR, we
went to our faculty members at Cal State San Bernardino, at Cal State San Marcos
and said, okay you guys we want this to transfer to your institutions, what do
you expect? And all of them, as well as all of us, said we want authentic
laboratory experiences … hands-on. We want our students to manipulate the tools of
science. We want our students to … to have experience with the chemicals, with
the actual materials that they would do there. And so okay, we said, let’s … let’s
try that. At that time there was very little in virtual and I know I think
we’re gonna talk a little bit about virtual. We have nothing against virtual
but I was thinking about this … we’re at Disneyland and I remember when our
children and their long grown adults now … but our children wanted to go to
Disneyland the first time. And they saw Disneyland on TV and they
wanted to go and they wanted all those things. It’s a very different experience
of seeing it on TV and going to Disneyland. And it’s exciting, but our
kids weren’t ready to stand an hour in line to go on things. They they weren’t
ready to have the actual Disneyland experience … it is the fun … it’s the
excitement but there’s also a lot of other things there. It’s like it’s like
the cooking shows … in the cooking shows oh and they just do this and they just
do this and in five minutes you’ve got this great thing. And my wife says, well,
why don’t you make that?, you know? Alright … it’s a very different experience when
you have the hands on to do it. The experience has to be real so that’s what
that’s what we said … our labs have got to be real. So we decided to … we are going to
do our lab kits and and I had my instructional aides and I … we sat down we
put together those kits all in our labs and and we sent them out. We did that
first class … 30 students and that was done in 2004. After two
semesters of that, my eyes said no more we’re not doing this and I said thank
you, we got to do something else. So we contracted with another group to
do it and that happened to be Ward’s. We did that, but there was a problem … we
still had that problem with the lab manual and what was going on. And so that
comes to to the idea of how do we engage all learners? And what we came up with
three years ago is, I went and I explored many many of the products and we came up
with the eScience lab kits. And I brought some of those materials here
today, you guys, just to show them to you. But I also brought my onions.
Bob Nash: Yeah, we can smell them, Roy. Roy Mason: It’s one thing for a student to look at a picture of a single cell,
it’s another thing for them to pull an onion apart and see a one cell thick
thing. They can’t get this experience virtually. It’s one thing for them to talk about photosynthesis and how photosynthesis relates to the living systems that this thing has to do.
What compares this thing to this thing … what is … what is real. It’s one thing for
you to talk about mitosis in onion root tips. It’s a whole other thing for a
student to see the onion root tip and see how that onion root tip connects to
the onion itself and connects to the part of the plant that’s actually doing
the photosynthesis and how that energy is transferred from the sun to this
plant to … to us. And so that’s the experiences that we wanted to have for
all students. And the one thing that we really liked about the laboratory … the eScience kits was they not only produce the materials that come with it so that
you can see the difference between 100 milliliters and 10 milliliters, but they
also produce the lab kit, the lab the laboratory manual that goes with it. And
that manual is 100% ADA II required. It takes all of that out of our hands. It
takes all of that out of the content professional and gives them their … and
they have content professionals … PhDs in biology who have done
these things. Those that then took that away from us so now we know that our
course … we serve over 600 students a year and in our online sessions we know now
that our course is available to all of our students. They’re totally ADA
compatible and they give that authentic real science experience to our students
that our transfer cousins wanted us to do 15 years ago. Thank you.
Bob Nash: All right, thank you thank you, Roy. I just just want to tell you eScience did
not pay for this presentation. Roy brought that, that’s the kit he uses. I
think Kelly use from Kendall Hunt, is that the kit you use? There are several
vendors in this space, okay, we all know that but just wanted to make that clear.
All right, let’s move on. We have Tanya Murray from Coastline also teaching biology.
Tanya Murray: Hello, thank you. I’m glad that I follow Roy because I can add to many of his
approaches and actually contrast. We do a little different approach in biology. We
have a similar objective, however we’re getting our non-majors through this
requirement and it has been … one pro in having the labs online is that we can
reach more people in a variety of different situations where they might
not have been able to otherwise overcome any difficulties to get to the classroom.
And we can now share many really important aspects of science with a much
broader part of our community and our population. So that is one of the
positive things about having our … some some of our labs online. I think all of
the panelists, as we chatted a bit before we started, agree that this is most
appropriate for the non-major level. At the major level there are a lot of
laboratory skills in the sciences that must be experienced so we all have … have
participated in this at the non-major level. I would also like to echo Crystal’s
comments on the amount of time investment. It is often viewed by both
students, I think, and professors that it will be easier to pick up some online
courses in addition you’re already teaching and supplement
whether you’re trying to meet requirements as a student or whether
you’re trying to fulfill LHEs as a professor. But it does take quite a
bit more time because you … you don’t have that four to five hour window where
you’re in class. So you have to think about that and schedule those four to
five hours in your week. And that gets surprising when you sit down to actually
start doing your regular substantive interaction which we are … importantly, as
we should, … required to do. So one of the ways that we approach that in Bio 101 … in
my class I have both the lecture and the lab combined. And that’s nice because we
can very easily add an interactive activity which is our lab activity onto
whatever content we’re teaching in the lecture section. Each of our modules in
our 16 weeks, students are required to to complete one module a week. In our
eight-week courses they have to accomplish at least two a week. So for
each beginning of the module, we have a video that is sent to them in both an
announcement and available in their module page. They watch a brief video
there, you have guided note-taking as they’re watching that. Videos rarely
last more than five minutes. We know the attention span, even of ourselves, which
is sadly shortening. So we try to keep those very short, but it’s a it’s a nice
way to really reach them with a visual that we would have normally given them
in a face-to-face situation to help them really see the concepts that they’re
about to dive further into. Then we do a brief quiz on that. We grade those each
week, and that was a challenge getting used to … yes, every morning for two hours
I need to be online addressing those answers and and grading those quizzes so
that the students know as they are completing that module where they might
need to adjust their understanding. And then I also often post commonly missed
or common misperceptions in the modules content in a forum that I call Fuzzy
Topics. And so they should be reviewing those before each quiz and exam.
There are also labs that will require grading and then we have discussion
forums and our discussion forums in … depending on the course, may be weekly if
we don’t have the video concept assessment, or they may be at least five
through … scattered throughout the … the session. And those tend to be some of the
most rewarding ways to interact and have regular substantive interaction with our
students. And it’s also a very rewarding way to teach concepts in a way that is
very relevant to their lives. So for example, we have approximately six
discussion forums in our Bio 100. We include topics such as genetics and
personalized medicine, the human microbiome, evolutionary anachronisms, and
the role of ecosystem engineers. So all of these things are relevant to either
their personal health or the environment that they see around them and we get
fantastic participation. We have really great discussions and I keep that
discussion forum open for a very short period of time to force everyone to
participate within a window of time so it really is like having a face-to-face
discussion. As we move into discussing some of the delivery methods, we have
steered away from the lab kits only because … well for two reasons but the
main reason is we’ve tried to reduce costs to our students. The textbooks just
have soared out of reasonable price ranges, so we’ve really tried to be able
to provide affordable mechanisms for the students. Cutting back on textbook costs
and it’s also an impact to our environment that I think can be avoided.
Lab kits, I do agree that eScience is one of the best ones that we have come
across. We would like to use those however not only the cost is concerning
but also the fact that we teach an eight-week course of the same six week
Bio 101 that we’re trying to keep standardized across all of our
sections. And so having that much shorter time, plus our military students, we’re
worried that the the kits might lag in in enough time getting to them, or the
students might lag in ordering their materials such that half of the semester
could be gone before they’re … they’re really having the materials that they
need. So we’ve steered away for those for now.
We have completely open education resources for all of the science courses
that I teach currently. So we use virtual labs and in those virtual labs there are
lab manuals that … that go along with each exercise. And in order to then
also document the student work, we also use Proctorio. We have them show their
student ID. We have them have closed notebooks. We do not allow another window
to be opened. I always tell them I’m just trying to avoid you Googling all the
answers for your Bio 100 course and I want you to read, think about it, write
your notes, learn from your mistakes, and then apply that to your exams and your finals.
Bob Nash: All right, thank you, Tanya. It’s time now for questions, comments. So I
know some of you probably teach science. You probably teach online, some of you
don’t. Any question or comment that’s relevant about science labs online.
Audience member: Hi, I’m Bobbie Gray from Riverside City College and I teach chemistry and I’d
like to know how you guys make sure that your students are the ones who are doing
the labs at home. So say I wanted the students to do a titration, how do I know
that it’s that student who’s doing the titration? Do they video themselves and
send it in like a little short clip or how does that work? Crystal Jenkins: So my students have
to document their lab work and I allow them to document it one of two ways, either with photographs or with a video. So quite often most of my students will
choose video and it’s easy for them to record themselves on their laptop webcam.
And so I actually see the student doing the lab. Those who do the photography … I ask that they do include some photographs
where I can see them in the photographs, also. But half of the photographs are
going to be of each of the measurements that they record so if it’s a volume and
a cylinder, I need to see the actual cylinder with the volume … the meniscus. If
it’s a mass on a scale they photograph the mass on the scale where I can read
the actual digital number. So I see my students in their lab journals when they submit them to me.
Bobbie Gray: Okay, thank you.
Bob Nash: One here and I think the… yes, she was next. Audience member: I just had a quick question for Tonya. Um, you mentioned you keep the discussion
board post to a short time frame. Do you mind sharing with us that time frame? Tanya Murray: Sure, so our a regular module will begin on a Monday and end on a Sunday. And then,
within that module they’re required … the discussion forum opens on that Monday
and then closes Friday at midnight. So they’re also required to make their … you
have to make two posts, one addresses whatever the topic is and whatever the
requirement is. That must be posted by Wednesday and then they have to respond
to another classmate by Friday. And … and I am inflexible in opening and letting
people jump back in unless it’s … it’s a technical issue which does happen from
time to time. Otherwise it’s … it’s inflexible. Sorry you can’t come back … and
it would be I explain to them it would be like walking into an empty room and
starting a discussion. Every … everyone’s left already.
Roy Mason: And I just wanted to echo that. We … our course is done in eight weeks, we have eight discussions.
The same kind of thing they have … they have three … they’re required to do three
but they have to do their original post by Wednesday. And then by Saturday they
have to do two more posts and talking to other students. And the way we
explain this is that that in our laboratories … classes, then you work in a
lab group and that’s the expectation that you’re going to be sharing those
ideas. So that we do basically the same thing with our discussions that way. One other thing I try and change my discussions
in the biology every semester so you don’t get people going to other classes
and and having seen that or they’re having friends that answered those
questions before. And I try and make it so that each semester there is something
that has happened in the news, and you can get all kinds of biology in the news,
something that has been very recent and have them always on the same topics, but
have them respond to those topics. So it’s just, again, keeping it relevant. Audience member: I actually have two questions. I teach meteorology at De Anza College and this
last year I actually launched an online weather and climate lab. And that being
said, I went to Finish Faster Online as you were talking about it
and looked it up and my class is not listed there. So, I’m kind of curious as to
why that may have happened or am I supposed to reach out to somebody to …
Bob Nash: You just did. Audience member: … make that happen? Okay, perfect. Bob Nash: So, Logan if you could note that so we don’t
forget. We’ll figure that out and make that right. Audience member: Okay that’s that’s awesome. Um, yeah, the other question I had was about lab manuals. So I just started teaching this
class online for the first time and I’ve realized that the lab manual that I use,
while it was good for the face-to-face classes where I could have people buy it
and share it and … there’s the thing now where students are allergic to textbooks.
They’re allergic to buying textbooks and if I require it they drop. So I’ve just …
but between that and the fact that the lab manual is written by people who love
to listen to themselves talk … it’s extremely wordy, very poorly written …
I’ve decided like … after having fifteen students drop the first week in the
add/drop period … Okay this lab manuals not working. That
being said, I want to create my own written labs now and is that going to be
a problem with the lab manual requirement? Like can I create
my own labs or kind of make it an OER or like what can i do to make that happen?
Bob Nash: Yes. Yes, the curriculum committee consult with your curriculum committee … your
department chair. The …the guideline by the way, not a requirement but it does
appear to be respected by both sides of CSU and community colleges, requires a
lab manual, right. But that can come in an electronic form, OER, publisher, written
by you. I mean ideally it’d be vetted by some other of your colleagues. Tanya, you
do the OER thing, right? Tanya Murray: That’s how we have managed all of our lab activities is we have the written assignment and the written … all the
information that accompanies it in an electronic document. And so that’s what
they’re … and then each document is then just plugged into that exact little slot
in the module that says this is lab number six it’s due on this day and
here’s your lab manual for it. And it’s just a PDF. They fill it out, they can take pictures, they can scan it, and yeah, it works very well. Bob Nash: You might …I doubt you’d get challenged on this but you might keep the document separate handy in case you’re ever asked
is there a lab manual. Yes, here … here is an electronic form. But in this way it’s
much more consumable for the student to have an electronic in each Canvas module
just in time as they need it. Audience member: That’s actually how I’m writing it is basically like a full on lab manual … so Bob Nash: Yes. Cyrstal Jenkins: I think OER is a great use a way to save money for the students which is one of the reasons we have it in my class,
also. But what we’ve done is all the lecture content is OER so we’ve gone
through and adopted an open textbook and I edited it to make it fit what I need
in my class. And I’ve offset the cost of the lab kit in the class that way since
the lab kit does have some cost to it. So there’s no textbook cost any longer to
help with that. Bob Nash: We have …
Roy Mason: Just one … one real quick comment there. Because we did that
for 13 years, one of the things we ran into is that our lab manual was not
ADA II compliant and you’ve got to remember that now you’re gonna be challenged on
that. And if you’ve got a picture there it has to be able to be there … it has to
be able to be read by a screen reader. If you have videos showing there, they have
to be ADA compliant. So … so that’s a big … that’s a big concern that that’s outside
of your content area that that you need to address. And I just wanted … because for
years we were kind of loosey-goosey on that and now, now it’s coming to – you gotta have it.
Bob Nash: And especially Roy, in science, right? Where you have diagrams,
visuals that are very difficult to … that cannot be explained in a very quick alt
tag. So as you, perfect … you’re developing your own as you think of that, visuals
are fine but make sure there’s text around that that’s can be read by a
screen reader that describe what the text is trying to convey. Yeah.
Audience Member: Hi, Jenna Trench, I teach biology at Cosumnes River College. I’m currently teaching
just the lecturer only 3-unit sections online, but we want to go to lab.
So Tanya, I wanted to know a little bit more about if you’re using the Open
Educational Resources lab, maybe a lab of your own publishing … which is how we do
it. We have our own lab manual. I’m wondering are … when you said virtual labs,
do you mean the students are just interacting with the lab material solely
online, or are they doing hands-on stuff or is it kind of a mix of both?
Tanya Murray: So I’m glad you asked that. We have, throughout the semester, for the
modules that require a lab activity sometimes we have them do a discussion
sometimes we have them do an actual lab. For the virtual labs, there are several
different providers who have usually received a grant and have been required
to develop open resources to share with the community. So, PHET out of Colorado
State University has a lot of really interesting labs for all the sciences.
There’s a lot of physics, there’s a lot of chemistry, there’s some biology. That’s
just one example and … and what those are is you enter into a virtual laboratory.
So it looks like you’re stepping up to a lab bench. You are then … the manual is
then attached to the side and a lot of times it looks like a little book and
you click on the book and you actually flip the pages. For example we have one
for microscopy and there’s a microscope, they’ll click on the objective, the
objective changes and shows them the slide image and then they refer to their
lab manual to learn more about what they’re looking at and then answer some
questions regarding that. So that’s the virtual space. When we’ve been able to
incorporate hands-on by requiring them to do an at-home experiment. So by about … depending on whether it’s eight or six-week with it, very early on in the
session they have to post what their question is and their hypotheses is in a
separate discussion forum for their … their experiment that they’re going to
do at home. And I love this activity because now you get to one-on-one say,
here’s where you’re missing the scientific method, here’s how you need to
change it a little bit to make sure you have one question,
you’re testing one variable at a time and you have a testable hypothesis. And
they learn so much by that process alone and then, as Crystal does, having them take pictures of their work. It’s really fun
to get to see these students at home with their their prize that they’ve
accomplished by … And they’re very proud and they do a fantastic job. And so that’s our on … our hands-on component. And, again, I think probably one of the most
valuable applications of the inquiry process.
Roy Mason: And again I’m going to add to
this I don’t want a badmouth virtual because we use a lot of virtual things,
too. But one of the things that we wanted to make sure our students understood is
the idea of unintended consequences. And the thing about virtual is virtual
always works. And we wanted them to understand that that’s not science, that
real science doesn’t always work. And so we have 18 labs in eight weeks that they
have to do and every one of those labs is based on the scientific method. You
gotta have a question, you gotta have a hypothesis, and then you got to observe
it. And you can’t just observe it with your eyes, you can’t just observe it with
your ears. You’ve got to touch it, you’ve got to smell it, you got to taste it. And
so that’s what we built our labs around. This idea that that we wanted authentic
science experience in parity with what our students were doing on campus.
Bob Nash: With microphones back here we have I hope someone’s keeping track of the … (multiple voices)
Since … since she has it, but you’re next. This guy’s next. Okay, please
Audience member: I’m sorry. Okay, Christine Hinkle from Saddleback College. I was just wondering if any of
your transfer partners are … have expressed concern about the labs going
online, or appreciation, either way? Bob Nash: Tanya?
Crystal Jenkins: I have to say that I haven’t heard anything at
all. Our lab meets all the requirements for transfer to both the Cal States in
our area and for the UCs. Matter of fact, my chemistry lab is a part of our online
degree pathway for our business admin majors … there are three degrees that do
that. And that lab is … that degree is fully accepted at Cal State Fullerton
into their online program, too. So we have not heard anything about ours it’s accepted everywhere so far. Bob Nash: As long as the community colleges curriculum committee develops a course outline of record and a DE addendum in the appropriate way to lead students to the SLOs, it is a local
decision what requirements they might put on their instructors. And if they do
it … if they do their job correctly, it is by definition transferable.
Roy Mason: And early on that was a problem but … but I think it’s been solved now. The only thing I
can say again we’ve been doing this for 15 – 16 years now,
I still get questions from out of state universities on it. And … and after you
send them the syllabus and tell you what they do, I’ve never had any one of our
courses not be accepted. But sometimes I have had questions from the departments
coming back to me and asking what did you do? How did … what did you experience?
Bob Nash: Especially from private colleges or out-of-state. Yes, all right, sir.
Audience member: Hi, my name is Neal. I teach chemistry and I’m curious about
like liability … so a student gets a kit and they get injured. Is it … what happens?
Crystal Jenkins: You know, that was one of the reasons why we were a little slow to do this. And so
that’s why I don’t have our own develop labs. I don’t have the students go out
and buy materials or glassware or chemicals or reagents, it’s all supplied
by eScience. The students and the liability, it’s between them and
eScience. So they have to go through a specific agreement with eScience. They
sign a contract with them, a safety contract that’s submitted to me. I keep
it on record, and any other liability issues or concerns they address
exactly … directly with the eScience. Neal: And then I have one more question. So if
you’re comparing these classes are together as you’d have an online option
and then a live version of a similar class, how do you feel these students
would compare against each other in terms of their skill sets?
Crystal Jenkins: Very comparable. A matter of fact, I have the online version and a colleague of mine
teaches one that’s face-to-face all OER, the labs that we’ve developed.
I’ve been very careful to make sure that the labs I’ve chosen are very similar
and comparable to the ones they do face-to-face. And I believe the student
success rate and what they’ve been able to achieve is pretty similar between the two classes.
Bob Nash: Regarding liability, it might be worth your while to consult the Risk
Services Department at your district or your college. Show them waivers that kit companies produce. I know… Tanya Murray: I ran into the same question and all of the providers … the proprietary providers said the same thing. That if I
sent them to go purchase things and they had gotten injured then we would be
liable. And we have no control over what they’re buying exactly and what they’re
using, but when it’s the kits, again the liability is with eScience and they
have the insurance and it all goes through them. And then just a personal
experience, in the comparison between virtual and online … and I was telling
them earlier, when I needed to take my organic chemistry requirement to go on
and apply to graduate school, I was pregnant and I lucked into a professor
who was experimenting with online virtual manipulations. And so I took my
whole organic chemistry with using virtual manipulations, of course I’m not
a chemistry major and I did not take all of my labs by any means virtually … just
that one. But my skill set has allowed me to to be where I am today.
Roy Mason: Very quickly on the comparisons I’m a biostatistician and so I was really concerned about that.
Are they in parity, are the student learning objectives the same? And so I
actually got a grant to look at that. I did … I taught two online sessions and two
on-campus sessions. Gave the exact same tests, they did the labs were in parity
with what they were doing … did the analysis of it. 15 lecture student
objectives, 10 laboratory student objectives and the comparisons came out
no statistically significant differences in any of it. Audience member: Hi, my name is Anna Heath and I also teach physiology, anatomy and basically advanced biology courses. One
question that I have … how is the collaboration factor in your online
classes? Because usually in the labs we have groups of lab mates that they
always critique each other and they kind of have this fun … something goes wrong or
something like that. I understand we can substitute that with the good discussion
platforms or signature assignments online, but I was always thinking that … is
that the concern for you that they just lack that collaboration, or if not, how do
you give that collaboration now that is necessary, I think, for our online classes?
Bob Nash: Let’s give Kelly a chance, too. Kelly Ruppert: No, geologists in the room so … (laughing) I probably take a not
very popular approach, but I’ll say it anyways. I … there is collaboration … you see
students that are working together and in their … the open I have a discussion
area where they can post questions each other and stuff. But I think about a
regular class, and in regular classes you have some people that prefer to work
alone. I’m not going to force people to work with someone. Because sometimes …
and same thing in a lecture class … so it’s a little different when you have these
online classes and we kind of forced everyone to talk to each other. And I
teach a class of 120 students at Cal State Fullerton every Wednesday night
face-to-face and I have a lot of students that choose not to interact
with other students … so I’m okay with that. I’m okay with some students
interacting when they want to and others not. Because I think that models what
happens into a face-to-face class. So in the online we … we require they do
some interaction but I’m not as concerned about it because I think it
models what we’re doing and face-to-face to begin with.
Crystal Jenkins: I think one way that you
can have that interaction occur is, with my labs … I have each lab that we have,
there’s a discussion board posted and it’s not graded, it’s no credit involved,
but it’s just share your results. And I like for them to take photographs of
their experiment and post them and share them with their classmates. And you find
that they all love to see what everyone else is doing and they do comment on it.
Bob Nash: Alright, we’ve run out of time but as promised this is not the end of this
conversation, it’s just the beginning so I hope you gave us your name and
college email address. We’ll log you into our community of practice portal for
faculty interested in or are teaching lab sciences. Thank you very much and
thanks to our panel. (Applause)

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