Teaching Lab Science Courses Online: Resources for Best Practices, Tools, and Technology. Jeschofing, Linda and Jeschofing, Peter, Jossey-Bass (2011).
Reviewed by Bruce Palmquist, Physics and Science Education
This is another in the series of Jossey-Bass Guides to Online Teaching and Learning. The authors are former college professors who founded Hands-On-Labs, Inc., a company that produces home lab kits for students taking online science courses. While the authors promote prepackaged lab kits as the primary curricular component of a successful online science course, they also provide an effective overview of other components of online course planning such as writing a syllabus, facilitating online discussions, and developing assessments. They address many possible obstacles to teaching lab science courses online and explore ways to overcome these obstacles.
Everyone in the online course planning process can benefit from sections in this book. Faculty members and administrators who are doubtful that science can and should be taught online should read chapters one and two. These chapters discuss common questions people have about teaching lab science online and even argue that student learning in online science courses, at least at the introductory level, could be better than face to face courses. Faculty members and chairs who are interested in converting their face to face lab science courses to online courses but are not sure what tools to use should read chapters three, four, and seven, which cover teaching software and lab facilitation options. In fact chapter four, Online Science Lab Options, should be required reading for all science instructors due to its extensive overview of a variety of alternative lab pedagogies. Current online instructors in any discipline would learn from chapters five and six and their general description of effective online teaching strategies. New online instructors can get practical tips from the online lab science teaching experts in chapter nine. Administrators and department chairs who would like a comprehensive model for implementing an online lab science program should read the appendix, a case study for placing microbiology completely online at Ocean County College.
Chapter 1: Why Teach Science Online
Chapter 2: Teaching Science: Online Verses Face to Face
Chapter 3: Specific Tools and Software for Teaching Online Science
Chapter 4: Online Science Lab Options: Pros, Cons, and Effectiveness
Chapter 5: The Art of Teaching an Online Science Course
Chapter 6: Promoting Academic Integrity in Online Science Courses
Chapter 7: The Art of Incorporating Online Lab Assignments
Chapter 8: The Evidence Supporting Off-Campus Science Labs
Chapter 9: Online Teaching Advice from the Pros
Chapter 10: The Tipping Point for Online Science is Now!
Appendix: A Case Study from Start to Finish: The Why and How of Placing Microbiology Completely Online at Ocean County College
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