In episode 20 of Lit’EDTech, Daastan invites Dr. Najeh Alsahi– to discuss his study of a physics virtual lab. Dr. Alsahi is an Associate Researcher at Ajman University. With the shift from in-person to an online mode, it becomes important to chart out the trends and receptiveness towards this change.
Aim of the Virtual Lab
The main aim of the research is to categorize the:
“attitudes of undergraduate students in higher education institutions towards using the virtual laboratory in learning the physics course during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Thus, the focus is on how students react to the change, whether it is effective and to also take into account any other variables.
Studying the Virtual Lab: Methodology
As a case study, it adopts a “descriptive method approach by collecting measurable data that can be used for statistical analysis”. The modem of the analysis is Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. The study includes 370 undergrad students, and the main instrument used is a 30 item questionnaire.
Results of the Study
The study is still ongoing. However, the initial result signify that the students generally have a positive attitude towards the virtual lab. With a variable analysis, it is found that there is a statistically significant difference in attitudes due to gender. The females are more positive as compared to the males. Furthermore, other variables that seem to impact the positivity is the college they belonged to and their academic year.
Moreover, it signifies the benefits of online teaching by being convenient and flexible. However, there are also certain drawbacks. These drawbacks include the poor technological skills acting, inadequate preparation, software problems and a general resistance to change.
Clearly, the future of education includes a blend of technology and traditional methods of teaching in order to cover up for the weaknesses of both the systems.