Topic Area: Online Teaching & Learning
Laboratory classes are arguably one of the most difficult courses to transfer online - key hands-on experiences are inevitably lost in the process. However, all is not necessarily lost! With some creative thinking, a meaningful instructional experience can still be provided! This presentation will focus on how a core introductory laboratory course in the Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics program was adapted into an online course during the pandemic while managing to maintain student learning and engagement. This course is an essential component of our program, as it connects students with key skills and disciplines of laboratory medicine, allowing them to begin to plan their future career paths. Strategies discussed will include the use of online simulations, such as Labster, images for laboratory result interpretation, recorded videos of instructors performing laboratory activities, allowing for students to collect and evaluate real data, and opportunities to connect concepts and methods to real-world applications. The last point was achieved through inviting weekly visitors from our robust pool of alumni to discuss how they applied their BLD degree (including key concepts introduced in this course) to their career paths or advanced education. We will also discuss student feedback that we received from these experiences.