How can you show students cellular reactions without using a microscope? Allow them to measure radiation without risking exposure? Bring students on a geographic journey into the past or permit to inject patients with medication without injury? Interactive multimedia allows you to bring your students into the laboratory, clinical environment, or other times & locations without danger or expensive equipment. Custom-produced media can also reduce course costs for students.

This past year, TLC instructional designers Stephen Fowler and Jonathan Shaloum collaborated with faculty in STEM, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences to develop interactive media to accomplish this and more.

Tom Riley, Chemistry Faculty, collaborated with the TLC to create a pH virtual laboratory experiment, where students use virtual litmus paper to test the acidity or alkalinity of various substances. Additionally, Riley and the TLC produced online lab experiments in chromatography and measuring radiation.

“Chemistry in an online environment is difficult to deliver. We used to make our nonmajors purchase a $70 lab kit to perform some of the experiments at home. It also required students to purchase nearly $100 worth of materials from a supermarket. Furthermore, students’ results were wanting. With our new simulations, the students get a less frustrating experience. It has also eliminated the hidden costs associated with the course. Now that our nonmajors course is just about complete, we look forward to reducing the costs of our other courses.”

-Tom Riley, Chemistry Faculty

Carey Fox, Biology Faculty, had a similar need for her online Biology 105 course. Students can now perform an online lab experiment that allows them to test and identify patients’ blood types and select compatible blood types for transfusion. They are also able to observe reactions at the cellular level.

“The blood typing interactive exercises allow biology students unique perspectives of the microscopic and macroscopic views of blood typing that they are not otherwise able to have outside of the clinical laboratory.”

-Carey Fox, Biology Faculty

Alexandra Tegethoff, Nursing Faculty, reported that students in Nursing 125 struggled with the mathematics required for medication reconstitution, and missed valuable lab time as a result. The TLC and Tegethoff collaborated to produce an online version of this lab skill so that students can practice it before going to the lab. Students now use lab time more effectively because they first perform the procedure virtually.

“The new animated medication simulation provides students with an opportunity to practice what they are learning in class in a format that allows them to take as much time and as many attempts as they need to become comfortable with the skill. Since implementation, we have seen an increase in students’ understanding of the concept.”

-Alexandra Tegethoff, Nursing Faculty

Contact the TLC about leveraging interactive multimedia in your course to reinforce skills, reduce course costs, and improve student outcomes.