Photo courtesy of Dr George Onyango, Kenyatta University
Laboratory-based science programmes have been challenging to deliver during the COVID-19 crisis, requiring educators to explore alternative ways in which to provide rigorous and productive learning experiences for students. With a view to addressing this challenge, COL’s partner Kenyatta University (KU) sought to test the feasibility of simulation-based labs using software, which offers high-resolution simulations and virtual labs that directly integrate with the higher education science curriculum.
During the first phase of the project, a feasibility study was undertaken by KU faculty members to test software efficacy for labs in Chemistry, Biology and Zoology courses, and to better understand their alignment with topics in the University courses. Based on the results of the study, faculty decided to move forward with the implementation of pilot projects involving students.
Dr David Porter, COL Senior Adviser: Higher Education, noted: “Results of the pilot project will assist in determining how to scale up the initial experience and expand the use of virtual labs as a component of lab-based science courses at KU and at other partner institutions in Africa.”