The Go-Lab platform is a digital environment for inquiry learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The platform offers the largest number of online (virtual and remote) labs in the world. More than 600 online labs are available for primary and secondary school students free of charge. Go-Lab was developed in EU projects that were coordinated by the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Global measures against the coronavirus have caused the number of Go-Lab users to double in a short period of time.
Go-Lab collaborates with the most important providers of online laboratories throughout the world. UT researcher Ton de Jong: “At the moment, the Go-Lab portal is approaching 40,000 sessions a month; previously the maximum was around 20,000 sessions. And nearly 50,000 teachers are now registered with Go-Lab. This enormous increase in users is easily explained by the large number of students studying at home due to the coronavirus.”
Teachers can use Go-Lab to create online learning environments that combine online labs, multi-media materials (videos, audio, animations, etc.), and learning apps, allowing students to do their own lab experiments. The apps and multi-media data have been designed to support the learner’s inquiry process.
Thousands of Go-Lab online learning environments have been set up by teachers in numerous different languages. Close to 1,200 of these learning environments have been published (for use by other teachers) on the Go-Lab portal, and the numbers are growing rapidly, creating a community of Go-Lab teachers worldwide.
Go-Lab also offers a huge number of apps that help learners to do things like formulate hypotheses, design experiments, draw conclusions, or write up a research report. There are also special “learning analytics” apps that give students an overview of their learning activities or products, often in comparison with the behaviour and products of their classmates.
Students can conduct experiments safely and easily in online labs, enabling them to develop new knowledge on their own. Practical laboratories naturally help develop specific skills, such as using equipment and materials. But research has clearly shown that using online labs for developing inquiry learning has considerable benefits for students’ knowledge acquisition.
Want to try some of the free Go-Lab options? Click here.