VIRTUAL LABORATORIES- A SOLUTION FOR TERTIARY SCIENCE EDUCATION IN BOTSWANA?

Abstract

The aim of this survey was to evaluate the suitability and acceptability of virtual laboratories as alternatives or supplements to the traditional physical laboratories in the teaching of graduates in laboratory-driven science disciplines in Botswana. Participants were drawn from three universities in Gaborone, Botswana. The majority of respondents (66.7%), were faculty staff members and the rest (33.3%), were postgraduate students or recent graduates (0-5 years) at Masters or PhD level in a laboratory-driven science discipline. The majority of respondents (55.6%) believed that the physical laboratories at their universities were not adequate to deliver effective training to postgraduate students in laboratory-driven science disciplines. Despite this, most respondents (52%) were confident that graduates in laboratory-driven science disciplines trained using current laboratory facilities at local universities were equipped to meet industry performance expectations. A significant proportion of respondents (75%), believed that virtual laboratories have a role to play in postgraduate teaching of laboratory-driven science disciplines in Botswana. In terms of the preferred implementation model, the vast majority (94.4%), of respondents favored the hybrid model combining the use of both virtual and physical laboratories as a permanent set up in the teaching of graduates in laboratory-driven science disciplines.

Keywords: Virtual laboratory, laboratory-driven science discipline, physical laboratory


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 29-43 (Download PDF)

Creative Commons Licence
This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License