Businesswire | April 21, 2023
Labster the world's leading edtech platform for virtual labs and interactive science courseware, is rolling out a major free user experience (UX) upgrade that will improve the Labster platform for millions of students in high school and higher education institutions worldwide. The upgrade will be pushed automatically to users when they log into Labster and will impact more than 80% of Labster simulations across all devices and LMS systems, including the Labster app for iOS and Chromebook.
With Labster, students explore interactive simulations in state-of-the-art laboratories from their digital devices. But the advanced scientific concepts and lab techniques that Labster simulations bring to life can sometimes be challenging for students who are not as well prepared. Based on extensive feedback from both users and instructors, Labster has developed a new intelligent “hint and guidance” system that will nudge students in the right direction toward successful completion of their assignments when needed. Among other features, this includes helpful new indicators and suggestions for students who appear to be stuck or struggling.
Leveraging gamification techniques has been proven to boost student enthusiasm, engagement and learning outcomes. Labster offers 300-plus titles in its catalog of STEM curriculum-aligned virtual lab simulations in fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, and physics. Labster simulations are especially useful for pre- and post-lab assignments, so science department leads can fully optimize the time students spend on-site in high-demand physical laboratories.
“Labster plays an important role in helping students complete challenging STEM courses, so it’s critical that we leverage the power of our platform to support their learning and progress through each simulation,” said Michael Bodekaer Jensen, co-founder and CEO of Labster. “Our ultimate goal is for Labster to increase STEM student retention by encouraging students on their path to becoming the next generation of scientists to change the world. Our thanks go out to the generous educators and students who helped us build this major upgrade by providing valuable feedback and ongoing testing for continuous improvement.”
Better STEM access for all
According to the National Science Board, academic institutions need to dramatically increase the proportion of students in STEM to preserve U.S. economic and innovation leadership. But women and minority students are already underrepresented in STEM education, and inherent design flaws in introductory STEM-subject courses can actually act as a barrier for minority students rather than as a springboard for success, according to a 2022 Pennsylvania State University research study led by mathematics professor Nathanial "Nate" Brown, Ph.D.
“We know that different students have different levels of comfort with online courseware,” said Jolita Kiznyte, Labster’s lead product manager for content. “That’s why we’re continuously working to improve the UX design of Labster’s gamified, interactive science simulations. It’s really important that we accommodate a diversity of user backgrounds and technical skills. These latest updates provide key hints and signals that can offer a helping hand to students where they need it while navigating the learning experience in our simulations.”
Labster has been innovating in science education for more than a decade, providing educators with the ability to digitally explore and enhance their science offerings and supplement their in-classroom activities. In 2022, Labster released five new course packages, including Basic Lab Skills, focused specifically on practical lab skills and simulations. Additionally, more than 150 of the 300-plus Labster simulations are now available in Spanish, with over 100 also in French, German, and Italian. Labster simulations can be played on a variety of the most commonly used desktop, laptop, and tablet computers available to the broadest range of students.
Getting to know (and love) Labster
Labster is dedicated to developing fully interactive virtual training simulations that are designed to enhance traditional learning outcomes by stimulating students’ natural curiosity and reinforcing the connection between science and the real world. The simulations can be used in a variety of different ways, from a full lab replacement to a supplemental learning activity. Over 5 million students in high schools and universities in 100 countries have used Labster to perform realistic experiments, learn key science concepts, and practice their skills in a risk-free learning environment. Labster’s team members are passionate about improving science learning, resulting in collaborations with over 3,000 leading educational institutions.
CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS
PRnewswire | April 12, 2023
AccessLex Institute® announces JDEdge by AccessLex℠, a free preparatory skill-building program for rising 1L law students.
AccessLex has prided itself in creating resources that assist law students during their journey from admittance to law school through admittance to the bar, from support with law school selection, to scholarship search opportunities, to calculating student loan and repayment options, to academic and bar success. However, their latest resource is available to students before they set foot in the law school classroom.
Beginning on July 1, 2023 and offered free of charge to AccessLex member law schools and their students, JDEdge by AccessLex℠ is a comprehensive summer program, designed specifically for incoming 1Ls, which provides them with the necessary knowledge, resources, and support they will require when the school term begins.
Through live webinars, video lectures, and interactive online lessons, the program provides 20 hours of asynchronous content organized into five modules, along with opportunities for interaction with JDEdge instructors and peers. Students will gain confidence and skills related to class preparation and post-class strategies, case reading and briefing, writing for law school exams and exam preparation, critical reflection, and professional expectations, all before they attend their first law school lecture. JDEdge provides students with a solid foundation of the skills they need to succeed in law school.
"We're excited to offer JDEdge to schools free of charge to help their students learn how to learn in law school. We believe that if students develop metacognitive skills early on, they can learn more efficiently and effectively throughout law school and during bar study," states Cynthia Cassity, Senior Vice President of AccessLex Institute and Chief Operating Officer of Helix Bar Review. "JDEdge fits squarely within our mission to support the law student journey from admission to law school to admission to the bar."
About AccessLex Institute:
AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization committed to helping talented, purpose-driven students find their path from aspiring lawyer to fulfilled professional. In partnership with its nearly 200 member law schools, improving access and positively influencing legal education have been at the heart of the Company's mission since 1983.
CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS
PRnewswire | May 05, 2023
StrongMind announced a new generation of digital courses for K-5 students today. StrongMind responded to the increased demand for digital courses for the youngest students during the pandemic by releasing a complete suite of K-5 courses in summer 2021, completing their K-12 digital solution. After listening to course users and careful analysis of feedback, StrongMind determined enhancements were needed to keep up with the still increasing need for high-quality digital courses in the early grades.
The new version of digital courses includes robust enhancements for even higher-quality English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies courses and a user experience designed to delight young learners. Enhancements include:
• Deeper alignment to state standards, including state specific content for select courses and states
• An enhanced approach to phonics instruction for K-2
• Expanded rich media and interactivity throughout each course
• New grading supports for teachers, including grading notes and rubrics
"At StrongMind, we firmly believe that a standards-aligned K-5 curriculum that follows the science of reading is crucial for setting our students up for academic success. By providing engaging and rigorous instruction in the early years, we can inspire a love of learning and empower our students with the skills they need to thrive in all aspects of their lives," said Mori Creamer, Chief Academic Officer.
The newest K-5 digital courses will be available for back-to-school fall 2023 for existing and new customers who have a need for flexible digital courses that will meet the needs for online and blended learning throughout different programs in a school or district. More information about the courses is available at strongmind.com/K-5/, and details about other StrongMind products, including courses for grades 6-12 and social emotional learning (SEL) is available at strongmind.com.
StrongMind partners with schools and districts to develop forward-thinking solutions that address unique school challenges. With a consultative approach, engaging digital curriculum, a suite of edtech tools, a range of services, and clear insights, we maximize student achievement and help schools thrive. A recent recipient of multiple Digital Promise Research-Design certifications and winner of more than 60 awards, StrongMind innovates into the future of education.