How do you teach a microbiology lab online?

We have a really proactive chair, Dr.
Eric Triplett. He just immediately started thinking about the future, and
how can we protect best our students, faculty, and staff. Our lecture classes
are online already so that’s not a big problem, but for the labs, obviously that was a concern. He sent me an email, and said do you think he can do it, and I
said absolutely we can make it work. I’ve been putting my thinking hat on over the
weekend, what can we do, and for example one of our first exercises is we do a pipetting exercise where we use micro pipettes, and we do a dilution series and evaluate their pipetting skills. What you can do, you could for
example send the pipettes home and then you can use an app with the phone, and
with the online modules we can all put our data together, and then still have a classroom atmosphere although we do some of the things at home. Hands-on skills are important, but I think there are very creative ways especially with the technology we have on hand where we can do a lot of fun things at home. I ask students, do you have any advice what we can do? You know, what’s working for you? Do you have any ideas, have you come across any simulations, any programs that can help
us to make your learning better? I get e-mails back as well that say, yeah you
know, I’ve seen this or I’ve learned about that before and we
could use that in this environment. You know the stress, the additional stress, I
mean students are stressed enough without this situation. The additional
stress can really have a mental health burden, and I think we all need to
be sensitive to that as well and you know as faculty we don’t need to pretend
we’re perfect, we’re trying our best. We want to have high quality
education continuously for the students, but we work with the system and with
everything we have, to make it work.

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