Project Title: Digital Labcoat, Virtual Lab Learning Modules

Project Leaders: Steve Joordens, Ainsley Lawson

This project website contains materials to guide students and instructors on the use and integration of Digital Labcoat. The materials are published as shared educational resources and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0.

What is Digital Labcoat?

The Digital Labcoat virtual lab modules have been developed to provide social science students in online, hybrid or flipped classrooms with the opportunity to experience the scientific method through hands-on active learning.

How does it work?

Instructors will select a pre-populated dataset for their students to explore. Students will then proceed through the following steps:

  • Analysis Phase – During this phase students can form hypotheses and conduct relatively simple discipline-related statistical analyses on the data acquired in the survey phase (e.g., correlations, t-tests). Digital Labcoat performs the analyses and displays the findings, which students must then interpret as being in line with their hypotheses
  • Replication Phase – Students can see their peers’ submissions and choose analysis to replicate, highlighting the critical role replication.
  • Theorize Phase – Students work collaboratively to provide theoretical explanations for the most interesting, replicable findings.

How can I use DL in my class?

We will soon have a number of Digital Labcoat assignment modules available that will be tailored for use in different subject areas. All of these modules will allow students to experience the scientific method in a hands on manner … the students will be behaving as scientists do and will learn about the importance of hypothesis generation and testing, marketing scientific findings, replicating the interesting findings of other students, and providing theoretical accounts of replicable findings. The critical difference between the modules is simply the dataset that students will explore, with the particular datasets tailored to specific content areas.

The initial datasets will be tailored to Introductory level courses in Psychology, Sociology and Business. The modules relating to these datasets will be available for use in the Winter 2016 term along with supporting materials, all of which will be provided on this website.

All tools and materials have been designed to meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards, and are LTI 1.1 compliant.

For more information contact: alawson@utsc.utoronto.ca