Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-enabled virtual laboratories provide an online learning experience with the aid of computer-based instructional materials (animation, simulation, and remote-trigger experiments) for improving the active learning process. The project reported on in this chapter was set up in order to enhance university and college education, which is now becoming an advanced training environment for solving the geographical, social, and economic challenges faced in the interdisciplinary field of science education, especially in India. In order to study the role of biotechnology virtual laboratories in the current education system, a pedagogical survey, via workshops and online feedback, was carried out among several student and teacher groups of different Indian universities. This chapter reports how virtual labs in biotechnology can be used to improve teaching and learning experiences in an easy and understandable way with user interaction and how such tools serve to effectively reduce the problems of laboratory education especially in remote areas. The results obtained from user-feedback analysis suggest the use of virtual labs as a recommended component in blended education in large classroom scenarios for enhancing autonomous learning process and as an alternative to enhance lab education in geographically remote and economically challenged institutes.
Dr. Shyam Diwakar, Nair, B., Sasidharakurup, H., Radhamani, R., Sujatha, G., Shekhar, A., Achuthan, K., Prof. Nedungadi, P., and Raghu Raman, “Usage and Diffusion of Biotechnology Virtual Labs for Enhancing University education in India’s Urban and Rural Areas”, E-Learning as a Socio-Cultural System: A Multidimensional Analysis, pp. 63-83, 2014.