grew out of our attempt to add structure to the more unguided activities
With a room full of students, we realized, it would be difficult
for a teacher to observe what each group was doing, to help them
when they got stuck, or react when they arrived at one of those
"teachable moments" that we all look for in the classroom. Our experience
with GenScope, moreover, demonstrated all too clearly the difficulty
of achieving transfer. Students often become adept at using the
software without achieving an understanding of the underlying scientific
That was the
origin of the "Web Lab" idea. Web Labs
are simply structured activities that attempt to guide students'
investigations without losing the spontaneity and engagement associated
with more open-ended explorations. Web Labs can also monitor the
students' work and alert the teacher to appropriate times for intervention.
Eventually, we hope, they may replace paper-and-pencil tests as
But the jury
is still out. We have used our Web Labs only with a small number
of students so far. They seem to work well, but we need more data
before we can be sure.
you come in. If you are a biology teacher and plan to use BioLogica
in your classes, we want to hear from you. We want to know how and
when you use the Web Labs, whether you like them, whether your students
like them, and what they learn from them. And we want your suggestions
as to how they can be improved. This can effectively be done by
registering with us.
we will keep you apprised of new developments as they happen. In
particular, we promise that you will be among the first to know
when the cells and molecules (view 3D
cells), which currently are QuickTime movies and interactive
3D worlds, are incorporated into the BioLogica software model and
Drop us a line