Go-Lab stands for Global Online Science Labs for Inquiry Learning at School.
The online labs aim at supporting inquiry learning and providing the possibility to conduct scientific experiments in a virtual environment. Online laboratories can be of two kinds. Remotely-operated educational labs (remote labs) provide students an opportunity to collect data from a real physical laboratory setup, including real equipment, from remote locations. As an alternative there are virtual labs that simulate the real equipment. Remote and virtual labs both have specific advantages for learning and can be combined to support specific learning activities.
Inquiry is the process in which students are engaged in scientifically oriented questions, perform active experimentation, formulate explanations from evidence, evaluate their explanations in sense of alternative explanations, and communicate and justify their proposed explanations.
The inquiry process should be well structured and scaffold to achieve optimal learning results. Scaffolding refers to support (dedicated software tools) that helps students with tasks that they cannot complete on their own. For example, they can help students to create hypotheses, design experiments, make predictions, formulate interpretations of the data, reflect upon the learning process, plan and structure their work, and monitor what has been done.
The Go-Lab Project opens up remote and virtual science labs for the large-scale use in education. Its technical framework offers students the opportunity to perform personalized scientific experiments with online labs, whereas teachers can enrich their classroom activities with demonstrations and disseminate best practices in a web-based pedagogic community. The overall aim of the Go-Lab Project is to provide students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in science by conducting experiments using modern laboratory equipment by themselves, deepen their knowledge in fundamental sciences, and to motivate them for making scientific carrier in the future.
Students get an access to scientific instruments and use them for their investigations by undertaking active guided experimentation carried out on top-level scientific facilities Go-Lab offers. They may also access research data and archives, use advanced tools for data acquisition and analysis, as well as facilities to support communication on scientific topics.
Teachers may integrate live demonstrations and experiments conducted with remote and virtual labs in their regular classroom activities providing students with the necessary support for their inquiry process and adapting this experience to particular learning situation. Further, teachers can share their best practices and methodologies as well as provide and get support in a pedagogic community.
Lab-owners (scientific organizations, universities, research institutions or commercial companies) can bring real experiments into the web and create a virtual community stimulating dialog between scientists, instructors, students, and other stakeholders, thus, increasing visibility and attraction of their labs. This innovative approach also brings scientific experiments at a new level allowing conducting remote studies in international teams.
When joining Go-Lab, teachers are offered various types of online or onsite support and training. More specifically, partners of the Go-Lab consortium in each participating country organize introductory seminars, and hands-on training workshops at local or national level. Teachers are also further supported by online means like webinars or through the dedicated Go-Lab Tutoring Platform where they can discuss with experts and learn from them how to better use the tools that Go-Lab offers. Furthermore, once per year an international summer school is organized. This is a week-long intensive course with lectures, seminars and workshops. Participation is enabled through the annual Go-Lab contest for teachers or through Erasmus+ grants.
ILS stands for Inquiry Learning Space. An ILS embodies the lesson plan of a teacher and can include online labs, apps, learning resources, and scaffolds that Go-Lab offers. An ILS is authored and saved in Graasp (graasp.eu) and a teacher can share it as standalone view with his/her students.