Developing Procedural Knowledge via a Distance

By David Ellis, Lecturer in Technology Education, Southern Cross University

Ever tried to assemble a flat packed piece of furniture without the pictures? How about successfully landing a passenger aircraft without stepping into the cockpit? In higher education, the nature of specific disciplines requires academics to impart procedural knowledge as well as the declarative knowledge to their students. In addition, the economic packaging of learning materials in distance education lends to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ static approach that doesn’t address the differing student learning styles (McLoughlin, 1999). The challenge for a growing number of academics is not only trying to match teaching and learning styles, but to deliver this within the constraints of a digital environment via distance education. Continue reading


Celebrating our Veterans through Improved Access to Higher Education

By Linda Jeschofnig, Founder and CEO of Hands-On Labs 

This week, America honors the hundreds of thousands of Veterans who have so-well served our country and kept it safe from harm’s way. More than ever, since WWII, Veterans are seeking to improve their futures by going to college. The 2009 post- 9/11 GI Bill and numerous institutional initiatives are helping them do so.

The new GI Bill provides Veterans with excellent educational opportunities by covering the cost for in-state tuition and providing stipends to help with books and living expenses. These payments can be applied toward specialized training certificates, apprentice programs, college degrees, and even graduate programs. See:
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Teaching Tips for Online Science Instructors

Collaboration and the discussion of lab results is an important part of the learning process in any science course and can be easily incorporated into online-science courses via their Discussion Boards. Among the tips we give science instructors are the following on scheduling the due dates for lab reports and lab discussions:

  • Schedule the due date for Lab Reports to be on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Since most students do their lab assignments on the weekend, they may not be able to get immediate help if they run into problems. This delay also gives students time to reflect upon and reinforce what they experienced and learned in performing the lab before rushing to write their Lab Report. It is important to let students know the purpose of this due-date shift. Otherwise, they will be tempted to perform their labs the night before and the purpose behind the due-date shift will be negated.
  • Encourage Lab-Report postings to the Discussion Board on Wednesday and Thursday. This allows students to compare and contrast their observations and data with other students, further clarifying their thinking and reinforcing key concepts. Exercises utilizing combined class data can often be developed from this information. Since all lab reports will have already been submitted, students can’t utilize other’s information so there is no impact on academic integrity.

Science Has Been a Top US Priority since Civil War

By Laura Yaun, Hands-on Labs, Inc.

Wishing HOL’s Scientist, Dr. Eric Punkay, a very rewarding future in teaching. You will be missed, but students need great teachers like you and we applaud your change of career decision.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln created the National Academy of Sciences by signing into law the Act of Incorporation. The Civil War proved a great need for innovations, bringing citizens and government together. Weapon-testing departments were established as the president saw the importance of science and technology, making it law to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art.”
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